Charlotte Knights 6, Toledo Mud Hens 4 (box)
The Mud Hens took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning of yesterday's matchup against Charlotte, but Knights designated hitter Dan Black hit a grand slam to give his team a 6-4 win and weekend series victory over Toledo. Righthander Jose Valdez loaded the bases with two hits and a walk, but it was Alberto Cabrera's first pitch that Black unloaded on to give the Knights the lead.
Starter Thad Weber was solid for Toledo, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings. Ian Krol tossed a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts before the meltdown in the eighth. Offensively, the Mud Hens were led by Xavier Avery and Mike Hessman, who had two hits apiece. Avery and Dixon Machado scored two runs, while Hessman and Daniel Fields combined for four RBI. Avery also stole his eighth base of the season.
Avery: 2-5, 2 R, SO, SB
Machado: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB, SO
Fields: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, SO
Hessman: 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 SO
Collins: 1-3, 2B, BB
Weber: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 6 SO
Valdez (L): 0.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB
COMING UP NEXT: The Mud Hens travel to Rochester to begin a three-game series with the Red Wings. Lefthander Pat Dean (2-2, 2.45 ERA) will start for Rochester.
Reading Fightin' Phils 4, Erie SeaWolves 1 (box)
As expected, the SeaWolves had trouble with Reading starter Aaron Nola, a 2014 first round pick and one of the top prospects in the Philadelphia Phillies' farm system. Nola dominated, throwing eight innings while allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out eight Erie batters without walking anyone. The lone burst of offense came in the eighth, when a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly broke the shutout.
Righthander Chad Green was solid if inefficient, throwing 101 pitches in five innings while allowing a run. Edgar De La Rosa was just plain bad, allowing three runs on a pair of hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings. Wynton Bernard was the only Erie player to reach base twice, but he did not score a run.
Bernard: 1-3, BB, SO
McVaney: 1-4, 2B, SO
Harrell: 1-3, R, SO
Green (L): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
De La Rosa: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
COMING UP NEXT: Erie kicks off a three-game home series with the Akron Rubber Ducks tonight before heading out on the road for another series against Reading. Will Roberts (2-1, 5.88 ERA) will start for Akron.
Both Lakeland and West Michigan had off days yesterday. The Flying Tigers head out on the road tonight for a four-game series against the Jupiter Hammerheads. Tommy Collier (3-1, 1.52 ERA) will start for Lakeland this evening. The Flygers are currently sporting a 13-16 record, fifth in the Florida State League North Division.
West Michigan will start a seven-game homestand tonight, hosting the Bowling Green Hammerheads. Ross Seaton (3-1, 3.12 ERA) will start for the Whitecaps against Bowling Green starter Brent Honeywell (2-1, 1.61 ERA). After four games against Bowling Green -- the last two of which begin at 11:00 a.m. -- they will host the Lansing Lugnuts for a three-game weekend series.
Kenny Faulk announced his retirement from baseball after seven seasons in the minor leagues with the Tigers. A 16th round pick out of Keenesaw State University in 2009, the 27-year-old lefthander had worked his way up to Triple-A Toledo by 2013, but was never able to break into the big leagues. Faulk finishes his minor league career with a 13-17 record and 3.55 ERA in 246 appearances, all but one coming in relief. Righthander Guido Knudson has been called up to Toledo to replace Faulk.