With the Detroit Tigers mired in a miserable losing streak, and little relief in sight, days like this on the farm system are much needed. Not everything was perfect. But, Tuesday was a fun day around the organization.
Matt Manning looked fantastic and overpowering once again, taking a no-hitter through 5 2⁄3 innings. The 21-year-old has a very strong case as the best pitcher in the Eastern League so far this season. Jake Rogers crunched a monster home run for the Toledo Mud Hens. Kody Clemens hit an opposite field, two-run, walk-off home run for Lakeland, and has really been hot the past two weeks after a rough start. Finally, the West Michigan Whitecaps came back with a walkoff victory of their own.
Columbus Clippers 5, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (box)
Tyler Alexander put together a decent performance on Tuesday, but the offense couldn’t get things going. Alexander allowed three runs over five innings and punched out seven on the night. After Alexander exited down two runs, Jake Rogers absolutely clobbered a missile to left-center field for a solo home run to cut the Clippers lead to one. Unfortunately, Zac Houston was a mess in relief once again and is really struggling. He allowed two runs in a long eighth inning to give the Clippers a cushion, and the Hens couldn’t muster a ninth inning rally.
Rogers: 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB, SO
W. Castro: 2-3, 2B, SO
Alexander (L, 1-5): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 SO
Coming up next: Drew VerHagen will make his second start in the Hens’ rotation as the Tigers make a last ditch effort to make use of him as a starter. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. ET.
Check out that two-run shot from Jake Rogers.
Erie SeaWolves 4, Hartford Yard Goats 0 (box)
Matt Manning was nearly unhittable in an electric performance on Tuesday night. Manning took a no-hitter into the sixth but finally surrendered a single with two outs. He mixed easy, well-located heat from 94-97 mph and had his curveball for most of the outing. There were quite a few nasty changeups as well, but he also overthrew several and didn’t lean on it. For six innings, the Yard Goats couldn’t touch him. The seventh began with a soft double down the right field line, but Manning got a lineout to left and then picked up his 10th strikeout before manager Mike Rabelo came out to get him at 96 pitches.
Manning working 92-94 t96 tonight, playing up with good extension, working east-west with ease; CB improving as the game goes, flashing plus the last few; CH is solid; athleticism coming through; consistently impressive overall with drastically improved feel. #Tigers— Mark Anderson (@ProspectMark) May 22, 2019
The offense staked Manning to a two-run lead in the second inning on an RBI double from Cam Gibson and an RBI single from Sergio Alcantara. They managed two more in the eighth, scoring one on a wild pitch, and the second on another RBI hit from Gibson. Joe Navilhon tossed 2 1⁄3 of no-hit relief with three punchouts to close the deal.
Gibson: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Alcantara: 3-3, R, RBI, SB
Azocar: 2-4, 2 R, SO
Manning (W, 4-2): 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, BB, 10 SO
Coming Up Next: Logan Shore gets the start on Wednesday morning at 10:35 a.m. ET.
Eric Cross from Fantrax was on the scene with a few clips.
Matt Manning's night is over.— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) May 22, 2019
6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 96 P, 65 S
FB: 93-97, T 98. Arm side run.
CB: Mostly 79-81. Big break.
CH: 86-88. Strong fade, inconsistent.
No-hitter through 5.2 IP. Dominated tonight. Scouting report soon on @Fantrax.#MLB #MiLB #MotorOn pic.twitter.com/v1aj5IlrGn
Tarik Skubal tossed another good game, and after the bullpen blew a slender late lead, it was Kody Clemens to the rescue with a walk-off two-run shot. Skubal didn’t have the strikeout touch on Tuesday, but he went 6 1⁄3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk. Jason Foley blew the one-run lead in the seventh, but after Nick Ames singled to lead off the bottom of the ninth, it was Clemens mashing an opposite field homer, his fifth of the season, to send the Lakeland faithful home buzzing.
Clemens: 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 SO
Peterson: 1-3, R
Skubal: 6.1 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 2 SO
Coming up next: The Flying Tigers look for a three-game sweep on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. ET.
West Michigan Whitecaps 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3 (box)
The Whitecaps’ lineup took advantage of seven walks to scratch out a victory on Tuesday night. Starter Chance Kirby was a little shaky, allowing two runs in the second and one in the fifth, but held up alright in a tough pitching matchup against Matthew Liberatore. It was 3-1 Hot Rods after four, with a Jordan Pearce RBI triple accounting for the Whitecaps’ scoring. But Liberatore got wild in the fifth, eventually walking home Wenceel Perez, though he was able to avoid further damage. Daniel Reyes led off the sixth with a double and scored on a single from Rey Rivera to tie things up.
Meanwhile, Sandel De La Cruz was spinning three excellent frames for the ‘Caps to put them into position to win, and Robbie Welhaf followed with a scoreless ninth. Wenceel Perez drew a one out walk, and took second on an Ulrich Bojarski single. Daniel Reyes stepped to the dish and slapped a grounder up the middle that deflected off second base, allowing Perez to race home with the game winner.
Our friend Dan Hasty was on the call.
When your team is trying to break a five-game losing streak, you desperately need a bounce in your favor.— Dan Hasty (@ThatDanHasty) May 22, 2019
Check out the crazy way the @wmwhitecaps walked off with a 4-3 victory over the @BGHotRods on Tuesday night.@RoadtoDetroit #MotorOnhttps://t.co/Nr0W2tnrlu
Reyes: 2-5, 2B, R, RBI, SO
Pearce: 2-3, 3B, RBI, BB, SO
Kirby: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO
Coming up next: The two clubs meet up at 11:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.