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Tigers prospect Casey Mize dominates on minor league Opening Day

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Scores, news, and notes from around the Detroit Tigers’ farm system for Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Toledo Mud Hens 10, Louisville Bats 5 (box)

On Opening Day at Fifth Third Field, Kyle Funkhouser had a rocky go of it in his third start at the Triple-A level. Fortunately, his teammates picked him up with a fierce rally in the late innings to send the chilly Toledo faithful home happy. Funkhouser escaped a minor jam right out of the gate, racking up three strikeouts in the first inning. However, a pair of walks and an error on shortstop Willi Castro led to a two-run inning for the Bats in the second. Funkhouser wasn’t slated to go deep in this one, but made the point moot by requiring 77 pitches to get through three frames. The Bats scored single runs off Caleb Thielbar in the fourth and fifth, and tacked on one more against Sandy Baez, who struggled with his control.

The Hens were down 4-0 when they began to turn things around with a three-run fifth inning. Brandon Dixon and Willi Castro got things started with singles, before Dawel Lugo doubled in Dixon for the Hens’ first run. Jacob Robson followed with a bullet to right field that went for a two-run double to narrow the Bats’ lead to one. Things finally bent in Toledo’s favor as they took three walks in the seventh inning to load the bases with one out. Danny Woodrow nearly cleared the bases with a double to right, plating two runs before Daz Cameron was thrown out at the plate trying to add a third to the Hens’ tally. A two-out single by Ronny Rodriguez brought Woodrow in to score, and Victor Reyes followed with a triple to make it 8-5 in favor of the Hens. They added on from there, and reliever Jose Cisnero picked up a four-out save that included three punchouts.

Robson: 1-2, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB, SB
Woodrow: 2-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB
Funkhouser: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO

On top of his RBI double, Jacob Robson also flew out to the wall against the wind in his first at-bat. Our own Kenon Carter was on the scene and captured a clip for us.

Here’s a little funk from Kyle Funkhouser as well.

Coming up next: Ryan Carpenter will get the ball as the Hens and Bats get back at it on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Tampa Tarpons 3 (F/10) (box)

Casey Mize’s season debut went very well on Thursday as Florida State League action kicked off. Mize took a perfect game into the fifth inning, ultimately allowing just one single while punching out eight in a dominant five-inning outing. Burris Warner allowed two runs in the seventh to give the Tarpons the lead after six scoreless innings from both teams. The Flying Tigers finally put a run on the board in the eighth, only to see Ethan DeCaster surrender a run in the top of the ninth. Down 3-1 with a scuffling offense, things didn’t look great, but the Flying Tigers had a rally in them.

Kody Clemens led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing a walk. Daniel Reyes followed with the big blow of the game, a home run to left field that tied the score at three apiece. After Will Vest held off the Tarpons in the 10th inning, it was Brady Policelli who came through with a RBI single to walk off the Tarpons.

Here’s a look at Reyes’ two-run, game tying blast.

James Chipman, who scouts for 24/7 Sports, was on hand and very much liked what he saw from Mize. Notable that the slurve he worked on this offseason doesn’t appear to have been in evidence on Thursday.

Reyes: 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, SO
Clemens: 0-3, R, BB, 2 SO
Mize: 5.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 8 SO

Coming up next: The Tarpons and Flying Tigers lock up again at Publix Field on Friday night, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. ET.

South Bend Cubs 5, West Michigan Whitecaps 4 (box)

Key prospects Parker Meadows and Wenceel Perez got off to a solid start as Midwest League play got underway in South Bend on Thursday night, but the Caps’ pitchers didn’t fare so well. Starter Adam Wolf surrendered eight hits and three runs in three innings of work, with only one strikeout to his credit. The lefty gave way to Xavier Javier, who was rather wild and allowed two more runs, including the eventual game-winner, over two innings pitched.

The Whitecaps briefly had a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Jordan Pearce doubled home Nick Ames and Jeremiah Burks. They were on the verge of blowing the game open when they loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but Cubs reliever Peyton Remy bore down and escaped unscathed.

Catcher Sam McMillan did launch a solo shot to left in the sixth inning to close the deficit to one run. In the ninth, Parker Meadows led off with a single, but was erased by a double play ball off the bat of Jose King. Shortstop Wenceel Perez wouldn’t let things go so easily. Perez walked, stole second base, and then raced home as Cubs shortstop Andy Weber threw away a Nick Ames grounder. Unfortunately, the rally ran out of steam right there.

McMillan: 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB, SO
Perez: 1-4, R, BB, 2 SO, SB, CS
Wolf (L, 0-1): 3.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, SO

Coming up next: Wilkel Hernandez gets the ball for the Whitecaps on Friday night. He will take on Eury Ramos and the Cubs with first pitch set for 7:35 p.m. ET.

Erie SeaWolves: off day

The SeaWolves kick off their season on Friday evening against the Trenton Thunder at 6:05 p.m. ET. Righthander Matt Manning will get the start.