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Wenceel Perez homers twice in Erie loss

Scores, news, and notes, from the Detroit Tigers’ farm system for Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

Toledo Mud Hens 9, Columbus Clippers 4 (box)

Home runs from Ryan Kreidler and Zack Short built an early lead and the pitching staff had a solid night as the Mud Hens went into Columbus and took the first of six. Brenan Hanifee punched out seven in four innings of one run ball, and the Tigers organization thus won three times against Cleveland Guardians competition on Tuesday.

The Hens got right to work in this one as Parker Meadows lead off the game with a walk and Zack Short followed with a two-run shot to left, his fourth of the season. Justyn-Henry Malloy’s leadoff walk in the third sparked the next Hens’ outburst in the third. Andre Lipcius doubled and Ryan Kreidler launched a deep fly to center field for his first homer of the year. 6-0 Toledo.

Jace Fry took over from Hanifee in the fifth, allowing a run, as did Garrett Hill and Brendan White over the next three frames. Matt Wisler gave up a single and a walk in the ninth, but closed out a scoreless frame.

Kreidler: 1-5, R, 3 RBI, HR, SO, SB

Davis, Jonathan: 1-2, 2 R, RBI, 3B, 3 BB

Meadows: 0-2, R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO

Hanifee: 4.0 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Reese Olson (0-2, 14.00 ERA) looks to settle in after some rough outings to start the season. The Clippers have yet to announce a pitcher for Wednesday’s 6:15 p.m. ET contest.

Richmond Flying Squirrels 15, Erie SeaWolves 6 (box)

The SeaWolves flexed some home run power in this one, but the story was a very bad day on the mound for Erie’s pitching staff. Wilmer Flores got blown up for the second straight outing, and the bullpen wasn’t able to do any better.

The bright side in this one came from second baseman Wenceel Perez. The 23-year-old broke out in 2022 by tapping into his added muscle to launch 14 home runs in just 93 games. He’d never hit more than four in a season to that point. Always an excellent contact hitter with some speed on the basepaths, the addition of some solid power numbers really boosted his stock. However, his season ended with a lower back injury, and similar trouble left him behind in Lakeland rehabbing with the Low-A Flying Tigers until a few days ago.

Perez got things started with a first inning solo shot, his first of the year. He’d get another hanger in the sixth and cranked that one out to right center field with Mario Feliciano aboard. We love to see it. The switch-hitting Perez could make for a superb utilityman in the years ahead and has unlocked a new level over the past year.

Unfortunately none of this mattered much in the scheme of this particular game because the Flying Squirrels just lit Wilmer Flores up for 2 23 innings before he was yanked with seven runs to his name. The right-hander just didn’t have good command and the stuff wasn’t crisp either. Richmond squared up a lot of baseballs.

Adam Wolf and Williander Moreno combined to allow seven more runs from the fourth through the sixth inning and this one was over.

Josh Crouch and Jake Holton each hit a solo shot in the losing effort, while Colt Keith and Gage Workman were quiet.

Perez: 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI 2 HR, 2 SO

Holton: 3-5, R, RBI, HR, 2 SO

Feliciano: 2-3, R, BB, SO

Flores (L, 0-2): 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 3 SO, HR

Coming Up Next: RHP Dylan Smith (0-0, 16.88 ERA) is, like Flores, still searching for a strong outing. He’ll take on RHP Carson Seymour (0-1, 4.50 ERA) at 6:35 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Dayton Dragons 5, West Michigan Whitecaps 0 (box)

Wilkel Hernandez got knocked out of the game early, and the Whitecaps’ offense just couldn’t get a rally going on six hits and two walks.

Hernandez looked really good for two innings. His full season return to action after 2021 Tommy John surgery will be worth watching. While his control was a little shaky, the 24-year-old right-hander, acquired way back in December 2017 from the Angels in exchange for Ian Kinsler, racked up five strikeouts through two innings and things seemed promising. However, he ran out of steam in the third, hitting a batter and struggling through a long inning that saw him lifted with three runs in for workload concerns.

Jace Jung had a single and a walk, while Chris Meyers singled, doubled, and walked. Danny Serretti had a pair of singles, but the lineup couldn’t string anything together.

Meyers: 2-2, 2B, BB

Jung: 1-3, BB

Serretti: 2-4, SO

Hernandez (L, 0-1): 2.2 IP 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 SO

Coming Up Next: Lefty Carlos Pena (0-0, 0.00 ERA) looks to continue a strong start at 12:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The Dragons will send RHP Carson Rudd (1-1, 6.43 ERA) to the mound.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, St. Lucie Mets 0 (box)

Starter Edgardo Ibarra and reliever Max Alba were particularly good as the Flying Tigers shut down St. Lucie’s offense to take the first of this road series. All together, Lakeland pitching scattered just two hits and four walks.

The offense was quiet early, finally getting on the board in the fourth inning. A two-out Dom Johnson single was followed by the speedy outfield snatching both second and third base, his first two steals on the year. This perhaps rattled the Mets, as a wild pitch followed and Johnson scored.

Peyton Graham finally sparked a real rally in the seventh as Lakeland finally pulled away. A Graham single and steal of second base was followed by an Andrew Jenkins single to right. Graham scored to make it 2-0 and Mike Rothenberg and Johnson were both hit by pitches before Manuel Sequera greeted a new Mets’ reliever with a two run single to ultimately put this one away.

Johnson: 2-3, R, 2 SB

Benitez: 2-3, 2B, BB

Graham: 1-4, R, BB, SO, SB

Ibarra: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, BB, 3 SO

Coming Up Next: The two clubs meet up again at 6:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.