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Eduardo Rodriguez blanks Clippers in rehab start

Scores, news, and notes, from the Detroit Tigers farm system for Thursday, June 29, 2023.

Columbus Clippers 6, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (box)

Eduardo Rodriguez was really good, but the Mud Hens two home runs came without runners on base, and they couldn’t put together a rally in this one.

Rodriguez blanked the Clippers for 4 13 innings, throwing 41 of 58 pitches for strikes. He allowed a double and two singles, walked one, and struck out four. He looked good enough to think his next start will be in Detroit, though probably of limited length for the next outing or two.

The Clippers had Zach Plesac on the mound, and he wasn’t particularly good. The Hens got to him in the third inning when Michael Papierski led off the third with a solo shot to right field. Leading off the fourth, Justyn-Henry Malloy launched his 12th home run to left center field. That was about all for the offense, however.

Beau Brieske took over in the sixth, allowing a solo home run and striking out two over his two innings of work. While the Hens couldn’t get to the Clippers bullpen, they held just a 2-1 lead into the late innings, and in the eighth the Clippers mauled right-hander Blair Calvo, scoring five runs to take over this one.

Reports today have both Riley Greene and Akil Baddoo in Toledo preparing to start rehab assignments. Greene may be a little longer, but it sounds like Baddoo could join the Hens as early as this weekend.

Malloy: 1-2, R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, SO

Papierski: 2-4, R, RBI, HR, SO

Keith: 1-4

Rodriguez: 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, BB, 4 SO

Coming Up Next: The Clippers will start major league veteran RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 9.00 ERA) on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Hens were due to start lefty Zach Logue, but he’s up with the Tigers now.

Erie SeaWolves 9, Akron RubberDucks 3 (box)

The SeaWolves got another strong start from Keider Montero and the lineup jumped all over Akron pitching from the beginning of this one.

Trei Cruz started the bottom of the first off by drawing a leadoff walk. Justice Bigbie doubled to drive him in, and after Wenceel Perez struck out, Andrew Navigato doubled in Bigbie and then stole third base. Chris Meyers grounded to first base, but they went home with it and failed to get Navigato at the plate. 3-0 Erie.

Gage Workman doubled to lead off the second and Ben Malgeri singled him to third and then stole second base. A two-run single from Bigbie came after Cruz struck out, and then Perez walked and Navigato was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A two-run single from Meyers followed, and then Serretti singled in Navigato to make it 8-1 Erie.

Montero has tended to mix in a clunker amidst some really excellent starts since his promotion to Erie in early May, but he’s on a roll now. Coming off two starts where he punched out a combined 20 hitters, he wasn’t quite that dominant but he held the RubberDucks to one unearned run in the first after he walked the leadoff hitter and catcher Dillon Dingler was charged with an error throwing to second on a steal attempt. The runner took third on that play and scored on a sac fly. Otherwise, Montero was really good, striking out six and allowing just one extra base hit.

Akron got a pair of runs in the sixth to make it 8-3 Hens, but Navigato’s eighth home run, a solo shot in the seventh, widened the lead again and ended the scoring in this one. Ty Mattison spun a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout as he continues on the comeback trail.

Bigbie: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B

Navigato: 2-3, 3 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B, SB

Montero (W, 6-2): 5.1 IP, 2 R, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Wilmer Flores (4-3, 4.01 ERA) takes on LHP Doug Nikhazy (2-4, 4.10 ERA) at 5:05 p.m. ET to kick off a Friday night doubleheader. A guy with “hazy” in his name is a little on the nose recently, as the Canadian wildfires forced the postponement of Wednesday’s game and causing this doubleheader.

West Michigan Whitecaps 4, Dayton Dragons 2 (box)

Wilkel Hernandez put together a nice start and the Whitecaps took advantage of six walks drawn to take this one on Thursday.

Hernandez held the Dragons to one run over six innings, allowing just three hits, one walk, while striking out six.

Dayton held a 1-0 lead when the Whitecaps tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. Lazaro Benitez led off with a single and moved to second on a Luis Santana groundout, and later scored on a Roberto Campos single. Campos stole second, but was thrown out trying to score on Eliezer Alfonzo’s single.

Jace Jung and Brady Allen both walked to start the bottom of the sixth. Izaac Pacheco reached on an error, Jung scoring on the play to take a 2-1 lead. Josh Crouch then singled in Allen, moving Pacheco to third where a Santana single scored him to make it 4-1.

Jack Anderson allowed a solo shot in the ninth, but collected a six-out save without further incident.

Campos: 2-4, RBI, SO, SB

Alfonzo: 2-4

Hernandez (W, 2-5): 6.0 IP, ER, 3 H, BB, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: They’ll play two on Friday as well, with LHP Carlos Pena (1-5, 3.28 ERA) taking on RHP Thomas Farr (1-4, 4.04 ERA) in game 1 at 5:05 p.m. ET.

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 5, Lakeland Flying Tigers 4 (F/10)(box)

The Flying Tigers did a nice job erasing an early four-run deficit in this one, but eventually lost in ten innings anyway.

Relief prospect Tanner Kohlhepp, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, tossed a clean first for the Flygers, but Ulices Campos allowed four runs over the next two innings to put them in a hole.

Finally in the sixth, the offense got something going when Seth Stephenson led off with a walk and scored on a Luke Gold double to right. Jose De La Cruz walked, and Gold took third on a wild pitch before scoring on a balk. Singles from Cristian Santana, Carlos Pelegrin, and Gold produced another run in the seventh. They tied it in the eighth when Andrew Jenkins led off with a walk, took second on an Archer Brookman single, and then took third on a balk. He scored on an Abel Bastidas ground ball.

Unfortunately they couldn’t take the lead, and then failed to get the extra innings runner home in the tenth. Quinn Gudaitis walked three straight in the bottom half, one intentionally, to force in the game winner on a literal walk off.

Gold: 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 3B, 2B

Brookman: 2-5, 2 SO

Santana: 1-3, R, BB, 2 SO

Coming Up Next: First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday night.