Lehigh Valley IronPigs 4, Toledo Mud Hens 3 (box)
Alex Faedo threw a good game for the Hens in Tuesday’s opener with the IronPigs in Toledo, but the bullpen couldn’t hold a late lead. The other bit of bad news was Justyn-Henry Malloy going on the 7-day injured list. So far there are no confirmed reports as to the specifics. Hopefully it’s a minor problem.
Faedo allowed just a run on two hits and a walk with nine punchouts over five innings of work. Jave Cave led off the game with a triple and Kody Clemens singled him home, but the right-hander was nails the rest of his outing.
Grant Witherspoon launched a solo shot in the third to tie things up, but Weston Wilson hit a solo shot leading off the seventh against Braden Bristo. The Hens needed a rally and they got it in the eighth.
Witherspoon led off with a walk and Andrew Knapp followed with a single. A wild pitch moved them both up 90 feet and a sac fly from Parker Meadows scored Witherspoon from third to tie it 2-2. Nick Solak walked and a passed ball moved Knapp to third. Colt Keith lifted a fly ball to right, Knapp tagged and scored to make it 3-2 Hens.
Matt Wisler walked Clemens to lead off the ninth, and you know that’s no good when you’re closing in particular. A single, an error, a Wisler pickoff throw that went wide for another error, and then a wild pitch, brought in two runs, and that was that.
Witherspoon: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, BB
Meadows: 1-3, RBI, 2B
Faedo: 5.0 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 9 SO
Coming Up Next: LHP Jack O’Loughlin (1-2, 5.03 ERA) gets the ball at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Erie SeaWolves 3, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 0 (box)
Like the Hens, the SeaWolves got a strong effort from their starter, but the bullpen was successful locking it down.
Ty Madden spun 4 2⁄3 innings of shutout ball in this one, allowing just two hits and a pair of doubles. He struck out eight IronPigs, the most punch outs he’s recorded in an outing since Opening Day. After a pair of pretty lackluster months where he’s been a little too vulnerable to the long ball, two shutout outings in a row is hopefully a sign that he’s starting to dial it in again.
The offense had a pretty tough time with the Rumble Ponies Christian Scott as well. With one out in the top of the first, Justice Bigbie and Wenceel Perez each singled and Andrew Navigato doubled in Bigbie, though that was all they’d get.
In the fifth, Bigbie got hit by a pitch and Wenceel Perez tripled him home. It was Perez and Navigato again in the eighth, as Perez singled to lead off and Navigato strafed a line drive double to right to score him. Austin Bergner, Angel De Jesus, and Ty Mattison took care of the rest, with Mattison striking out three while handling the final two frames for the save.
Perez: 3-4, R, RBI, 3B, SO
Navigato: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 2B, SO
Madden: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 SO
Coming Up Next: LHP Brant Hurter (4-4, 3.52 ERA) takes on RHP Jose Chacin (1-5, 5.50 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. ET at Mirabito Stadium.
West Michigan Whitecaps 4, South Bend Cubs 0 (box)
In another good starting pitching performance, lefty Carlos Pena baffled the Cubs with five perfect innings and eight strikeouts. The Whitecaps took advantage by building an early lead and the bullpen did the rest.
Brady Allen led the game off with a walk, but after a pair of flyouts the inning didn’t look promising. Roberto Campos ripped a double down the left field line at that point, just scoring Allen on a close play all the way from first. Manager Brady Allen, also the third base coach, was pinwheeling him home before he reached second base. Izaac Pacheco and Lazaro Benitez followed with singles, scoring Campos. A pair of walks forced in the third run of the inning, and while they’d leave the bases loaded, the ‘Caps were off and running. Pacheco singled home Allen in the second inning, and that was it for the scoring.
At his best, Pena controls his low powered stuff well and moves the ball around the zone like a more seasoned pitcher. He packs a nice changeup with good arm action and plenty of fade that is his best pitch. He’s fun to watch, because he does play with his delivery and timing to mess with hitters and still locates pretty well. Something has to pop for him to have that much of a major league future, but the Cubs were pretty lost, lifting weak fly balls and flailing at the deep mix of changeup, slider, and curve Pena can land. They didn’t do much better against the bullpen.
Allen: 2-4, 2 R, BB
Campos: 1-4, R, RBI, 2B, BB, 2 SO
Pena (W, 2-6): 5.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 8 SO
Coming Up Next: It’s a 12:05 p.m. ET start from Four Winds Field on Wednesday. No starters are announced yet.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Dunedin Blue Jays 3 (box)
Key hits from the Flying Tigers’ two best hitters carried them over the Blue Jays in this one.
Edgardo Ibarra struck out four, but wildness cost him as he allowed three runs, two earned, on four walks and just two hits over four innings. The Flying Tigers took advantage of a pair of walks to help load the bases in the third. Luke Gold, who has been pretty hot of late, doubled the opposite way to clear the bases. Mike Rothenberg launched a solo shot to lead off the fourth, and that was all they’d need.
McLaughlin: 2-5, R, SO, SB
De La Cruz: 2-5, 2 SO
Rothenberg: 1-3, R, RBI, HR, BB, 2 SO
Coming Up Next: It’s a 6:30 p.m. ET start on Wednesday night.