If you're looking for silver linings, there aren't many. As the Detroit Tigers were hard at work losing a 12-5 stinker to the Cincinnati Reds -- one they were leading 5-0, no less -- their minor league affiliates were busy following suit. Each of the Tigers' five top affiliates were in action last night, and each of them lost in their own special way. The Toledo Mud Hens blew a 5-0 lead of their own. The Erie SeaWolves gave up 10 runs. The Lakeland Flying Tigers wasted a stellar outing from their pitching staff. It was ugly, to say the least.
Sure, there were a few bright spots. Jonathan Maciel had a solid outing for Lakeland, allowing a single run on four hits in six innings of work. Teammate Julio Felix allowed a run in three relief innings, which would usually be a praise-worthy outing. Instead, he was saddled with a loss. A.J. Simcox had four hits and two stolen bases for the West Michigan Whitecaps. Jason Krizan had three hits of his own, and Wynton Bernard also reached base safely three times for Erie.
These individual performances were not enough to avoid a clean sweep of losses, though, and there has been a lot of losing in the farm system this year. The Tigers' top three affiliates are all in last place, and the Connecticut Tigers are also below .500. Only the Whitecaps are pushing for a playoff spot after a sub-.500 first half.
Columbus Clippers 6, Toledo Mud Hens 5 (box)
The Mud Hens took a page out of the Tigers' book, blowing an early 5-0 lead. Thad Weber started the bleeding by allowing a two-run homer to Audy Ciriaco in the seventh, then Rafael Dolis cemented the Toledo loss with three runs allowed in the eighth. Manny Pina homered to lead off a five-run fourth inning for the Mud Hens offense.
"Act like the Tigers Night" continued in Erie, where the SeaWolves gave up 10 runs in a rough loss to Binghamton. Tommy Collier was responsible for nine of the 10 runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings of work. Jason Krizan doubled and homered in a three-hit night to lead the Erie offense.
Brevard County Manatees 2, Lakeland Flying Tigers 1 (box)
Jonathan Maciel had a solid outing, allowing a run on four hits in six innings, but the Flying Tigers offense was only able to manage a run on five hits against the Manatees' pitching. Julio Felix allowed a run in three innings of relief and was saddled with a hard-luck loss.
The Whitecaps took an early 2-0 lead, but South Bend tied things up in the next half inning, leading to a 4-2 win. The Whitecaps wasted a four-hit outing from A.J. Simcox, who scored one of West Michigan's two runs. Simcox also stole two bases, but was stranded twice as the Whitecaps went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Tri-City ValleyCats 7, Connecticut Tigers 6 (box)
The Tigers took a 4-2 lead into the middle innings, but the Connecticut bullpen started bleeding runs quickly, and Tri-City ultimately walked off a winner. Ryan Castellanos was solid in 4 1/3 innings of work, but Locke St. John coughed up four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Third baseman Josh Lester drove in three runs for Connecticut.
Mud Hens: Toledo will continue their three-game series at Columbus tonight at Fifth Third Field.
SeaWolves: Erie will play a doubleheader against Binghamton. The first game begins at 5:35 p.m. ET.
Flying Tigers: Kevin Ziomek (7-10, 3.70 ERA) will take the mound after his near-no-hitter five days ago as the Flygers and Manatees finish up their three-game series.
Whitecaps: West Michigan will call on Artie Lewicki (2-3, 3.88 ERA) as they continue their series with the South Bend Cubs.
Tigers: Connecticut will continue a three-game road series at Tri-City. Chase Edwards (6-4, 4.82 ERA) will start for the Tigers tonight.