Jaden Hamm spins another gem in Whitecaps win

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 5, Columbus Clippers 2 (box)

Bryan Sammons got back on track with a strong outing and the Mud Hens took down the Clippers on Tuesday. The veteran lefty spun five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. The Hens held an early lead and added on to win pretty comfortably.

Javy Báez began his rehab assignment in this one, and in the bottom of the first Parker Meadows singled and stole second, and Báez walked on a wild pitch that got Meadows to third and then home. The next two hitters couldn’t advance the runners, but Justice Bigbie walked and Anthony Bemboom singled in Báez for a 2-0 lead.

In the third and fourth, the Hens ran themselves out of innings trying to steal. However, in the sixth Drew Maggi singled and Alvaro Gonzalez walked to start the inning. Andrew Navigato doubled in Maggi, and then Meadows reached on an infield single that loaded the bases. Dillon Dingler grounded into a double play as the Clippers cut down Gonzalez trying to score and still got Meadows at first. The Clippers then intentionally walked Ryan Vilade to load the bases, and then walked Bligh Madris to force in a run. And then they walked Justice Bigbie for good measure. 5-0 Hens.

Devin Sweet gave up a two-run shot in the seventh, but otherwise the bullpen held it together with Sean Guenther earning his third save.

Spencer Torkelson had the night off.

Meadows: 2-4, 2 R, BB, 2 SB

Navigato: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, SB

Báez: 1-2, R, BB

Sammons (W, 5-4): 5.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K

Akron RubberDucks 7, Erie SeaWolves 6 (box)

After turning things around briefly, Troy Melton blew up in this one and squandered a big early lead as the SeaWolves went down to defeat.

The SeaWolves had a chance to blow this one open in the first inning. With one out, Hao-Yu Lee, Trei Cruz, and Jake Holton singled to load the bases. Unfortunately Chris Meyers grounded into an inning ending double play.

Melton allowed a run in the bottom half, but he got plenty of run support in the top of the second.

Gage Workman and Ben Malgeri singled to start the inning, and a Julio E. Rodriguez doubled scored Workman. Austin Murr singled in Malgeri to make it 2-1. Carlos Mendoza lifted a sac fly to plate Rodriguez. And then Lee stepped to the dish and smoked home run number 12 to left center field to make it 5-1. Lee was on a two month heater when he got hit in the helmet twice in a week. He sat out some games until working his way back in over the weekend. Looks like he’s picked up where he left off.

As for Melton, he showed really advanced control last season and again early this season, but he’s in a long stretch of making way too many mistakes in swing counts. He got peppered with hits in the third and the fourth inning and lost some command with runners on base. He allowed two runs in the third and three more in the fourth before settling in again to go 5 23 innings.

Trei Cruz cracked a solo shot in the fifth to tie the game 6-6, but the SeaWolves just couldn’t push anything else across against Akron’s bullpen. RJ Petit allowed a pair of singles in the bottom of the ninth to lose in walkoff fashion.

Cruz: 3-4, R, RBI, HR

Lee: 2-5, R, 2 RBI, HR, 2 K

Workman: 3-4, R, K

Melton: 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, BB, 6 K

West Michigan Whitecaps 6, Great Lakes Loons 1 (box)

Jaden Hamm dominated the Loons in this one, and the Whitecaps recently reinforced offense had a good night at the dish.

The right-hander is begging for a call-up to Erie that will no doubt come shortly. Hamm allowed three hits across five shutout innings, walking no one and striking out seven. He also collected two pop-ups with only two hard hit balls allowed. Hamm allowed a pair of one out singles in the first, but got a fly out and a strike out to strand them. There wasn’t another baserunner until the fifth, when a rehabbing Zack Gelof singled and was promptly cut down trying to take second by the powerful throwing arm of Patrick Lee, only recently up from Lakeland. Hamm was in total control of this one.

The ‘Caps got on the board in the bottom of the third. Bennett Lee and Josh Crouch singled to open the inning and a sac fly from Jim Jarvis scored Lee. That was all they’d get out of the inning, but in the fifth they finally poured on the offense.

Crouch singled to leadoff the inning and with one out, Seth Stephenson lined a two-run shot over the left field wall. Max Anderson followed with a single and moved to second on a Luke Gold ground out. Robert Campos then smoked a hot shot off the tip of Gelof’s glove at third for an RBI double to left. Luis Santana singled in Campos to make it 5-0. Santana would single in Anderson in the seventh for the Whitecaps final run.

Gabriel Sequiera allowed a run in relief.

Campos: 2-3, R, RBI, 2B, BB, SB

Santana: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 K

Bennett Lee: 2-4, R, K

Hamm (W, 3-2): 5.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K

Lakeland Flying Tigers at Tampa Tarpons (postponed)

This is a bit awkward because this is split home-away week, where each series is three at home and three away. So the Flying Tigers and Tarpons were rained out in Tampa due to field conditions in particular, and they’ll try to play a double header on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET to make up the game. Otherwise, further delays will probably push the double header make-up games to Thursday through Saturday, when the series moves to Lakeland.

Max Clark and Hao-Yu Lee to the Futures Game

The MLB Futures game rosters for the July 14th summer semi-classic were released on Tuesday. Max Clark, the game’s 10th ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, will represent the Tigers along with Erie SeaWolves infielder Hao-Yu Lee. Clark obviously has the greater upside, but he’s a little young for this. The hard-hitting 21-year-old Lee is liable to be one of the better hitters in the game, despite not yet having top 100 prospect status.

Jackson Jobe and Kevin McGonigle’s injury shortened seasons so far probably made Clark and Lee the more obvious choices. Jobe is straining at the leash to get to the major leagues, while McGonigle was the biggest mover on Pipeline’s recent top 100 list up to 65. They know how good they are, and it’s just a fun exhibition game.

SeaWolves manager Gabe Alvarez will be the third base coach for the NL team managed by Michael Young. Ian Kinsler and Prince Fielder will also be on the coaching staff, while the AL side will be led by Adrian Beltre in keeping with the Rangers theme for All-Star week at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

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