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Matt Manning struggles in final outing of the season

Scores, news, and notes from around the Detroit Tigers’ farm ssytem for Monday, September 3, 2018.

Columbus Clippers 8, Toledo Mud Hens 1 (box)

A day after clinching their postseason birth and West division title, the Hens ran into a Josh Donaldson powered buzzsaw in the Columbus Clippers. Warwick Saupold was rocked for five runs in just four innings of work, including a grand slam from the new Cleveland Indians third baseman. Mud Hens’ pitching allowed five home runs, as Tyler Alexander and then Paul Voelker didn’t fare particularly well either. Willi Castro had three hits, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia added two of his own, including a double, to pace the offense.

Castro: 3-4

Saltalamacchia: 2-4, R, 2B, SO

Saupold (L): 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 SO

Coming up next: The Hens will rest up on Tuesday in anticipation of the beginning of the playoffs on Wednesday. They have home field advantage, so they’ll welcome in the Durham Bulls for the start of a best-of-five series at 6:35pm ET on Wednesday.

Akron RubberDucks 7, Erie SeaWolves 4 (box)

As discussed in Monday’s BYB profile on Matt Manning, the fast-moving pitching prospect is likely to finally take some lumps with the jump to the Double-A level at such a young age. Well he took them on Monday, surrendering six runs, five earned, in 4 23 innings of work. Manning wasn’t wild, but he couldn’t make the big pitches when he needed them, and was too often just off target. Mistakes get punished against a better class of hitter. On the occasions when he got the double-play balls he needed, his defense failed to turn them, and the RubberDucks did a good job spoiling tough pitches to extend at-bats. Manning struck out five and walked three. He settled in after allowing a run in each of the first two innings, but in the fifth it came unglued. With his season over, Manning and fellow prospect, Beau Burrows, will head to Chicago in the coming days to throw sessions for Tigers’ manager Ron Gardenhire, and Tigers’ pitching coach, Rick Anderson.

Josh Lester homered to finish with 21 bombs on the year. Isaac Paredes had a hit and an RBI to finish with an .864 OPS with the SeaWolves, with 15 home runs in 432 at-bats across two levels. The SeaWolves finish with a 63-77 record on the year.

Lester: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, SO

Woodrow: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB, SO

Manning (L): 4.2 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 SO

West Michigan Whitecaps 3, Fort Wayne TinCaps 2 (F/10)(box)

With a postseason birth on the line, a closely contested pitching duel was in order on Monday. Jesus Rodriguez allowed an unearned run to the TinCaps in the first inning, and while he settled in to blank Fort Wayne for four more innings, that run loomed large as the game entered its late stages. The Whitecaps finally pushed the tying run across in the seventh when Rey Rivera scored from third on a Joey Morgan groundout. Johan Belisario came on for the ninth after Mitchell Stalsberg relieved Rodriguez with three scoreless innings. In the top of the 10th, under the extra innings rules, Belisario allowed a run to put the TinCaps on the brink of the postseason. His teammates had other ideas.

With John Valente starting on second base, Brady Policelli drew a walk. A wild pitch sent Valente to third, and the TinCaps gave Wenceel Perez a free pass to keep the force in order at any base. Colby Bortles plated Valente on a liner deflected by pitcher Evan Miller. Moments later Anthony Pereira dumped a shallow fly ball into right that right-fielder Agustin Ruiz made a great diving catch on. However, thus compromised, Ruiz had no chance to throw out Policelli who scampered home and set off a raucous party at Fifth Third Ballpark. As crazy a finish as it was, that Bortles play was even crazier...

Valente: 3-5, R, 2B

Bortles: 2-4, RBI, BB

Rodriguez: 5.0 IP, R, 4 H, BB, SO

Coming up next: The Whitecaps have Brad Bass set to pitch on Wednesday night as they welcome in the Great Lakes Loons for the best-of-three first round of the Midwest League playoffs.

Lowell Spinners 5, Connecticut Tigers 4 (F/10)(box)

The final game of the Tigers’ season ended in sorrow as they lost in extra innings. Kingston Liniak cracked a two-run home run in the eighth inning which gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead, but the Spinners scored a run in each of the final three innings. Adam Wolf was good in a short three inning start, allowing just one hit. It was Yaya Chentouf who blew the save late.

Liniak: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, 2 SO

Brinkman: 1-4, R, RBI, 2B, SO

Wolf: 3.0 IP, H, 2 SO