Gwinnett Braves 15, Toledo Mud Hens 1 (box)
If you were to begin looking through the minor league baseball dictionary for the definition of consistency, you'd sure to find a picture of Toledo ace, Buck Farmer. Going into Friday evening's contest against the Gwinnett Braves (9-13), Farmer faced off against 26-year-old righthander Sugar Ray Marimon (1-0 0.69 ERA).
Despite leading the International League in strikeouts (32) this season, the Braves learned to read Farmer, and learned quickly. The Braves tagged the hard-throwing righty for 10 hits and six runs (five earned) over roughly five innings of work, resulting in Farmer's first loss of the season. He was relieved by righthander Luke Putkonen, who would fair no better. In less than half an inning of work, Putkonen surrendered six earned runs on six hits before he would exit. Toledo cycled through four pitchers who would total a surrendered 19 hits and 14 earned runs to the Braves before the night came to a close.
Toledo's one piece of offense came courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Daniel Fields to score Bryan Holaday. The Hens would close the night going 6 for 31 at the plate with three walks and five strikeouts. All six of Toledo's hits came from Josh Wilson, Holaday and Xavier Avery, who ended the night going 6 for 11 collectively. The remainder of the Mud Hens ended the night at 0 for 20. Toledo drops to 10-11 on the year, two games out of first place.
Avery: 3-4, 2B
Holaday: 2-4, R, SO
Fields: 0-3, RBI, BB, SO
Wilson: 1-3, BB
Moya: 0-4, SO
Farmer (L): 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Mud Hens will head into game three of the four-game road series with Gwinnett on Sunday, with Gwinnett pitting left-hander Manny Banuelos (1-0, 4.43 ERA) against Toledo lefty Kyle Ryan (0-02, 4.43 ERA).
Altoona Curve: 2, Erie Seawolves: 0 (box)
Try as they have, the bats of the Seawolves have been anything but cooperative. Erie sent their resident big man, Austin Kubitza (1-1 1.57 ERA), to face a first place Altoona team that found no trouble in waking up the offense against Kubitza and the Erie defense. Kubitza would work a full eight innings for the Wolves, allowing two earned runs on 10 hits and striking out five.
Altoona righthander Tyler Glasnow (2-0 0.79 ERA) worked a strong performance for the Curve through six strong innings, holding Erie to a single hit while striking out seven. Erie finished the night going 1 for 28 at the plate with three walks.
Despite only two runs surrendered by Erie Friday evening, the shutout would hand Erie their 10th consecutive loss.
Green: 0-4, 2 SO
Kubitza (L): 8 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 5 SO
COMING UP NEXT: Erie will return to face Altoona in the second game of their three-game road series Sunday evening. Altoona will look to right-hander Angel Sanchez (2-0, 0.40) to work the hill, while Erie has slated righty Warwick Saupold (0-1, 10.29) to work for the Seawolves.
Lakeland Flying Tigers: 6, Tampa Yankees: 4 (box)
Jiwan James and Dominic Ficociello led a hungry Flying Tigers team into Friday evening's contest against the second-place Tampa Yankees (12-10). Locke St. John (1-2 5.46 ERA) took the hill for the Flying Tigers and worked through five innings, holding the Yankees to two earned runs while striking out six.
The Flying Tigers dropped another pair of runs to the Yankees in the sixth inning, but Confesor Lara (1-0 1.46 ERA) was able to successfully close the door on Tampa, securing the second save for the Lakeland closer this season.
Ficociello posted three hits for the Flying Tigers while James did what he does best, posting four of Lakeland's 12 hits, combined with two RBI. The Flying Tigers move to 8-13 on the year, currently five and a half games out of first place in the Florida State League Northern Division.
James: 4-4, 2 RBI, R, BB
Ficociello: 3-5, R, SO
Powell: 1-4, 2B, R RBI, SO
Greiner: 1-3, R, RBI, BB, SO
Borchering: 0-4, SO
St. John (W): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The three-game road series continues Saturday evening with Tampa looking to LHP Chaz Hebert (1-1, 1.80 ERA) to face off with Lakeland LHP Kevin Ziomek (2-2, 3.22 ERA).
Lake County Captains: 6, West Michigan Whitecaps: 5 (box)
Amidst an array of offensive bursts and bouts of sloppy defense from both dugouts, Lake County (10-12) and West Michigan (9-13) produced an edge-of-your-seat battle on Saturday evening. The Whitecaps placed big right hander, A.J. Ladwig (1-3 7.20 ERA) on the hill to face off against Lake County lefty, Sean Brady (2-1 3.00 ERA).
Ladwig maneuvered through six innings against the Captains and was touch-and-go throughout his campaign, allowing six earned runs on 13 hits, including a leadoff home run by Lake County's Greg Allen, his second of the season. West Michigan made a fresh push against the early lead of Lake County, taking advantage of an overthrow at first base in the sixth inning. What started out as a standard groundball would stretch into a triple for Joey Pankake, scoring Derek Hill and Ross Kivett. The overthrow would post as just one of six combined errors between the two programs and the effects of the mishandling played a noticeable role in the outcome of the evening.
Ladwig gave way to Whitecaps reliever, Paul Voelker in the seventh inning who would finish the night by allowing only one hits while striking out five in three innings of work for West Michigan.
The late rally wouldn't be enough to lift West Michigan, despite a powerful push. The Whitecaps fall to Lake County with a final score of 6-5, falling to 9-13 on the year.
Pankake: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Gerber: 2-5, R, SO
Gonzalez: 2-4, R, 2B, 2 SO
Kivett: 1-5, R, RBI, SO
Hill: 1-4, R, SO
Schotts: 0-4, 3 SO
Ladwig (L): 6.0 IP, 13 H, 6 ER, 2 SO
Voelker: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Whitecaps will welcome Lake County back on Saturday evening for game two of their three-game series, before West Michigan sets out for two travel series against in-state rival, the Lansing Lugnuts. They will wrap up their travel schedule by heading south for a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons.