Columbus Clippers 6, Toledo Mud Hens 1 (box)
The familiar face of Justin Verlander (0-0, 3.24 ERA) stirred up quite a buzz at Fifth Third Field on Saturday as the Cy Young winner took the hill for his second rehab start with the Mud Hens (25-31). Verlander produced five innings of work against the visiting Columbus Clippers (28-28), holding the Clippers to four hits and fanning nine in typical Verlander fashion. Columbus starter Cody Anderson (1-0, 1.29 ERA) worked to match stride with Verlander, limiting the Toledo offense to four hits over seven innings and matching Verlander in the strikeout category with nine.
Dixon Machado led a fairly quiet performance at the plate by the Mud Hens with two of the team's four total hits on the day. Despite the promising showing from Verlander, Columbus did a number on fellow rehab partner Bruce Rondon. Rondon was tagged for four hits, a trio of walks and four earned runs, including a long ball punched out by Jesus Aguilar in the eighth inning. The five runs from Columbus in the eighth closed the door on the Mud Hens, handing the loss to Rondon.
Machado: 2-4, R, 2B
Avery: 1-4, 2 SO
Hessman: 1-4, RBI, 2 SO
Moya: 0-3, 3 SO
Verlander: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 9 SO
Rondon (L): 1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, SO
COMING UP NEXT: Toledo will close out their three-game series with the Clippers on Sunday at Fifth Third Field. The Syracuse Chiefs (18-38) come to town on Monday for the Mud Hens final home stand before hitting the road.
Altoona Curve 6, Erie Seawolves 3 (box)
Entering Saturday evening at Jerry Uht Park, the Altoona Curve (33-20) had yet to drop a contest to the Seawolves (18-34). Unfortunately for Erie righty Chad Green (2-7, 5.22 ERA), Altoona came ready to play. Through five innings on the hill, Green allowed nine hits and five earned runs while posting a strong seven strikeouts. Austin Green and Tony Thomas both went deep for the Seawolves, while Curt Powell posted a double. Altoona was kept in check until a breakout sixth inning, with Josh Bell punching a shot off Green to score one of the six runs from Altoona in the sixth. Erie finished the night with five hits through 32 plate appearances. The electric Altoona offense, coupled with the silence at the plate from the Seawolves handed the Curve their eighth consecutive victory over Erie this season.
Thomas: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Green, A: 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, SO
Powell: 2-4, 2B
Green, D: 1-4, SO
Green (L): 5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 7 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Curve return to Jerry Uht Park on Sunday for game three of the four-game series. Altoona righthander Chad Kuhl (4-1, 2.75 ERA) will battle Erie righty Tommy Collier (0-0, 1.38 ERA) as Erie looks to hand the Curve their first loss to the Seawolves.
Daytona Tortugas 3, Lakeland Flying Tigers 2 (box)
It was a see-saw battle at Joker Marchant Stadium on Saturday as the Flying Tigers (27-28) went for the sweep against Daytona (33-23) in the finale of their three-game home stand. Lakeland lefty Matt Crouse (2-1, 1.14 ERA) led the charge for the Flying Tigers from the hill, holding the Tortugas to one run off five hits through his six innings of work. An RBI single lifted Daytona to an early lead in the first, but leveled off in the innings to follow as the two programs went back and forth.
Dominic Ficociello extended his newly instated hit streak to four games by adding another pair of hits, bringing his total to seven hits in the last four games. Lakeland Reliever Julio Felix (3-1, 3.51 ERA) entered the game for two innings of work and ended up the victim of an eighth inning push that gave the Tortugas the final drive they needed. Felix allowed two earned runs off four hits, including a drive from a different Felix; Junior Felix Arias, who cleared the wall with a two-run shot, snapping a three-game win streak by the Flying Tigers.
Martinez: 2-4, R, SO
Ficociello: 2-3, BB
Borchering: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB, SO
Greiner: 1-3, RBI
James: 1-3, 2B
Crouse: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, BB, 3 SO
Felix (L): 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Flying Tigers will have a day of down time on Sunday, before playing home to the visiting Fort Myers Miracle (26-30) for the start of their four-game stand at Joker Marchant Stadium.
West Michigan Whitecaps 8, Cedar Rapids 7 (box)
The 2015 Whitecaps (28-28) seem to have a flair for legging out a nailbiter for the fans, and Saturday evening was no exception. Cedar Rapids (35-21) and West Michigan combined for 21 hits in an offensive tug-of-war that pitted Whitecaps righty Jeff Thompson (2-5, 4.66 ERA) against Cedar Rapids right hander Zach Tillery (3-1, 2.48 ERA). The Kernels took Thompson for eight hits and four earned runs over his five innings of work.
Will Kengor commanded the plate for West Michigan, posting a pair of hits, including a double and sending three RBI across the plate for the Whitecaps. The Caps sealed the deal in the ninth, following four consecutive walks issued by Cedar Rapids. A wild pitch from the Kernels gave the right amount of time for Will Kengor to scurry home and handed the Whitecaps yet another edge-of-your-seat victory. Reliever Gage Smith (2-1, 1.08 ERA) issued five strikeouts over his three innings of relief for West Michigan; enough to earn him the victory. The Whitecaps return to playing .500 baseball with the win, moving them to 28-28 on the year.
Kengor: 2-3, 2B, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB
Zeile: 2-4, R, RBI, BB, SO
Pankake: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
Shepherd: 0-4, BB, 2 SO
Thompson: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
Smith (W): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 5 SO
COMING UP NEXT: West Michigan welcomes the Kernels back to Fifth Third Ballpark on Sunday afternoon for game two of their three-game series. Cedar Rapids will place righty Sam Gibbons (0-0, 5.40 ERA) on the hill to face West Michigan right hander Spencer Turnbull (3-2, 3.35 ERA).