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SeaWolves blow out Richmond to seize first place with five games left

Scores, news, and notes, from around the Detroit Tigers’ farm system for Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

Toledo Mud Hens 9, Indianapolis Indians 1 (box)

The Mud Hens took advantage of six walks from Indy pitching to blow them out on Tuesday night.

The Hens struck early and often in this one. In the top of the first, John Valente led off with a walk and Zack Short immediately doubled him home. In the second, Brendon Davis led off with a triple and scored on an Ali Sanchez sacrifice fly. In the third, Valente led off with a another single, stole second, and advanced to third on a Josh Lester single. Daz Cameron walked to load the bases and Andre Lipcius lifted a fly ball to allow Valente to score.

Meanwhile, the Tigers signed starter Daniel Ponce de Leon, formerly of the Cardinals and holder of a 4.60 ERA/4.73 FIP across 147.2 major league innings, back on September 9th. The 30-year-old veteran did his part in this one. Ponce de Leon scattered three hits over six innings, striking out seven and allowing just a single run in the fourth inning. He was rewarded with plenty of run support as the Hens, already up 3-0, blew the game open with four in the top of the fifth.

A Valente single was against the catalyst, followed by Short reaching on a hit by pitch. Lester doubled in Valente and Cameron singled home Short. Lester scored on a Lipcius ground ball that went for a double play, but they weren’t done there. Davis followed with a walk and Jamie Westbrook singled before a Sanchez double to left scored Davis as well. 7-0 Hens. They added two more in the eighth and cruised to victory.

Valente: 2-4, 3 R, BB, SO

Sanchez; 1-2. R, 2 RBI, 2B, BB

Lester: 2-5, R, RBI, 2B, 3 SO

Ponce de Leon (W, 2-3): 6.0 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 7 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Austin Bergner (1-3, 7.20 ERA) has had a rough go since his promotion in August. He’ll look to close out his season on a high note with a 1:35 p.m. EDT start in Indy.

Erie SeaWolves 7, Richmond Flying Squirrels 2 (box)

Sawyer Gipson-Long allowed a pair of solo shots in his start, but otherwise the SeaWolves had no trouble with the Squirrels on Tuesday. In the process they earned a one-game lead in the divisional race as the Bowie Baysox lost in Akron. Just five games remain in the Eastern League’s regular season.

Erie opened the scoring in the second, when Josh Crouch dumped a pop-up over the first baseman’s head to score Gage Workman, who led off with a walk, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error from Richmond’s catcher.

They seized control in the fourth when Workman sparked a rally by leading off with a single. Catcher Michael De La Cruz drew a walk, and Danny Serretti was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Daniel Cabrera lifted a sac fly to score Workman, and Andrew Navigato’s pop-up to center dropped in to score De La Cruz. Then things got extra sneaky, as the delayed double steal came off to perfection with Navigato stealing second, and Serretti using the distraction to steal home. 4-0 Erie.

Gipson-Long allowed the two solo shots back-to-back to lead off the fourth, but otherwise was decent, tossing 4.2 innings of two run ball with three walks allowed and five punchouts.

The game stayed at 4-2 Erie until the ninth when the SeaWolves added some insurance. Serretti led off with a walk and Cabrera followed with a single. Navigato then hammered his 16th homer of the year to make it 7-2. Starter Carlos Guzman came out of the bullpen to lock down the ninth inning.

Navigato: 2-5, R, 4 RBI, HR, 2 SO, SB

Workman: 1-4, 2 R, BB, 2 SO, SB

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves haven’t announced a starter for Wednesday’s 6:35 p.m. EDT matchup as they look to continue to put the pressure on Bowie.

Arizona Fall League possibles

Lynn Henning reported on the Tigers assignments for the Arizona Fall League recently. Infielder Colt Keith, whose huge breakout campaign was cut short by a freak shoulder injury in June, looks to be the featured attraction. Keith hit nine homers in 216 plate appearances for West Michigan with a 10.2 percent walk rate and 19.4 percent strikeout rate. He was an obvious candidate as long as he’s 100 percent good to go.

Parker Meadows, who also erupted over the past six weeks after a lot of patient re-tooling of his swing, will join Keith. So will Gage Workman, who continues to show huge tools and a terrible amount of swing and miss in his game. Workman is reportedly set to make some mechanical adjustments this offseason as well. Catcher Josh Crouch, who went from outside the top 30 lists to looking like a pretty viable backup catcher possibility will also join them playing for the Salt River Rafters.

Left-hander Matt Walker, right-handed reliever Jack Anderson, and hard throwing 2021 fourth round pick, Tyler Mattison, will also get in on the action. The Fall League begins on October 3 and plays until November 12.

Jace Jung’s media tour

With the West Michigan Whitecaps done for the year, 2022 first rounder Jace Jung came to Detroit to take some BP at Comerica Park, caught up with legendary Tiger and infield instructor Alan Trammell, and do the rounds with local media. As a result we got a good open-faced look at his swing, and a better idea of his personality to boot. Jung can hit and has a chance to move pretty quickly, so he’ll have a ton of eyes on him next spring as he presumably debuts for the Double-A Erie SeaWolves early on, if not right out of camp.