The Mud Hens took down the Red Wings again on Sunday, completely a 5-1 series victory with a strong performance from the bullpen.
Joey Wentz made another short start in this one, as the Tigers remain careful with him following a nearly two month absence in the middle of the season for shoulder trouble. Wentz allowed a run on five hits and a walk over three innings of work, with three strikeouts. Zac Houston took over in the fourth, but surrendered a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, departing in favor of Cody Sedlock.
The Hens staked Wentz to an early lead when Brendon Davis doubled home Ali Sanchez in the top of the first. They added another on Daz Cameron’s third inning double, which scored John Valente. Sanchez was cut down at the plate trying to score behind Valente. They put the game away in the fifth when Dylan Rosa led off with a solo shot, and Valente and Sanchez followed with singles. After a Red Wings pitching change, Cameron popped out, but Davis singled in Valente and advanced Sanchez to third. An Andre Lipcius fly ball allowed Sanchez to tag up and score from third. At that point it was 5-1.
Houston’s two runs in the bottom of the fifth allowed Rochester to close the gap, but a Daz Cameron sac fly in the sixth scored Jack Lopez, and gave the Hens their final margin of victory.
Sanchez: 3-5, 2 R, SO
Davis: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2B, BB, SO
Rosa: 1-3, R, RBI, HR, BB, SO
Wentz: 3.0 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 3 SO
Coming Up Next: The Hens are now 70-57 on the year, but remain 8.5 games behind Nashville in the International League West. They’ll come home to battle the St. Paul Saints starting Tuesday night with a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. EDT.
Erie SeaWolves 5, Bowie Baysox 4 (box)
Another big game for both Parker Meadows and Gage Workman helped carry them over the Baysox on Sunday, and split the six-game set. As a result, the two clubs remain knotted atop the Eastern League’s Southwest division with 12 games left on the schedule.
Chance Kirby got the start, and for six innings he dominated the Baysox. The SeaWolves’ offense was slow to get rolling, but broke through with a three-run fifth inning. One-out singles from Trei Cruz and Bryant Packard, who had a three-hit game, got some traffic on the bases for Erie and Gage Workman and Parker Meadows came up with back-to-back singles to make it 3-0.
They almost opened it up even further when Dane Myers led off the sixth with a double. A wild pitch allowed Myers to move to third, but he was thrown out at home trying to score on a Dillon Dingler ground ball. Daniel Cabrera followed Dingler with a single, and they had runners first and third with one out, but Cruz grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Kirby came back out for the seventh, but that proved too much to ask as he quickly gave up a pair of singles and then a three-run shot. Brendan White took over and shut things down, but the game was all tied up. However, Packard led off the bottom half with a double, and eventually scored on a Meadows’ ground out to re-open a one-run lead.
The ninth inning proved to be an adventure. Elvis Alvardo took from White and allowed a Coby Mayo solo shot that tied the game. However, Packard again led off with a hit, a single this time, and with one out he took second on a wild pitch. Workman drew a walk and Meadows came up with a single on a hot shot back to the pitcher that deflected. With the bases loaded, Quincy Nieporte lifted a fly ball to right field, and Packard tagged up and scored the walkoff game winner.
Meadows: 3-5, 2 RBI, 2B, SB
Packard: 3-4, 3 R, 2B
Workman: 1-4, R, RBI, BB, 2 SO
Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves welcome in the Altoona Curve starting Tuesday night.
West Michigan Whitecaps 9, Fort Wayne TinCaps 4 (box)
Needing a big series to keep pace with the Midwest League East division leaders, the Lake County Captains, the West Michigan Whitecaps got it done, taking down the TinCaps 5-1 in this six-game set to stay just two back of Lake County.
The offense came out landing jabs and then haymakers early on, putting Fort Wayne in a 7-2 hole by the end of the third inning. In the top of the first, Jace Jung walked with one out and moved first to third on a Jonathan Schoop single. An Izaac Pacheco sac fly scored Jung, and the Whitecaps had an early 1-0 lead.
In the second, Justice Bigbie singled with one out. Carlos Mendoza followed with a single and Eduardo Valencia walked to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Bigbie to race home to make it 2-0.
Fort Wayne tied it up with a single and a two-run homer against starter Matt Walker, but he settled in to throw three more scoreless innings as the Whitecaps blew the game open. A huge five-run third inning sealed the deal. Schoop led off with a walk and moved to third on a Pacheco single. An error on Fort Wayne’s shortstop allowed Austin Murr to reach, and Schoop to score, and then a walk to Bigbie loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored Pacheco, and a two-run single from Mendoza followed. They got one more on a Jung single, before Schoop grounded out as the 10th batter of the inning.
Jung came up with another RBI single in the seventh as the Whitecaps added two more runs to put this one to bed.
Jung: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SO
Mendoza: 3-5, 2 RBI, SO
Pacheco: 1-3, R, RBI, BB, SO
Coming Up Next: It’ll be tough to catch Lake County from a two game deficit with only six to play, but the Whitecaps will look to take it to the Great Lakes Loons at home this week to keep the pressure on the division leading Captains.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 12, Clearwater Threshers 7 (box)
After getting rained out most of the series, the Flying Tigers won on Sunday to split what became a two-game set.
Things did not look good early on, as the Threshers hammered starter Joe Miller, the Tigers 11th round pick in July’s amateur draft. A pair of errors from Iverson Leonardo in left and Adinso Reyes at third, didn’t help matters, but ultimately the Threshers scored five in the second inning after getting one in the first as well. Down 6-0 already, the Flying Tigers got to work in the bottom of the second. Andrew Jenkins led off with a walk and advanced on a wild pitch. Jose De La Cruz drew a walk as well, and Dom Johnson doubled in Jenkins. De La Cruz and Johnson scored on a Leonardo single to right, and it was 6-3.
After a quiet third, the Flying Tigers poured it on in the fourth to take the lead. With two outs, Johnson singled and stole second, and Alonzo Rubalcaba singled him home. A wild pitch moved Rubalcaba to second and Leonardo walked as Threshers pitcher Nicoly Pina completely lost his control. Another wild pitch advanced them both 90 feet, and then Pina walked Cristian Santana and hit Luke Gold, scoring Rubalcaba. That left it to Manuel Sequera, who singled to left to score Leonardo and Santana. 7-6 Lakeland.
This one more or less ended in the bottom of the fifth, as the Threshers issued four straight walks to start the inning. Santana and Sequera each came up with RBI singles as the Flying Tigers scored five runs to make it 12-6. Clearwater got a run in the seventh, but otherwise the bullpen was solid the rest of the way.
Sequera: 3-5, 3 RBI, SO
Johnson: 2-3, 3 R, RBI, 2B, BB, SO
Santana: 1-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, SO
Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers will travel to Jupiter to battle the Hammerheads starting Tuesday night.