Toledo Mud Hens 4, Durham Bulls 3 (F/11) (box)
Blaine Hardy’s second start of the season went even better than the first. He of the dirty mustache tossed five innings of one-run ball on Wednesday. Hardy allowed just two hits and two walks while punching out six Bulls. You have to wonder if he’s earned himself another start. Hardy left with a 2-1 lead, which reliever Mark Montgomery promptly relinquished in the sixth, largely due to the fleet feet of Durham’s Andrew Velazquez, who stole second and third base before riding home on a Willy Adames single.
Tied through nine, the Hens and Bulls went to the new rules with each half-inning beginning with a runner on second. Both bullpens held serve until the 11th, when the Bulls scored a run off of Zac Reininger, setting up the big finale. With Jim Adduci at second base, an Edwin Espinal single and a Grayson Greiner single loaded the bases. Jason Krizan drew a walk to re-tie the game, and a wild pitch saw Espinal race home moments later for the game winner.
Greiner: 4-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB
Lugo: 1-5, RBI, 2 SO
Hardy: 5.0 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
Coming Up Next: After sweeping the Bulls out of Toledo, the Hens head to Scranton on a Thursday off day. A 6:35 p.m. ET start time on Friday will see Artie Lewicki battle the RailRiders’ Daniel Camarena.
Trenton Thunder 2, Erie SeaWolves 1 (F/7) (box)
After getting snowed out on Tuesday, the SeaWolves and Thunder played two on Wednesday. Beau Burrows was a little shaky in game one. He allowed two runs in 4 1⁄3 innings with five strikeouts. Phillipe Aumont provided solid relief the rest of the way, but the offense couldn’t muster a late rally.
Robson: 1-3, 2B, R, BB, SO
Burrows: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Erie SeaWolves 3, Trenton Thunder 2 (F/7) (box)
The SeaWolves returned serve in game two of the doubleheader. Kyle Dowdy was outstanding, punching out 10 and allowing just two hits. He shut out the Thunder for five innings. His teammates rewarded him by breaking out in the fifth to score three runs. Poor defense and some SeaWolves small ball got them on top. Despite a rough go in trying to close this one out, John Schreiber hung on for the save after allowing two runs in the seventh.
Castro: 2-3, 2B, RBI
Alcantara: 2-3, R
Dowdy: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 10 SO
Coming Up Next: Sandy Baez is off to a fine start for the SeaWolves, and he will look to keep it going as he duels Justus Sheffield of the Thunder in a matinee game set for 12:05 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Alex Faedo surrendered two runs in the first inning, but looked to be cruising from that point on. It came apart a bit in the sixth, when two more runs (one earned) came across. Derek Hill and Austin Athmann each had two hit games, but beyond that the offense just couldn’t get much going against veteran Dan Straily.
Hill: 2-5, R, SO, 2 SB
Salter: 1-3, 2 RBI, SO
Faedo: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R (3 ER), BB, 6 SO
Coming Up Next: Austin Sodders gets the call on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET as the Flygers wrap their series against the Hammerheads.
West Michigan Whitecaps 2, Bowling Green Hot Rods 1 (F/8) (box)
Garett King featured a filthy curveball in game one, punching out eight Hot Rods and shutting them out for seven innings. He was outdone by the Hot Rods’ Resly Linares, who spun seven scoreless innings of his own. After Clate Schmidt gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth — extra innings in this abbreviated set — the Whitecaps stormed back to walk it off. Jordan Pearce drove home Colby Bortles, who started the inning on second base. Luke Burch ran for Jordan Pearce and scored the game winner when Joey Morgan smoked one to the left field wall.
Pearce: 1-3, RBI, SO
Morgan: 1-3, RBI, 2 SO
King: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, BB, 8 SO
Bowling Green Hot Rods 6, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (F/7) (box)
Burris Warner got knocked out of this one pretty early on, allowing eight hits and three runs in just three innings of work. Max Green wasn’t any better in relief, while the offense was quiet. Center fielder Luke Burch had two hits and an RBI, but otherwise there wasn’t much offense to discuss.
Burch: 2-3, RBI
Warner: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R (ER), 2 SO
Coming Up Next: Elvin Rodriguez will take on the Hot Rods’ Austin Franklin. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. ET on One Dollar Ticket Night with college or military ID.
Farm System News
The Tigers’ consensus No. 1 prospect, starting pitcher Franklin Perez, is on track in his recovery, but will remain sidelined into the summer months as he rehabs a lat strain.
I'm told Franklin Perez is healing very well and rehab is on schedule. Perez was placed on the DL on March 30 for a strained lat and an estimated rehab stretch of 12 weeks to recover.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) April 18, 2018
However, Matt Manning has joined the West Michigan Whitecaps after recovering from an oblique strain he suffered on March 21. There’s no word on when Manning will make his season debut, but it’s encouraging that he is apparently healthy and ready to go in under a month since the injury. Presumably, the Tigers weren’t planning on him throwing 150 innings anyway, and he’s avoided some of the frigid temperatures that could help re-aggravate an injury like that.
ICYMI: #Tigers have confirmed Matt Manning has rejoined Class A West Michigan after successfully rehabbing a low-level oblique strain suffered during Spring Training.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) April 19, 2018
Reliever Jason Foley is progressing well in his return from Tommy John surgery.
Tommy John rehab continuing for Jason Foley. I'm told he's throwing up to 90 feet now with no mention of concern or setback.— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) April 18, 2018