Colt Keith and Justice Bigbie keep on mashing while Jackson Jobe impresses in West Michigan

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 4, Columbus Clippers 1 (Fri)(box)

Toledo Mud Hens 10, Columbus Clippers 7 (Sat)(box)

Toledo Mud Hens 8, Columbus Clippers 4 (Sun)(box)

After a back and forth start to the series, the Mud Hens took all three games Friday to Sunday to win the series 4-2.

Friday’s victory was largely the product of starter Sawyer-Gipson Long. In his fourth Triple-A start the right-hander blanked the Clippers for five innings while punching out eight hitters. Aneurys Zabala allowed an unearned run in the seventh, but otherwise the bullpen was untouchable as well.

The offense was pretty quiet until starter Peyton Battenfield left the game after five innings following a rain delay. Reliever Cody Morris issued a leadoff walk to Justyn-Henry Malloy in the bottom of the sixth, and Colt Keith followed with a rocket to right field to make it 2-0 Hens.

Isan Diaz added a solo shot, his first in the Tigers’ system, in the seventh. They added one more in the eighth as Tyler Nevin lead off with a double and scored on an Eddys Leonard single.

Meadows: 1-2, 2B, 2 BB

Keith: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, K

Leonard: 2-4, RBI, 2B

Gipson-Long: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 K

Then Hens built a nice early lead, lost it, and then fought back in the late innings to take care of the Clippers again on Saturday. Starter Bryan Sammons allowed a run in each of the first two innings, but in the bottom of the second the Hens got rolling.

Andrew Lipcius lead off with a single and took second on a Wenceel Perez ground out. Leonard doubled in Lipcius, and after Joe Rizzo flew out, Ryan Kreidler drew a walk. Both were off and running with two outs, and Donny Sands doubled them home with a drive to left field. 3-2 Hens.

Perez and Leonard both went yard in the third for solo shots to make it 5-2, but then Sammons melted down in the fourth, allowing four runs as the Clippers took a 6-5 lead, then made it 7-5 in the top of the sixth.

Leonard led off the bottom of the sixth with a single and rode home on a two-run shot from Rizzo that tied the game at seven apiece. In the seventh, Malloy lead off with a walk and again Colt Keith smashed a home run to right field, this one landing on top of the Fricker’s building beyond the right field concourse. They claimed it went 398 feet on the telecast, but it’s that far just to the base of the Fricker’s building. Probably more like 450 feet at least in projected distance.

Ryan Kreidler added a solo shot to straightaway center in the eighth to make it 10-7, where it ended.

Leonard: 3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B

Rizzo: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B, K

Kreidler: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, BB, K

Sammons: 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 K

Joey Wentz gave the Hens a solid start on Sunday, and the lineup outslugged the Clippers early on in this one to earn a series win.

Wentz carved up the Clippers for five innings, but in the sixth he finally ran into some trouble and allowed two runs before getting pulled. He went 5 23 innings, allowing just those two runs, with one walk issued to six strikeouts.

The Hens gave him a lead to work with in the bottom of the first. Colt Keith doubled to right field with two outs and Tyler Nevin smacked an opposite field home run to make it 2-0.

In the third, Wenceel Perez led off with a walk and stole second base. Malloy struck out but Keith walked as well and a wild pitch moved them to second and third. A Nevin double down the line scored them both, and Andre Lipcius then went yard to make it 6-0.

In the fourth, Nick Solak led off with a single and Perez got hit by a pitch. They advanced on a wild pitch and then both scored on a Colt Keith line drive into center field for a single.

With an 8-0 lead, the two runs Wentz allowed were no trouble. Braden Bristo finished the sixth for Wentz and Mason Englert tossed a scoreless seventh. Blair Calvo allowed two runs in the eighth, but Trey Wingenter struck out two in the ninth to shut it down.

Keith: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, BB, K

Nevin: 2-3, 2 R, 4 RBI, HR, 2B, BB, K

Lipcius: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, K

Wentz (W, 2-1): 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K

Coming Up Next: The Hens welcome in the Omaha Storm Chasers for six starting on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. ET.

Altoona Curve 3, Erie SeaWolves 2 (Fri)(box)

Erie SeaWolves 4, Altoona Curve 1 (Sat)(F/6)(box)

Erie SeaWolves 5, Altoona Curve 4 (Sun)(box)

The SeaWolves lost on Friday night, but took Saturday and Sunday’s game to win the series 4-2. They also took the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday that was a makeup game for a July 9th rain out. So all tolled, it was a 5-2 week for Erie.

On Friday, Justice Bigbie continued his assault on Eastern League pitching, mashing a solo shot in the first inning. Starter Adam Wolf leaked a pair of runs in the fourth, and the middle innings were quiet. The SeaWolves managed just six hits and no walks on the day.

Reliver Jake Higginbotham allowed a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 3-1 Altoona. Finally in the bottom of the ninth, Bigbie reached on an error and Jace Jung singled to right field. Jung was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, which is a big mistake in that situation. Bigbie did reach third where he scored on a Dillon Dingler sacrifice fly, but that was all they’d get.

Bigbie: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR

Wolf (L, 3-3): 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K

The SeaWolves rode a solid effort from lefty Brant Hurter to win a rain shortened contest on Saturday. Hurter tossed four scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

The SeaWolves opened the scoring in the top of the third via a two-out triple from Trei Cruz. Bigbie singled him home to make it 1-0. In the top of the fourth, Jake Holton walked with one-out, and Chris Meyers was hit by a pitch. Julio E. Rodriguez stepped to the dish and smacked his 14th home run of the season to left field. 4-0 Erie.

Tim Naughton allowed a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the SeaWolves held on from there until heavy rains moved into the area, washing this one out after six frames.

On Sunday, Lael Lockhart put together another outstanding performance and the SeaWolves flexed some home run power.

The left-hander tossed five innings with just an unearned run allowed, while allowing just two hits and two walks against seven punch outs. That’ll do.

The SeaWolves jumped right out to a 3-0 lead punctuated by a two-run shot from Jace Jung in the first inning. In the top of the fourth, Luis Santana doubled with one-out and rode home on a two-run shot from Trei Cruz a batter later.

A throwing error on Cruz, playing shortstop in this one, helped the Loons get a run across in the fifth, and in the sixth they teed off on Jake Higginbotham for three runs before Tyler Mattison came on to shut down the rally. He spun a clean seventh and Blake Holub and Andrew Magno took it the rest of the way with perfect innings and two strikeouts apiece. That’s the heart of the SeaWolves bullpen in order, and it was too much for the Curve.

Malgeri: 2-4, R, 2B

Jung: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, K

Cruz: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, CS

Lockhart (W, 4-1): 5.0 IP, R, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves travel to Akron to take on the RubberDucks on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. ET.

West Michigan Whitecaps 12, Great Lakes Loons 4 (Gm1)(F/7)(box)

Great Lakes Loons 3, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (Gm2)(F/7)(box)

West Michigan Whitecaps 3, Great Lakes Loons 2 (Sun)(box)

The Whitecaps took down the Loons last week, winning on Sunday to take the series four games to two. That kept the Whitecaps holding a half game lead over the Dayton Dragons for first place in the Midwest League East division’s second half race with a 23-18 record.

The Whitecaps took a 2-1 series lead into Saturday’s doubleheader after they were rained out on Friday. Jackson Jobe got the start and again he looked outstanding for much of his outing.

Jobe came out of the gate pumping 98 mph consistently, and it was his changeup that really had Loons hitters over a barrel in the early innings. The right-hander racked up eight strikeouts along the way, but his velocity did dip back into the mid-90’s as the outing progressed, In the fifth, Jobe appeared to run out of gas a bit as he started yanking his breaking ball in the dirt and missing high with the fastball. The Loons did a nice job waiting him out and putting a few balls in play for singles. The dagger was a two-run shot from Yeiner Fernandez that capped a three-run inning for the Loons.

However, the Whitecaps still had a 6-3 lead at that point. In the first inning, Hao-Yu Lee walked and stole second base. Gage Workman walked as well, and then Brady Allen smacked his 13th homer to make it 3-0.

In the second, Izaac Pacheco and Andrew Jenkins lead off the inning with singles. Carlos Mendoza grounded into a force of Jenkins at second, but then Pacheco and Mendoza pulled off the delayed double steal of second and home, making it 4-0 at that point. Jenkins added a solo shot, his first with the Whitecaps, in the fourth, and Austin Murr walked and later scored on a throwing error as Mendoza dropped down a bunt and ended up on third base when the dust cleared.

Luke Gold hit his second homer for the Whtiecaps to lead off the sixth, and they pushed across another run in the inning before adding four more in the seventh.

Allen: 1-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, K

Jenkins: 2-4, R, RBI, HR

Workman: 2-3, 2 R, BB

Jobe (W, 2-0): 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, BB, 8 K

Game 2 was a quieter affair. Hao-Yu Lee started the game off with a walk and moved to second on a Luke Gold single. At that point, Lee was lifted with what looked like a sprained ankle perhaps. Carlos Mendoza pinch-ran for Lee, and scored on a wild pitch later in the inning.

Garrett Burhenn allowed two runs in the third and one in the fourth, and the Whitecaps couldn’t capitalize on some opportunities along the way. Lazaro Benitez started the bottom of the seventh with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Gage Workman single, but that was as close as they’d get.

Benitez: 1-2, R, 2B, BB

Jenkins: 2-3

Burhenn (L, 4-6): 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, BB, 3 K

Dylan Smith made his first rehab start for the Whitecaps on Sunday, making a nice start as he works his way back to Erie from an early season forearm strain. The right-hander threw 76 pitches, so he’s presumably close to a return to Double-A. He struck out six in 3 13 innings of work, allowing one earned run in the bottom of the second inning.

The Whitecaps seized control in the third inning. Carlos Mendoza doubled with one out, and after Luke Gold struck out, Gage Workman doubled in Mendoza and then scored on an Eliezer Alfonzo single. 2-1 Whitecaps.

In the fifth, Mendoza led off with a walk and stole second base. Gage Workman drew a walk and both advanced on an Alfonzo ground out. The Loons’ Lucas Wepf was then rung up on a disengagement violation, scoring Mendoza. 3-1 Whitecaps.

Angel Reyes allowed a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the bullpen locked it down from there. Dario Gardea earned a six-out save with two perfect innings and five strikeouts out of six hitters faced.

Mendoza: 1-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, K, SB

Pacheco: 2-4, K, SB

Smith: 3.1 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps now welcome in the South Bend Cubs for six starting Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. ET.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 11, Dunedin Blue Jays 9 (Fri)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 2, Dunedin Blue Jays 1 (Sat)(box)

Dunedin Blue Jays 5, Lakeland Flying Tigers 1 (Sun)(box)

The Flying Tigers won on Friday and Saturday to secure a series split, but couldn’t take the series on Sunday as Dunedin came up with a 5-1 victory.

On Friday, neither team pitched well. Lakeland starter Colin Fields got clobbered for seven run in four innings of work.

However, in the bottom of the third, the Flying Tigers started the comeback. J.D. McLaughlin and Seth Stephenson singled with one out, and Cristian Santana walked to load the bases. Jim Jarvis walked to force in a run, and then a two-run single from Mike Rothenberg followed. Jose De La Cruz lifted a sac fly to plate Jarvis, and it was 4-4 at that point.

Fields gave up three more in the fourth, and the bullpen leaked a run in the fifth, but in the bottom of the fifth Stephenson and De La Cruz both doubled as the Flying Tigers scored three runs to make it an 8-7 ballgame. They eventually tied it up in the sixth and the two teams traded single runs in the seventh. In the eighth, Sergio Tapia and Cristian Santana walked and with two outs, a Jarvis double to right field scored them both to make it 11-9, where it ended.

Stephenson: 2-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, 2 SB

Jarvis: 2-3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2B, 2 BB, K, 2 SB

Santana: 0-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

Fields: 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K

On Saturday, starter Matt Walker blanked the Blue Jays for five innings, and the bullpen did a nice job as well. It was a scoreless game until the sixth, when Jim Jarvis singled in Seth Stephenson. It was still 1-0 when Cam Brown allowed a run in the top of the ninth that tied it up. However, Cristian Santana walked to open the bottom of the ninth, he’s walking a ton lately, but was replaced by Jarvis who grounded into a force of Santana at second. Max Anderson ripped a double to right field, and Jarvis raced home with the walkoff winner.

Santana: 0-2, 2 BB, K

Jarvis: 1-4, R, RBI

Anderson: 1-4, RBI, 2B

Walker: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K

Garrett Hill blanked the Blue Jays for three innings in his rehab outing on Sunday, but the offense didn’t take much advantage. Jose De La Cruz lead off the bottom of the second with a single, and he’d later score from third as Carlos Pelegrin got caught trying to steal second, though it looks like he was just drawing a throw to give De La Cruz a chance to score, and it worked out.

Either way, the offense couldn’t do much more than that. They drew seven walks, but couldn’t come up with the hits they needed with Garrett Apker and the Flying Tigers bullpen leaked runs the rest of the way.

De La Cruz: 1-3, R, BB, 2 K

Bastidas: 1-3, 2B, BB

Santana: 0-2, 2 BB, SB

Hill: 3.0 IP, 0 R, H, 3 BB, 3 K

Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers head to Bradenton on Tuesday for the first of six games with the Marauders. As Bradenton is the only Florida State League team to broadcast their games on, we can hope that Max Clark is ready for Low-A. Otherwise we’ll have to wait until next season to see him in action live.

FCL Phillies 9, FCL Tigers 6 (Fri)(box)

FCL Phillies 12, FCL Tigers 7 (Sat)(box)

On Friday, Max Clark went 0-for-3 with a run scored, two walks, and a strikeout. Kevin McGonigle went 0-for-2 with a run scored and three walks. Carson Rucker singled and stole two bases. Catcher Josue Briceno stayed hot with a three-hit game, including a triple, scoring twice and driving in a run.

On Saturday, Clark was off, but mcGonigle went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and three walks to one strikeout. Brent Callahan went 1-for-2 with a two runs scored, an RBI, three walks, and a strikeout. RHP Jaden Hamm threw a perfect inning with one strikeout.

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