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Christin Stewart and Chad Huffman power Mud Hens toward a playoff berth

Scores, news, and notes from around the Detroit Tigers’ farm system for Friday, August 31, 2018.

Toledo Mud Hens 3, Columbus Clippers 2 (box)

The Hens continue to grasp that post-season thread in a race that is shaping up to come down to the final game of the season. The Clippers held a one-run lead late when Christin Stewart and Chad Huffman led off the eighth inning with back-to-back home runs to give Toledo the lead. Johnny Barbato got the final six outs for his twelfth save of the season, and the Hens enter Saturday’s action just a half game back of Columbus for the division lead, and a half game back of Scranton-Wilkes Barre in the Wild Card race.

Pete Kozma got Toledo on the board with a sacrifice fly in the second. Jacob Turner cruised through five shutout innings, but ran into a little trouble in the sixth due to some wildness. Turner walked a pair, hit a batter, and threw a wild pitch in a two-run Columbus sixth. Neil Ramirez relieved starter Mitch Talbot for the Clippers in the eighth, and Stewart wasted no time, blasting the first pitch he saw from Ramirez over the right field wall for his 22nd homer of the season. Huffman’s subsequent game-winner was also on a first pitch, his 12th home run.

Stewart: 2-3, HR, BB

Castro, H: 3-4, R

Turner: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 SO, 4 BB

Coming up next: Spencer Turnbull will look to follow up his 11-strikeout Triple-A debut with a win for Toledo tonight at 7:15pm ET. Old friend Adam Wilk goes for the Clippers.

Akron RubberDucks 4, Erie SeaWolves 0 (box)

Old friend Kyle Dowdy got some revenge against his former mates, shutting the SeaWolves’ bats down for six innings. Dowdy was rocked for three long balls and six earned runs in just three innings of work back on August 20th. Friday night, however, was all Dowdy. He whiffed nine in his six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and walking three. Erie starter Spenser Watkins was clean his first time through the lineup, but gave up an RBI triple in the fourth and then got knocked around in a three-run Akron fifth. Danny Woodrow went 0 for 4. His average his quickly dipped down to .310, nine points behind the leader, New Hampshire’s Harold Ramirez (.319).

Gibson: 1-4, 2B

Paredes: 0-4, 2 SO

Blackwood: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 1 BB

Coming up next: A.J. Ladwig is on schedule to get the ball in game two of the series on Saturday. It’s Fan Appreciation Night, with a ton of giveaways and fireworks after the game.

Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Lakeland Flying Tigers 1 (box)

After getting washed out all week, they finally got back to playing baseball in Lakeland. Despite another strong outing from Anthony Castro and outhitting the Cards, 10-9, the Flygers just couldn’t string together the hits when they needed them. Kody Clemens and Brock Deatherage combined for Lakeland’s only run in the first inning. Castro punched out eight, allowing three earned on eight hits and two walks. Fernando Perez spun a pair of scoreless innings of relief, but no rally was forthcoming.

Clemens: 2-4, RBI, SO

Pinero: 2-3, 2B, BB

Castro (L): 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 8 SO

Coming up next: Lakeland and Palm Beach meet up Saturday evening at 6:00pm ET.

Dayton Dragons 7, West Michigan Whitecaps 5 (box)

This game was marred by plenty of atrocious defense from the Whitecaps, particularly from catcher Joey Morgan. Morgan was charged with three throwing errors and the Caps racked up six official gaffes on the night. That may have been generous of the scorekeeper. Carson Lance allowed four runs in the four innings of work, but only two were earned. Johan Belisario allowed three runs in relief, but again it was the defense doing him no favors, and only one of those runs was earned. John Valente and Wenceel Perez led the way for the offense. Valente had a pair of doubles and two runs scored, while Perez doubled and drove in a pair of runs. Anthony Pereira hit his first home run of the year in the losing effort.

Valente: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B

Pereira: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2B, SO

Lance (L): 4.0 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 6H, 2 BB, 5 SO

Coming up next: The Whitecaps and Fort Wayne TinCaps begin a three-game set in West Michigan for all the marbles, with the winner earning the Midwest League second-half wild card spot and the right to take on the Great Lakes Loons in the first round starting on September 5th. Get out to Fifth Third Ballpark and cheer on Lance Parrish’s boys. First pitch is set for 7:00pm ET on Saturday night.

Connecticut Tigers

The Tigers and the Aberdeen IronBirds were washed out on Friday. The Tigers head to Lowell to take on the Spinners over Labor Day weekend. Jose Vasquez gets the ball for Connecticut on Saturday night at 5:35pm ET.