Louisville Bats 7, Toledo Mud Hens 6 (box)
Kyle Funkhouser melted down in spectacular fashion once again, and a stirring rally fell just short for the Hens’ on Friday. Funkhouser managed just three innings, allowing five runs in a rough second inning after his offense staked him to a two-run lead in the top of the frame. Dawel Lugo got the Hens right back in it, spraying a two-run double to right in the top of the third to close the gap to just one run. Unfortunately, lefty reliever Jose Fernandez wasn’t any better than Funkhouser, allowing the Bats to score two in the fourth to pull away again. Solo shots from Ronny Rodriguez in the fifth, and Mikie Mahtook in the sixth, closed the deficit to one run again, but the Hens comeback stalled in the late innings despite another fine outing from Tim Adleman who quieted the Bats’ bats over the final 4 1⁄3 innings.
Lugo: 3-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SO
Rodriguez: 3-5, HR, 2B, 3 R, RBI
Funkhouser (L, 1-5): 3.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 3 SO
Coming up next: Drew VerHagen (4-2, 3.40 ERA) gets the start on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Altoona Curve 1, Erie SeaWolves 0 (box)
Tarik Skubal was fire again on Friday night, but his offense couldn’t back him with any support. The lefthander backed up his 11 strikeout debut last weekend with a 10 strikeout performance in this one. Of his 21 total strikeouts in 10 innings of Double-A work, every one has come on a swinging strike. Skubal mixed his curveball in quite a bit, showing a willingness to throw it in any count while mixing speeds with his fastball, topping out at 97 mph.He allowed just three hits and a walk over five innings, with a fourth inning solo shot accounting for the only blemish on his scorecard.
Cam Gibson had two hits, including a double, but otherwise the SeaWolves’ offense got little accomplished. Nolan Blackwood was brilliant in a three-inning relief appearance as he punched out seven hitters with just a walk allowed.
Gibson: 2-3, 2B
Skubal (L, 0-1): 5.0 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 10 SO
Coming up next: Spenser Watkins (2-1, 4.08 ERA) gets the start on Saturday with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Lakeland Flying Tigers, Daytona Tortugas (postponed)
The game was rained out, so the two clubs will try to make it up in a doubleheader starting at 5:00pm ET on Saturday.
Quad Cities River Bandits 6, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (box)
The Whitecaps built an early lead in this one, but crumbled as the game progressed. Chance Kirby kept the River Bandits off the board for the first five innings, while RBI singles from Sam McMillan and Andre Lipcius gave him a two-run lead in the third inning. Kirby’s outing ended on a sour note however, as he allowed two runs in the fifth, and then couldn’t make it through the sixth and was ultimately charged with four runs in 5 1⁄3 innings of work. McMillan and Lipcius each had two-hit games, but the offense was otherwise silent the rest of the way. Nick Quintana managed to rack up his eighth error in just 20 games with the Whitecaps.
McMillan: 2-4, R, RBI, SO
Lipcius: 2-3, RBI, BB
Kirby (L, 3-5): 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 SO
Coming up next: Gio Arriera (2-6, 7.71 ERA) gets the ball as the Kane County Cougars come to town on Saturday.
Auburn Doubledays 7, Connecticut Tigers 5 (box)
The Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but it was all downhill from there as the bullpen imploded to cost them on Friday night. Carson Lance got the start but couldn’t find the strike zone, walking four and allowing a pair of run in the bottom of the second before being lifted for Jake Baker. Baker went three innings, but wasn’t any better, allowing three runs with four walks issued as well. Kory Behenna struggled as well, and the offense went quiet despite drawing six walks of their own. Kingston Liniak led the Tigers attack, while Riley Greene did not play in the contest.
Liniak: 2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB
King: 1-3, 2 R, BB, SO
Coming up next: The Tri-City ValleyCats come to town on Saturday as the Tigers return home for a 6:05 p.m. ET start.