Worcester Red Sox 5, Toledo Mud Hens 4 (Gm 1)(F/7)(box)
Elvin Rodriguez struggled in this one, and a late flurry from the Hens wasn’t enough as they dropped Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader. They offense took advantage of their opportunities despite just seven hits and no walks, they still pushed across four runs.
Rodriguez was wild in the first, giving up a single and then issuing back-to-back walks to start the game. A sacrifice fly and an RBI single made it 2-0. The Hens fought back in the third. Jack Lopez led off with a single and advanced on a John Valente sacrifice bunt. Zack Short came through with an RBI single, then stole second and scored on a Kody Clemens triple to even things up at 2-2.
Rodriguez gave up a three-run shot to Jarren Duran in the fourth, and that proved the difference. Daz Cameron singled in the sixth, and advanced to third on a bad pickoff throw, scoring on a Ryan Lavarnway sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the seventh, needed two runs to tie things up, John Valente singled with two outs, and raced home on a Jacob Robson double to make it 5-4 Worcester, but Short grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.
Toledo Mud Hens 2, Worcester Red Sox 1 (Gm 2)(F/7)(box)
The Hens came back in Game 2 behind a good outing from Logan Shore. Kody Clemens drilled a one-out triple, his second triple of the day, in the bottom of the first, and scored on a Daz Cameron single. Shore surrendered a double and a single to lead off the second. He got a double play ball, with the Hens conceded the tying run, and punched out old friend Christin Stewart to end the inning.
From there, Worcester’s Josh Winckowski dominated the Hens until the bottom of the sixth, when Geoff Hartlieb took over in the sixth. Zack Short drew a one-out walk and went first to third on a Clemens single. Cameron popped out, but Josh Lester came through with an RBI single to make it 2-1 Hens. Jason Foley took over from Shore with two scoreless frames, while Derek Law locked things down with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the seventh to earn his second save.
Up Next: RHP Chase Anderson (1-2, 4.71 ERA) starts for the Hens on Friday night, while Worcester hasn’t announced yet. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. EDT.
Erie SeaWolves 2, Altoona Curve 1 (box)
Garrett Hill continued his dominant start to the season to lead Erie to victory on Thursday. He’s going to work his way into the Brieske/Faedo/Wentz/Olson group as under consideration for major league starts if he keeps this up. Hill allowed one run in the fourth, but surrendered just three hits and no walks over five innings of work. He struck out 10 along the way.
The SeaWolves got on board first in the third inning. Luis Carpio led off the inning with a single. Jon Rosoff replaced Carpio after grounding into a fielder’s choice at second. Andrew Navigato singled with one out, and after Daniel Cabrera flew out, Dillon Dingler came through with an RBI single. The Curve tied things up in the fourth, and it wasn’t until the eighth inning when the Hens pulled ahead again. Navigato reached on an error to start the inning and later scored on an Andre Lipcius ground out.
Chance Kirby gave the SeaWolves three scoreless frames after Hill departed, and Gerson Moreno collected his second save. Dingler had a pair of singles and a walk in the game to pace the modest offensive production in this one.
Up Next: RHP Austin Bergner (0-1, 3.86 ERA) takes the ball for the SeaWolves on Friday night against LHP Omar Cruz (1-2, 3.18 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. EDT at UPMC Park.
Lansing Lugnuts 6, West Michigan Whitecaps 5 (box)
Right-hander Ty Madden, the Tigers’ Comp A selection in the 2021 draft, has been off to a great start and showing a revamped delivery that has improved his stuff. Unfortunately, he struggled for the first time in this one and couldn’t get out of a long third inning as the Whitecaps lost in Lansing on Thursday.
The Whitecaps built a nice lead in the top of the second inning. Corey Joyce led off with a double, and three singles and two walks followed, with a ground out by Bryant Packard and an error plating the final two runs in a five-run frame. Unfortunately, Madden allowed a solo shot to open the bottom of the second, and the Lugnuts went on to score two more in the inning. Two singles and a wild pitch from Madden brought the Lugnuts one run closer, and Gio Arriera took over the finish the third. He would allow a solo shot that tied things up at five runs apiece in the fourth.
The Whitecaps got runners in scoring position in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but couldn’t push across another run. Reliever Dario Gardea continued his excellent performance, spinning a scoreless fifth and sixth inning to keep the game deadlocked. However, it didn’t last, as reliever Bryce Tassin allowed the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth on a single, a double, and a sacrifice fly. After getting no baserunners in the seventh and eighth, Trei Cruz walked to open the ninth, but was stranded as the Lugnuts’ Angello Infante locked them down for the save.
Colt Keith had two hits, including a double, to pace the offense. Bryant Packard, Joyce, and Ben Malgieri accounted for Whitecaps doubled. The lineup just fizzled out in the late innings.
Up Next: After losing the first three games of the series, the Whitecaps will look to turn the tide at 7:05 p.m. EDT on Friday night.
Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 7, Lakeland Flying Tigers 6 (F/10)(box)
The Flying Tigers are struggling offensively. They scratched out some runs in this one, but their pitching let them down. They ultimately lost this one in ten innings.
Starter Carlos Pena didn’t have a very good outing in this one, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks over four innings. The bullpen took over but didn’t do much better, collectively.
However, the offense had a better day. After the Mussels scored in the first, the Flygers came back in the second. Roberto Campos doubled with one out, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on another wild pitch. He was coming home either way, as Daneurys De La Cruz then cracked a solo shot, his first of the year.
From there, the Mussel scored four unanswered runs to take a 5-2 lead before Lakeland got busy again in the sixth as Manuel Sequera launched a solo shot, his second homer, to make it 5-3. Cristhian Tortosa allowed the Mussels to get that run back in the top of the seventh, but Robert Campos tripled and scored on a ground out in the bottom half. The Flygers finally caught the Mussels in the bottom of the eighth. Sequera reached on a one-out error, and scored on an Eduardo Valencia double. Izaac Pacheco singled home Valencia, and they were locked up 6-6 headed into the ninth.
No one scored in the ninth, but in the top of the 10th, a leadoff double for the Mussels scored the runner placed at second base in extras. RHP Erick Rodriguez was able to shut the Mussels down from there, but the Flying Tigers needed runs in the bottom half. Unfortunately, Cristian Santana started the inning for them on second, and was promptly thrown out trying to steal third. Two quick outs later and this one was in the books.
Up Next: The two clubs haven’t announced starters for Friday night’s 6:30 p.m. EDT start time.