Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 9, Toledo Mud Hens 3 (box)
The Mud Hens (43-57) visited PNC Field for the start of three-game weekend road trip against the RailRiders (54-47). The RailRiders made quick work of lefty Mike Belfiore (4-9, 5.45 ERA), tagging him for seven runs off six hits and drawing six walks in four innings. The Mud Hens offense was on point, but bringing runs across the plate was a different story. Corey Jones and Steven Moya were among four Mud Hens with a pair of hits on the night, totaling 12 overall for Toledo. Five doubles, a triple, and a six-run fifth inning for the RailRiders gave them a leg up, and the Mud Hens would fall short of the victory.
Fields: 2-4, 2 SO
Moya: 2-5, RBI
Jones: 2-4, R
Belfiore (L): 4.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 2 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Mud Hens return to PNC Field on Saturday for game two of the three-game series. Toledo righty Tim Melville (4-8, 4.70 ERA) gets the nod for the Mud Hens to face off against RailRiders right hander Bryan Mitchell (4-5, 3.09 ERA)
Richmond Flying Squirrels 4, Erie SeaWolves 1 (box)
SeaWolves (37-61) lefty Josh Turley (9-7, 3.34 ERA) is on a mission to snag that elusive 10th win this season. Turley worked the Flying Squirrels (53-45) for an impressive eight innings, striking out six and allowing three earned runs off five hits, including a two-run homer by Ricky Oropesa in the seventh inning. From the Erie dugout, Wynton Bernard and Conner Harrell each posted a pair of hits, while Bernard joined David Gonzalez and Dominic Ficociello with a double from each. Bernard's double launched him onto a fresh slot in the Erie history books by naming him as the 76th SeaWolves player in history to tally 100 hits in a single season. Eight hits on the night proved to fall short of overcoming Richmond and Turley was handed the loss.
Bernard: 2-4, R, 2B
Ficociello: 1-4, 2B, 2 SO
Gonzalez: 1-4, 2B, SO
Harrell: 2-3, BB
Turley (L): 8.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Seawolves will look to the steady hand of Tommy Collier (3-0, 2.24 ERA) to even the four game series on Saturday against Flying Squirrels Joe Biagini (8-5, 1.91 ERA) at Jerry Uht Park.
Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Lakeland Flying Tigers 2 (box)
It was a back-and-forth battle of single run innings between the Cardinals (51-46) and the Flying Tigers (39-56) in game one of the double feature on Friday evening. After two days of rainouts, Kevin Ziomek (5-8, 4.02 ERA) took the hill for the Flying Tigers, striking out four while holding Palm Beach to one earned run off seven hits in six innings. Lakeland offense was in high demand, but showed up in low supply to back up Ziomek. The Flying Tigers wrapped game one with just five hits in 32 trips to the plate. Jiwan James and Francisco Martinez each submitted a pair of hits. Lakeland righty Gabe Hemmer (0-1, 0.69 ERA) served as the last line of defense for the Flying Tigers and his final run allowed was all the Cardinals needed to secure the victory.
Martinez: 2-4, 2 R, 2B
Greiner: 1-3, 2B, RBI, SO
Ziomek: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 SO
Hemmer (L): 2.1 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 3 SO
Palm Beach Cardinals 2, Lakeland Flying Tigers 1 (box)
The Flying Tigers have not seen a victory since July 9 and the nightcap against the Cardinals on Friday evening didn't do them any favors. Lakeland right hander Endrys Briceno (0-1, 6.00 ERA) took the hill for the nightcap, working his way through three innings and allowing a pair of runs off three hits. Javier Betancourt led the charge with a pair of hits out of the combined six hits overall for Lakeland. Jiwan James and Tyler Hanover each contributed a double for the Flying Tigers. Nine strikeouts and five men left in scoring position were enough to keep Lakeland at bay and they were forced to surrender their 13th consecutive contest this month.
James: 1-4, R, 2B, SO
Hanover: 1-3, 2B, SO
Briceno (L): 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB
COMING UP NEXT: Due to previous rain issues, another attempt at a doubleheader is on the docket for Lakeland and Palm Beach on Saturday with Flying Tigers lefty Locke St. John (2-9, 4.85 ERA) facing off against Palm Beach lefty Tyler Melling (1-0, 3.07 ERA) for game one.
South Bend Cubs 6, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (box)
Whitecaps righthander A.J. Ladwig (8-8, 4.01 ERA) got the ball for West Michigan (50-47) as they played host to the South Ben Cubs (44-52) at Fifth Third Ballpark on Friday evening. Ladwig worked 6 2/3 innings for the Whitecaps, striking out three and allowing six runs (four earned) off 10 Cubs hits. The West Michigan offense was led by (surprise!) the consistent Michael Gerber who put up a double and a triple, two of the team's six hits. Ross Kivett joined the effort, posting a double of his own, his 24th this season. Righthander Dominic Moreno, the Tigers' eighth round pick in the 2015 draft, entered in relief for Ladwig in the seventh. Moreno worked 2 1/3 innings, holding the Cubs scoreless with a pair of strikeouts.
Kivett: 1-5, R, 2B
Gerber: 2-3, R, 2B, 3B, RBI
Kengor: 1-3, BB
Shepherd: 1-3, BB, SO
Ladwig (L): 6.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 3 SO
COMING UP NEXT: West Michigan returns to home turf on Saturday for game two of their three-game series against the Cubs. Big Jeff Thompson (4-8, 4.64 ERA) will get the start for West Michigan.
Vermont Lake Monsters 1, Connecticut Tigers 0 (box)
The Tigers (16-17) took their four-game win streak into a three-game road series against the Lake Monsters (14-19) and looked to lefty Tyler Alexander (0-1, 0.56 ERA) to control the hill. Alexander worked three innings for Connecticut, holding Vermont to one run off a pair of hits and striking out three. A.J. Simcox and Jose Zambrano combined for four of the five hits for the Tigers, but Connecticut was unable to send anyone across the plate for the evening. Righthander Josh Heddinger (0-0, 1.17 ERA) came in for five innings of relief behind Alexander and held the Lake Monsters scoreless with a walk and four strikeouts. One run was all Vermont needed and they were able to walk away in game one with a shutout victory, handing Alexander his first loss this season.
Simcox: 2-4, 2B, SO
Zambrano: 2-3, 2B, SO
Padron: 1-4, SO
Alexander (L): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Tigers return to Centennial Field on Saturday for game two of their three-game series. Connecticut righty Spenser Watkins (3-2, 1.45 ERA) will have the hill for the Tigers against Vermont left hander Kevin Duchene (0-0, 1.50 ERA).