Max Anderson and Andrew Jenkins homer to power the Whitecaps

Bless You Boys

Indianapolis Indians 4, Toledo Mud Hens 3 (box)

Matt Manning was scratched prior to the start of this one, with the implication that the Tigers are preparing for a potential doubleheader on Friday. Thursday’s game looks almost certain to be rained out, bumping Tarik Skubal to a Friday start. The Tigers seem set on using Manning whenever possible, which certainly seems like the right idea, and getting him in there would give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest before their next start.

Instead, reliever Devin Sweet took over as the short notice starting pitcher for the Hens on Wednesday and did a great job. Sweet’s changeup is really his bread and butter, and he had it working here, striking out four in three perfect frames. Unfortunately, the Hens’ offense couldn’t take advantage to build a lead. MLB veteran lefty Eric Lauer threw for Indy, and while he walked four hitters in 3 23 innings, he too gave up no hits in his outing.

Lauer walked Buddy Kennedy and Justyn-Henry Malloy to open the bottom of the first inning, but they went in order from there. It would be a while until they had another good scoring opportunity.

Drew Anderson pitched a scoreless fourth, and then Mason Englert took over. The right-hander got into trouble with two walks and a single loading the bases with no outs in the fifth. He proceeded to strike out the side from there. Englert allowed two singles with one out in the sixth and was lifted for Adam Wolf, who allowed both to score. 2-0 Indy.

Justice Bigbie smoked a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth. He scored on a Wily Peralta wild pitch as catcher Carter Bins threw the ball away trying to catch him advancing to third. Wolf allowed another run in the top of the seventh, and it was 3-1 Indy.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Hens finally mounted the comeback. Jace Jung walked with one out, and Keston Hiura singled him to second. Bigbie then reached on an error when second baseman Nick Gonzales threw the ball away. Both Jung and Hiura scored on the play to tie the game.

Trey Wingenter allowed a double and a single in the top of the ninth to take the loss as the Hens couldn’t match them in the bottom of the ninth.

Bigbie: 1-4, R, 2B, K

Hiura: 1-3, R, BB, K

Sweet: 3.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K

Coming Up Next: It’s a 6:35 p.m. ET start on Thursday night.

Binghamton Rumble Ponies 4, Erie SeaWolves 3 (box)

Erie lost by the same score as the Mud Hens, but they did rack up 11 hits along the way. So it was more of the TTBDNS variety of loss.

Troy Melton made his Double-A debut in this one. His control was a little off, as he walked two in his four innings of work, but he punched out four, allowing just one run. Melton will need to be a little more consistent to dominate Eastern League hitters, but he looks really good and I would bet his command will improve a lot this season after spending most of 2023 dialing in a pretty thorough post-draft overhaul of his mechanics.

The SeaWolves got leadoff singles from catcher Stephen Scott and first baseman Jake Holton in the bottom of the second, but a strikeout and a double play ball squandered the chance.

A pair of singles and a sac fly against Melton made it 1-0 Ponies after the third. In the fourth though, second baseman Hao-Yu Lee one-hopped a deep drive over the center field wall for an automatic double. Scott dumped a pop-up into left field for a single to score him and tie the game.

Jake Higginbotham took over from Melton in the fifth and allowed a pair of runs, but the SeaWolves answered right back. Luis Santana led off with a double and Ben Malgeri singled him to third. Malgeri then stole second base and the Ponies catcher threw the ball away, scoring Santana. Lee pulled a single through the left side of the infield to score Malgeri, and it was 3-3.

It was the Ponies who broke through last, however. They pushed across a run in the eighth against Calvin Coker. The SeaWolves had a few chances to tie it up, but they couldn’t get it done.

Lee: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, K, SB

Scott: 2-3, RBI, SB

Santana: 2-4, R, 2B

Melton: 4.0 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Coming Up Next: It’s a 6:05 p.m. ET start set for Thursday night.

West Michigan Whitecaps 4, Quad Cities River Bandits 3 (box)

It was the Whitecaps who turned the organizational record for the day around. Right-hander Carlos Marcano put together a strong second outing, allowing a run on four hits and a ball, with two strikeouts.

Roberto Campos finally got things started for the ‘Caps by leading off the bottom of the fifth with a single. Danny Serretti struck out, but Campos stole second and then stole third on pitcher Hunter Owen, who threw the ball away trying to pick him off. Campos scored and it was tied up at 1-1.

Tanner Kohlhepp allowed just a single in the sixth, and the ‘Caps got back to work in the bottom half. Max Anderson, the Tigers second rounder out of Nebraska last summer, has looked right at home as expected at the High-A level. One of the better college hitters in the 2023 draft, he’s expected to move quickly, and he’s off to a fine start. Anderson smoked a solo shot, his first of the year, the opposite way in the bottom half to give his side a 2-1 lead.

Kohlhepp struggled in his second inning of work. Three stolen bases allowed by he and catcher Archer Brookman didn’t help the cause, as the Bandits scored two to take a 3-2 lead.

Andrew Jenkins got those runs right back in the bottom half of the seventh. After Serretti walked, Jenkins mashed a two-run shot out to left and it was 4-3.

Trevin Michael in the eighth, and Max Alba in the ninth, shut the Bandits down the rest of the way, Alba earning his first save of the year.

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

Jenkins: 2-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, K

Campos: 1-4, R, K, 2 SB

Marcano: 4.0 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 2 K

Lakeland Flying Tigers 2, Bradenton Marauders 1 (box)

Joe Adametz tossed four scoreless innings in his start on Wednesday, and the Flying Tigers scratched out a pair of runs and got quality bullpen work to win it.

The Flying Tigers put the first run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. After Josue Briceño, who had two more hits in this one, flew out to open the frame, Cristian Santana drew a walk. Brett Callahan dropped a bunt down to move Santana to second, and Jose De La Cruz ripped a double to left to score him.

Donye Evans took over from Adametz in the fifth and sixth, and pitched through a little trouble, including a leadoff triple in the sixth, without allowing a run. In the bottom of the sixth, Max Clark singled and Josue Briceño hammered a deep drive to right center field. Clark erred toward tagging up, but the ball carried off the wall and a good relay cut down Clark at third, holding Briceño to a single. Cam Brown took over on the mound in the seventh and gave up a double and a single, and the Marauders had tied the game at 1-1.

However, in the bottom half with one out, Jim Jarvis got hit by a pitch and then Eduardo Valencia and Dom Johnson drew walks to load the bases. A David Smith ground out brought Jarvis home, and Max Clark walked to re-load the bases. Briceño grounded out to end the inning, but the game was in hand. Brown kept the Marauders in check in the eighth, and lefty Cleiverth Perez picked up the save.

Briceño: 2-4

De La Cruz: 1-3, RBI, 2B, BB

Clark: 1-3, BB, K

Adametz: 4.0 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 3 K

Coming Up Next: It’s an 11:00 a.m. ET start on Thursday as the Flying Tigers look to build on their 3-2 record to start the year.

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