Indianapolis Indians: 9, Toledo Mud Hens: 3 (box)
When you've tasted first place in a division race, it's difficult to accept any position lower on the totem pole and for the Mud Hens, this has been no exception. Following three consecutive losses (two of which came to Indianapolis), the hunger for a win Saturday afternoon was greater than even. Despite five innings of work from Toledo starter Mike Belfiore, the Indianapolis offense was lights out once again, finishing with 13 hits, including five doubles. The award of "A Thorn in Toledo's Side" would ultimately go to Indianapolis designated hitter Tony Sanchez. Sanchez tagged Toledo for three hits, including two doubles and five RBI. Toledo dropped their fourth straight and falls to third place in the Western Division with a record of 7-8. Belfiore (0-3) took the loss for Toledo.
Marte: 2-2, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB
Pena: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Machado: 0-4, 2 K
Avery: 0-5, K
Moya: 0-4, K
Belfiore (L): 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
COMING UP NEXT: Toledo will wrap their four-game series with Indianapolis on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.
Altoona Curve: 4, Erie Seawolves: 1 (box)
Rice University alum Austin Kubitza (1-0 1.20 ERA) took the hill for Erie on Saturday in hopes that the larger-than-life strikeout artist would be able to steer the Wolves to their first win after four consecutive losses. Kubitza worked through six innings for Erie, surrendering three hits, three walks, no earned runs and posting seven strikeouts. Kubitza finished with 54 strikes in 99 pitches. The Wolves closed the night with a total of seven hits with rightfielder Jeff McVaney scoring the only run for Erie, courtesy of a deep sacrifice fly by Miguel Gonzalez at the bottom of the fourth inning. Altoona rightfielder Allie Stetson led the charge for the Curve with two runs on two hits, as well as two RBI and a home run. 24-year-old Erie reliever Whit Mayberry (1-2) took the loss. The Wolves dropped their fifth straight loss and fell to 6-9 in the Eastern League.
Price: 2-3, BB
Wells: 2-4, K
Bernard: 1-4, 2B, K
Harrell: 0-4, K
Mayberry (L): 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR
COMING UP NEXT: Erie will look to avoid the sweep by Altoona Sunday afternoon in the series finale. Righthander Warwick Saupold (0-0, 8.68 ERA) will take the hill for the Wolves.
Lakeland Flying Tigers: 4, Clearwater Threshers: 1 (box)
There was new life breathed into the Flying Tiger clubhouse Saturday evening as Lakeland moved one step closer to overtaking Brevard County (7-9) in the Florida State League North standings by notching their seventh win of the year. Lakeland looked to lefthander Kevin Ziomek (2-2 3.22 ERA) to lead the way, taking two of three in the homestand series for the Flygers. Ziomek maneuvered through six innings, striking out six and walking two while allowing no earned runs on the night. The bats were in working order for Lakeland, as they closed the night with eight hits, including a double and a pair of home runs contributed by Drew Longley and Jiwan James. The production continued for Ben Verlander as he went 2-4 with a run scored, while Dominic Ficociello went 2-3 with an RBI and a walk. Clearwater dropped into a second-place tie with the Tampa Yankees in the Northern Division.
Verlander: 2-4, R
Powell: 2-3, R, 2B
Ficociello: 2-3, RBI, BB
Hanover: 0-3, 2 K
Borchering: 0-4, K
Ziomek (W): 6 IP, 3 H, 6 SO, 2 BB
COMING UP NEXT: Lakeland looks to advance in the division standings as they begin a three-game home stand against Brevard County tomorrow afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Dayton Dragons: 4, West Michigan Whitecaps: 3 (box)
Following Friday evening's loss, West Michigan came into Saturday with a score to settle with their neighbors to the south. Lefty Trent Szkutnik was entrusted with the start for the Whitecaps and would only allow one earned run on four hits, while striking out four before exiting after five innings of work. In his first appearance since landing on the 7-day disabled list, reliever Joe Jimenez surfaced for West Michigan and allowed two hits and struck out two in one inning of work. The Dragons were able to battle back from a 3-2 deficit to overcome West Michigan 4-3. Dayton has now taken two of the three-game series. Despite a pair of hits from Ross Kivett and Michael Gerber, a two-run push by Dayton in the ninth closed the door for the Whitecaps. Dayton pitching combined for 12 strikeouts and held West Michigan to six hits and one walk for the day. West Michigan reliever, Gabe Hemmer (0-1 0.96 ERA) took the loss for the Whitecaps.
Gerber: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI
Kivett: 2-4, R
Perez: 3-4, 2 RBI
Pankake: 1-4, 2 K
Hill: 0-3, BB, R, 2K
Hemmer (L): 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
COMING UP NEXT: The Dragons (8-9) will play host the Whitecaps (8-9) in the last game of the road series for West Michigan on Sunday at Fifth Third Field. West Michigan's will have Fernando Perez (0-2, 5.40) on the hill to lead the Whitecaps to try and avoid the sweep by Dayton.
The chess pieces experienced a shift at Fifth Third Field in Toledo following Friday evening's outing as word began to spread that the rehabilitation of OF Steven Moya had come to a close. Moya was back in the lineup for the Mud Hens on Saturday, coming off of batting .275 with 11 hits, including three homeruns and eight RBI in nine games with Lakeland as a part of his rehabilitation assignment. The homecoming would not be as sweet as Moya had hoped, finishing 0-4 with a strikeout to end the evening.
As a part of the plan to transition Steven Moya back to Toledo, Erie given the opportunity to welcome back a familiar face in the form of third baseman, Wade Gaynor. Gaynor made the move from Toledo back to his former stomping grounds, opening a slot for Moya. The move of Gaynor would also fill an opening for Erie following an additional transition of designated hitter, Dean Green to the 7-day disabled list due to illness.