Toledo Mud Hens 1, Columbus Clippers 0 (box)
While there were multiple scenarios for the Toledo Mud Hens to survive into the International League playoffs entering this weekend, winning out is the only sure path. For the second straight outing since being promoted from Double-A Erie, right-hander Spencer Turnbull put the Hens on his back and dominated the Clippers’ lineup to earn the victory. Turnbull tossed seven innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts. His teammates needed a performance like that, because Adam Wilk was doing a fine job smothering the Hens’ lineup despite eight hits. It was Dixon Machado who broke through. The shortstop has had a disappointing year, but his seventh inning solo shot proved the game winner on Saturday. Zac Reininger and Zac Houston were perfect under pressure to seal the deal.
The Hens chances looked somewhat bleak in mid-August but they’ve roared back to win 10 of their last 13. Saturday’s victory gives them a half-game lead over the Clippers in the West division. The two clubs are wrapping up the season in a head-to-head dogfight in Columbus, and two games remain.
Machado: 1-3, R, RBI, HR
Turnbull (W): 7.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, BB, 8 SO, HBP
Coming up next: The Hens are in pretty good hands with lefty Matt Hall going for them on Sunday at 4:05pm ET. Hall holds a 2.45 ERA and fine peripheral numbers with the Hens across 51 1⁄3 innings.
Akron RubberDucks 6, Erie SeaWolves 4 (box)
Starter A.J. Ladwig and reliever Mark Ecker were roughed up in this one and the SeaWolves’ offense squandered a lot of baserunners.Ladwig did battle through seven innings, but allowed four earned runs along the man. Leadoff man Sergio Alcantara was on base three times, and overall Erie had 15 men reach base, but the timely hits didn’t come often enough. Josh Lester hit a solo shot in the fourth, and the SeaWolves made a push in the eighth with a pair of runs but they ultimately fell short.
Jake Rogers was presented with a plaque to commemorate his new franchise record for throwing out base runners in a pregame ceremony. Rogers has thrown out 50 of 90 would-be base stealers, breaking Mike Rivera’s record of 47.
Jake Rogers honored before today’s @erie_seawolves game for his franchise record for throwing out base stealers and the @Edinboro excellent play of the year, a walkoff HR in front of 7,000 fans at UPMC Park. @tigers @_JROG_ pic.twitter.com/hhSPcMhMGw— Tom Reisenweber (@ETNreisenweber) September 1, 2018
Lester: 3-5, 2 R, RBI, HR, SO
Rogers: 2-4, RBI, 2B, 2 SO
Ladwig (L): 7.0 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 5 SO
Coming up next: The two clubs meet up again in Erie at 6:05pm ET on Sunday.
Gregory Soto struggled in this one, and the offense was pretty quiet. Soto went 4 2⁄3 innings, allowing six runs, four earned. Brock Deatherage homered and scored both Flygers’ runs as part of a three-hit day. Jose Azocar doubled and had three hits of his own.
Deatherage: 3-4, 2 R, RBI, HR
Azocar: 3-4, 2B
Soto: 4.2 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 7 H, BB, 5 SO
Coming up next: The Flying Tigers will wrap up their season against the Cardinals at 11:00am ET on Sunday.
Fort Wayne TinCaps 10, West Michigan Whitecaps 3 (box)
The Whitecaps have their backs to the wall after their second straight loss to the TinCaps. Chance Kirby and Endrys Briceno just could not keep Fort Wayne in check. Kirby in particular was rocked for six runs in just three innings of work. Jordan Pearce, Colby Bortles and Wenceel Perez each had an RBI, but they couldn’t overcome a rough day for the pitching staff. The Whitecaps now have to win their last two games of the series to overtake the TinCaps and earn a playoff berth.
Pereira: 1-4, R, 2B, SO
Bortles: 1-3, RBI, 2B, BB
Kirby (L): 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 3 SO
Coming up next: Starters aren’t yet announced by either team for Sunday’s penultimate game of the season. First pitch is at 6:00pm ET from Fifth Third Park.
Lowell Spinners 8, Connecticut Tigers 3 (box)
The Spinners jumped all over Jose Vasquez, and Dylan Noble did no better in relief. The Tigers had just one run until the top of the ninth when they tacked on a pair. Nick Ames cracked his fourth home run for the Tigers, and he, Kingston Liniak and Daniel Reyes all had two hits. Jordan Verdon had three and drove in a run.
Ames: 2-4, R, RBI, HR, SO
Verdon: 3-5, RBI, SO
Vasquez (L): 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 SO
Coming up next: The Tigers and Spinners meet up again at 5:35pm ET on Sunday.