Toledo Mud Hens 8, Columbus Clippers 3 (box)
The Mud Hens seized a 2-1 lead in this series with a huge display of power from Ryan Kreidler and strong work from the bullpen in this one.
Spencer Turnbull did make his rehab appearance, so that seems like a positive development. However, it did not go well either. Turnbull threw just 26 of 48 pitches for strikes, allowing a run in 1 2⁄3 innings of work. Brendan White took over and got the next four outs with no issues to get them through three innings.
Meanwhile, they’d built a lead in the bottom of the first when Colt Keith and Eddys Leonard walked with two outs, and Ryan Kreidler, playing shortstop in this one, crushed a three-run shot to left. After Turnbull allowed a run in the second inning, it was 3-1 Hens until the fifth, when reliever Sam Clay gave up a pair of runs to Columbus that tied the game at 3-3.
Kreidler led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot, his ninth home run total on another injury plagued season. 4-3 Hens.
In the bottom of the seventh, Dillon Dingler started off with a strikeout, but Nick Maton doubled on a ball that dropped between the Clippers’ shortstop and center fielder. Justyn-Henry flew out for the second out of the inning. However, Colt Keith was there to pick him up with a two-run blast to right center field. The second shot in as many days for him was Keith’s 26th home run on the year.
Leonard followed Keith by dropping a little single into center field, and Ryan Kreidler WENT YARD AGAIN.
Rony Garcia and Aneurys Zabala closed out the final three innings without allowing a run.
Kreidler: 3-4, 3 R, 6 RBI, 3 HR
Keith: 1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB
Leonard: 2-3, 2 R, BB, K
Turnbull: 1.2 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K
Coming Up Next: RHP Keider Montero (3-2, 5.81 ERA) will try to build on his last outing when he takes the mound on Friday night. Our old friend LHP Daniel Norris (4-4, 5.34 ERA) will oppose him in this 7:05 p.m. ET start at UPMC Park.
Richmond Flying Squirrels 7, Erie SeaWolves 3 (box)
Both teams pitched really well early on, but the Flying Squirrels won the battle of bullpens in the late innings to take Thursday night’s contest.
Elvis Alvarado was the opener, going up against Richmond’s top bats in the first. He spun a perfect inning, and then Ty Madden took over for four more perfect innings, striking out six in a pretty overpowering, if short, performance.
Problem was, the SeaWolves offense wasn’t getting much done either. Austin Bergner took over in the sixth for Erie, and he gave up three runs in the sixth, and three more in the eighth. Bryce Tassin took over but allowed a run of his own before stopping the bleeding.
The SeaWolves offense got only one runner to second base until the seventh inning when Julio E. Rodriguez led off with a double. They couldn’t score Rodriguez either. Finally in the eighth, Ben Malgeri came through with a one-out double and scored on a Jake Holton single to get Erie on the board.
Three straight walks in the bottom of the ninth with one out were followed by a Holton double that scored two to make it 7-3, but Jace Jung popped out to end it.
Holton: 2-4, 3 RBI, 2B, BB
Rodriguez: 2-3, 2B, BB
Joyce: 1-2, R, 2 BB
Madden: 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 6 K
Coming Up Next: It’s a 6:05 p.m. ET start from UPMC Park on Friday night. Having lost four straight, it would be a good idea for the SeaWolves to get right before the postseason begins next Tuesday.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 10, Clearwater Threshers 2 (box)
With their backs against the wall in this elimination game, the Flying Tigers got a fine start from right-hander Joe Miller, and the offense erupted in the middle innings to bury the Threshers and seize a bit of momentum heading into Friday night’s winner take all Game 3.
Miller tossed six innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. He never let the Threshers into the game, and by the time he departed it was 10-0 Lakeland.
Lakeland opened the scoring in the third, as Cristian Santana and Bennett Lee drew walks with one out. Kevin McGonigle spanked a sinking line drive to right field for an RBI single, and it was 1-0. Max Clark and Max Anderson struck out to squander a good opportunity there, but they came right back for more in the fourth.
Jim Jarvis led off the top of the fourth by drawing a walk, one of a whopping 12 walks issued by Threshers pitching on the day. Jose De La Cruz stepped to the dish and crushed a two-run shot to left to make it 3-0.
Jose De La Cruz adds to the Lakeland lead with a two-run shot! 3-0 Flying Tigers. pic.twitter.com/Xo39R6Lh7P— Tigers ML Report (@tigersMLreport) September 14, 2023
In the fifth, Clearwater went back to the pen, but immediately walked McGonigle, the leadoff man in the inning. McGonigle stole second and Clark walked as well, with a wild pitch during the AB getting McGonigle to third. Anderson singled in McGonigle, and the runners took second and third on a Jarvis ground out. De La Cruz walked to load the bases, and then Josue Briceno grounded a ball to shortstop but the first baseman whiffed on a poor throw, scoring Clark and Anderson to make it 6-0. They didn’t get anymore out of the inning, but they were right back at it in the sixth.
McGonigle led off the sixth with a single and Clark walked again. Anderson struck out, but Jarvis walked as well, loading the bases. A De La Cruz single scored McGonigle, and then a Briceno single plated Clark and Jarvis. 9-0 Lakeland. Santana drew a walk to load the bases, and then Brett Callahan also walked to force in the Flying Tigers final run.
A Santana throwing error helped the Threshers to two unearned runs against Tanner Kohlhepp in the seventh, but those would be the only Clearwater baserunners the rest of the way.
De La Cruz: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, BB, K
Clark: 2-4, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
McGonigle: 2-5, 2 R, RBI, BB, K, SB
Callahan: 2-3, RBI, 2 BB
Miller (W, 1-0): 6.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, BB, 6 K
Coming Up Next: The deciding Game 3 will get underway in Clearwater at 6:35 p.m. ET on Friday night. No starters are announced, but at this point it’s all hands on deck anyway. The Jupiter Hammerheads beat the Palm Beach Cardinals on Thursday night to take their series 2-0, so they’ll await Friday night’s winner for the championship series starting on Sunday.