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Justyn-Henry Malloy homers in four straight as the Mud Hens down the Cubs

Scores, news, and notes for the weekend of September 1-3, 2023.

Toledo Mud Hens 8 Iowa Cubs 4 (box)(Fri)

Toledo Mud Hens 7, Iowa Cubs 6 (box)(F/10)(Sat)

Toledo Mud Hens 5, Iowa Cubs 4 (box)(Sun)

The Mud Hens came into Friday night’s game down 1-2 in the series, but swept the Cubs over the weekend to win the series. As a result they’re now just 2.5 games back of West Division leading St. Paul and in second place alone. 18 games remain in the regular season, which ends on September 24.

Friday night’s contest was supposed to be a Spencer Turnbull start, but he was scratched for somewhat mysterious reasons. Everything is a mystery with Turnbull right now. Lael Lockhart instead came over from Erie and gave the Mud Hens five innings of two run ball.

The Cubs got a run in the first, but the Hens seized control in the bottom of the second inning. Eddys Leonard and Ryan Kreidler led off with walks and Michael Papierski lined a single to left to load the bases. A Donny Sands sac fly brought home Leonard, while a Nick Solak single scored Kreidler. Solak was cut down trying to stretch it to a double, but Nick Maton and Justyn-Henry Malloy were also walked back-to-back to load the bases. A two-run single from Colt Keith followed, and Tyler Nevin singled in Malloy. 5-1 Hens.

The Cubs got another run against Lockhart in the fourth, but in the fifth, Kreidler singled, moved to second as Papierski walked, and then stole third. A Solak ground out scored him and it was 6-2 Hens.

Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up a two-run shot in the sixth, but Malloy led off the bottom half with a solo shot, his 21st of the year. Kreidler walked and eventually scored on a Solak sac fly in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-4 where it ended.

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

Keith: 2-5, 2 RBI

Kreider: 1-2, 3 R, 2 BB, K

Lockhart (W, 1-0): 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K

The Hens built a nice early lead and got a good start from Jack O’Loughlin. However, the bullpen blew this one late, leaving the Hens to walk it off in 10 innings on Saturday.

Colt Keith doubled with two outs in the first, and Eddys Leonard followed with a walk. However, Kreidler struck out, so the offense would wait until the second inning. Michael Papierski led off the frame with a walk and after Donny Sands lined out, Papierski was wild pitched to second and then another one moved him to third. Dillon Dingler grounded out, but Nick Solak walked as well, forcing a pitching change with Edwin Uceta, who was in spring camp with the Tigers, taking over. Nick Maton greeted him with a two-run double to make it 2-0.

Iowa got a run against O’Loughlin in the fourth, but in the bottom half the Hens started to break the game open. Dingler led off with a triple and scored on a Solak sac fly. Maton singled and Malloy doubled him to third. Keith was frozen for strike three, which was upheld after a challenge. However, Leonard singled back through the box to plate both runners, and it was 5-1 Hens.

Garrett Hill took over for the sixth and seventh innings, and got knocked around for five runs to take a 6-5 lead. However, Malloy powered up again in a key spot, crunching home run number 22 to center field to tie the game.

Aneurys Zabala threw a good ninth, and Sean Guenther followed suit in the top of the 10th. Down to their final out in the bottom half, Malloy was intentionally walked and Keith reached on an infield single to load the bases. Eddys Leonard was the hero, hammering a line drive to center field and just past a diving center fielder for a walkoff single.

Malloy: 2-5, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2B, BB, 3 K

Keith: 2-5, 2B, BB, K

Dingler: 3-5, 2 R, 3B, K

Maton: 2-6, R, 2 RBI, 2 K

O’Loughlin: 5.0 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Keider Montero got a nice lead to work with on Sunday, but leaked a few runs in his outing. The Hens managed to hold on, but it was a close call late.

They scored first in the second inning when Donny Sands and Dillon Dingler walked with two outs. A Nick Solak triple off the right field wall scored them both, but Nick Maton lined out to first to end the inning.

Montero gave up a run in the top of the third on a pair of singles and a ground out, but in the bottom half the Hens scored three more.

Justyn-Henry Malloy led off the bottom of the third with his 23rd home run, his fourth in as many days. He would later draw his 100th walk on the season in 546 plate appearances. The Tigers’ prospect looks pretty well ready for his major league debut next spring.

Colt Keith, looking even more ready, drew a walk but was forced at second on a Kreidler ground ball. However, Michael Papierski drilled a double to left, scoring Kreidler and moving Papierski to third from where he jogged home on a Donny Sands double. 5-1 Hens.

Montero only allowed five singles and a double in this one, but they were ill timed hits. With one out in the fourth, he gave up a single, a double, and a single in a row as the Cubs made it a 5-3 game. Montero would settle back in and go five without further trouble.

Mason Englert allowed a run in the seventh to make it 5-4, but Braden Bristo spun a clean eighth.

Aneurys Zabala took over in the ninth for the save. Leadoff hitter Brennen Davis made a bid down the right field line on a ball that was foul by less than three feet. Cubs’ manager Marty Pevey got himself tossed arguing that it was a home run, but replay was conclusive. Zabala then punched out Davis. Chase Strumpf followed with a single, but Zabala got Pete Crow-Armstong whiffing over a changeup. Yonathan Perlaza lifted a blooper into shallow right center that looked like trouble, but Kreidler ran out from the shortstop position to haul it in with a nice catch, and that was that.

Malloy: 2-3, R, RBI, HR, BB

Solak: 2-4, 2 RBI, 3B, K

Sands: 1-2, R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB

Keith: 1-3, 2B, BB

Montero (W, 3-1): 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K

Coming Up Next: The Mud Hens look to keep the playoff push going this week as they head to Indianapolis to take on the Indians.

Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 3 (box)(Fri)

Erie SeaWolves 3, Altoona Curve 2 (box)(F/10)(Sat)

Erie SeaWolves 13, Altoona Curve 5 (box)(Sun)

The SeaWolves took the final two games of this series to win it 4-2. After a pair of close games split on Friday and Saturday, the offense went off in a big way on Sunday.

With Lockhart in Toledo, Tyler Mattison, Austin Bergner, and Jake Higginbotham combined for five scoreless frames to start Friday’s contest off well.

The offense finally took advantage in the fifth. A Daniel Cabrera single and two walks loaded the bases for the wrong guy, and Justice Bigbie made Altoona pay with a two-run single.

However, that two run lead didn’t last long as Altoona scored three in the sixth, one in seventh, and two in the eighth to take a 6-2 lead. Bigbie led off the eighth with a single and later scored on a Corey Joyce single to make it 6-3, but that was as close as they’d get.

Bigbie: 4-5, R, 2 RBI, K

Joyce: 2-4, RBI, K

Holden (L, BS, 0-1): 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, BB, 2 K

After a few shaky starts, Ty Madden is back on a good roll and he blanked the Curve for five innings in this one with eight strikeouts. The offense was a little quiet, and the Curve tied things up late, but the SeaWolves came through with a 10 inning triumph on Saturday.

The SeaWolves opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Corey Joyce singled with one out and Julio E. Rodriguez followed with a walk. A Ben Malgeri double scored Joyce and moved Rodriguez to third where he scored on a Danny Serretti sac fly. 2-0 Erie.

The SeaWolves missed a chance to add on with two outs in the fourth, and again in the sixth, but couldn’t add on any runs. Instead, a Luis Santana error in the seventh helped them tie the game against Bryce Tassin. The SeaWolves loaded the bases in the bottom half with no outs, but a double play ball and a strikeout turned them away again.

The advantage here was the SeaWolves bullpen. Two of the Tigers better relief prospects, lefty Andrew Magno and right-hander Blake Holub, took over to stifle Altoona in the eighth and ninth innings. Layne Henderson followed suit in the top of the 10th, and in the bottom half, a ground out moved Santana, who started the inning on second, to third, where a wild pitch ended this one.

Bigbie: 1-3, 2 BB

Malgeri: 1-3, RBI, 2B, BB, K

Rodriguez: 2-3, R, 2B, BB

Madden: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K

The bats were red hot on Sunday from the start, as the SeaWolves scored all 13 runs in the first three innings of this one and then went into cruise control.

Danny Serretti, struggling in his first full season, came up big in the first with a grand slam for his first Double-A home run as the SeaWolves scored six.

Ben Malgeri led off the second with a single and Luis Santana mashed his 10th for the SeaWolves to make it 8-0. Jace Jung followed with a double and later scored on a Jake Holton double. 9-0 Erie.

Adam Wolf gave up three runs in the top of the third, but the offense had more in the tank. Serretti, Malgeri, and Santana singled with one out, and a two-run double from Jung followed. Corey Joyce later singled in Santana and Jung, and it was 13-3. The bullpen leaked two runs late, but the result was never in question.

Jung: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, BB, K

Santana: 3-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, HR

Malgeri: 3-5, 3 R

Holton: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, BB, K

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves head out to Somerset to tangle with the Patriots this week. This could well be a playoff preview as the two second half division leaders face off. Erie already won the first half in the Southwest division, so they’re in no matter what, but they hold a one game lead over Richmond in the second half as well.

West Michigan Whitecaps 5, Lansing Lugnuts 3 (box)(Fri)

Lansing Lugnuts 11, West Michigan Whitecaps 10 (box)(F/11)(Sat)

Lansing Lugnuts 19, West Michigan Whitecaps 9 (box)(Sun)

The Lugnuts fought back over the weekend to split this series 3-3, and really bludgeoned Whitecaps pitching in the process.

On Friday, the ‘Caps were able to overcome a rare shaky start from Troy Melton. Izaac Pacheco opened the scoring with a solo shot in the second inning for his 10th on the year. However, the Lugnuts got to Melton for three in the bottom half.

Gage Workman launched a solo shot in the third, and Austin Murr singled in Andrew Jenkins in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. Wilkel Hernandez took over for two scoreless innings of work, but neither team could put up another run until the top of the ninth when the Whitecaps seized control.

Dom Johnson led off the inning with a solo shot to center, his first Whitecaps’ home run. With the tie broken, Austin Murr walked and Seth Stephenson reached on a bunt trying to move Murr over. They advanced 90 feet on a groundout and later scored on a Luke Gold ground out.

Gabriel Sequeira shut the door with a perfect bottom of the ninth for his sixth save for the Whitecaps.

Workman: 2-5, R, RBI, HR, 2 K, SB

Pacheco: 1-2, R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, K

Johnson: 2-3, R, RBI, HR, BB

Melton: 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 K

A wild back and forth contest went down on Saturday, with seven total runs scored in extra innings. Unfortunately the Lugnuts had a little more, plating three runs in the bottom of the 11th to win.

Carlos Pena got the start and gave up a run in the first. The Whitecaps came back in the second when Gold was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Austin Murr doubled in Gold and then stole third with a little heads up baserunning. A Josh Crouch singled brought Murr home and it was 2-1 ‘Caps.

Pena gave up single runs in the third and then one in the sixth that ended his outing. A Crouch homer in the fifth left them locked up at 3-3 after six innings.

The Lugnuts got a run in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, but in the top of the ninth the Whitecaps came up big. Down to their final out, Stephenson walked, Workman singled, and Brady Allen walked to load the bases. Wild pitches plated two runs, and Izaac Pacheco came up big with a two-run triple that made it 7-4.

Unfortunately, Jordan Marks got into a ton of trouble in the bottom half and was eventually charged with three runs after Jack Anderson took over and failed to stop the bleeding.

Both teams scratched out a run in the 10th. Gage Workman led off the 11th inning with a two-run shot to make it 10-8, but a Luke Gold error and wildness from Angel Reyes saw it all blow up in the Whitecaps’ face as the Lugnuts walked it off on a Colby Halter single.

Crouch: 3-5, R, 3 RBI, HR, 2 K

Pacheco: 2-5, 2 RBI, 3B, BB, 2 K

Workman: 2-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, K

Pena: 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 5 K

Wilmer Flores made his second appearance off the injured list on Sunday and he got mauled for nine runs in 2 13 innings of work. It’s been a rough season for the young right-hander. Would just like to see him settle in a little and perhaps look ahead to the Arizona Fall League to get some work.

Williander Moreno took over in the third and gave up five more runs. The ‘Caps fought back but the bullpen was pretty bad as well and this ended up a laugher for Lansing.

Workman: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2 K

Gold: 3-5, 2 R, 2B

Alfonzo: 4-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B

Flores (L, 0-1): 2.1 IP, 9 ER, 7 H, BB, K

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps welcome in the Great Lakes Loons for six starting at 6:35 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. They are tied with Fort Wayne for the second half lead in the East division.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 8, Jupiter Hammerheads 1 (box)(Fri)

Jupiter Hammerheads 8, Lakeland Flying Tigers 6 (box)(Sat)

Jupiter Hammerheads 8, Lakeland Flying Tigers 6 (box)(Sun)

The Flying Tigers came into the weekend with a 3-1 lead in the series, but lost on Saturday and Sunday by the same score.

On Friday, the Flying Tigers got five scoreless innings from Joe Adametz and poured on the offense from the start.

Cristian Santana walked with one out and moved to third on a Max Anderson single. A Quincy Nieporte sac fly scored him, and the Flying Tigers had a 1-0 lead. Brett Callahan doubled in Jose De La Cruz in the second inning. In the third, Josue Briceno doubled with one out and then De La Cruz and Kevin McGonigle walked to load the bases. Brett Callahan dumped a two run single into left, and it was 4-0.

In the fifth, the Flying Tigers put this one away. Briceno led off with another double and De La Cruz walked again. McGonigle singled to load the bases and an error on a Callahan grounder scored Briceno. A Bennett Lee sac fly scored De La Cruz. McGonigle and Callahan advanced on a Max Clark ground out and Cristian Santana doubled them home to make it 8-0. They didn’t need any more.

Santana: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 BB, 2 K

Briceno: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, K

McGonigle: 2-3, R, 2 BB

Adametz (W, 1-0): 5.0 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, K

A rough outing for Matt Walker put the Flying Tigers in a hole on Saturday and they couldn’t quite climb out of it.

They got an early lead when John Peck led off the second with a single and stole second and third base as Bennett Lee walked. A sac bunt from David Smith scored Peck to make it 1-0, but in the bottom of the third, the Hammerheads lit Walker up for six runs.

In the fifth, Max Anderson walked with one out, and Jose De La Cruz doubled him to third. A Brett Callahan singled scored Anderson to make it 6-2, and finally in the seventh the Flying Tigers poured it on to tie the game.

De La Cruz reached on an error to start the inning and Callahan singled him to second. Clayton Campbell reached on an error to load the bases, and another error on a Peck ground ball scored De La Cruz. A Lee ground out scored Callahan and then Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Kevin McGonigle walked to force in a run and it was 6-5 Jupiter. A Jim Jarvis sac fly scored Peck and the game was tied up.

Unfortunately, the offense ran out of steam at that point. Max Alba gave up two in the bottom of the eighth, and the Hammerheads held on to win.

Callahan: 3-4, R, RBI, BB

Peck: 1-5, 2 R, RBI, K 2 SB

Anderson: 2-5, R, 2B, BB, K

Walker: 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K

On Sunday, the Flying Tigers jumped out to an early lead and got a nice short start from 2023 fifth round pick Jaden Hamm. Hamm didn’t strike anyone out, but he threw plenty of strikes, allowing just two hits and an unearned run in three innings of work.

With two outs in the first, Max Anderson and Quincy Nieporte walked. Briceno reached on an error in left field and Anderson and Nieporte scored. Jose De La Cruz followed with a screaming double to center and Briceno raced around to make it 3-0.

In the second, Max Anderson doubled in Peck to make it 4-0. Jupiter made it 4-1 in the bottom of the second, but in the third, Clayton Campbell walked and scored on a Peck double. 5-1 Lakeland.

Unfortunately, Lakeland’s bullpen gave up seven runs total across the fourth and fifth inning. Suddenly down 8-5, the Flying Tigers offense couldn’t get anything else going. They had a few opportunities, but it wasn’t until the top of the ninth that they pushed across another run after a leadoff double by Campbell and a Max Clark single scored him.

Anderson: 2-5, R, RBI, 2 2B, BB, 2 K

Clark: 1-4, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K

De La Cruz: 2-5, RBI, 2B

Hamm: 3.0 IP, R - ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K

Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers welcome in the Tampa Tarpons for six starting Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET. With a 39-21 second half record, they hold a 1.5 game lead over Bradenton in the second half West Division standings.