Find out whose recent hot stretch has vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard in his league, plus…
Detroit Tigers - 7-10, 3rd in AL Central
On the heels of a three-game losing skid, the Tigers appeared to be falling down an all too familiar path, but when in need, the team's leader stepped up. In the bottom of the 10th, Ivan Rodriguez stepped up and blasted a home run, breaking the 4-4 tie and giving the Tigers their first one run victory of the year. The Tigers might have had the game locked up prior to that, but Troy Percival came on in the 9th and promptly blew his first save opportunity as a Tiger, giving up a solo home run to Justin Morneau. The blown save ended up resulting in a victory for Percival, but a no decision for Mike Maroth, who gave the Tigers another quality start, giving up two runs over six innings. Among other notables, Carlos Guillen went 3-for-4 with an RBI, Brandon Inge had two hits and two runs, and Omar Infante and Nook Logan each had two hits and a run. The two teams meet up again on Saturday at 1:05pm, when Jason Johnson meets up with Joe Mays. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit, the first game broadcast locally since Monday night's game in Baltimore.
- Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
AAA Toledo Mud Hens - 10-5, 1st in West division
Constant drizzle and unseasonably cold temperatures didn't stop 5,579 fans from coming out to Fifth Third Field on Friday to see the Mud Hens win the final game of their series with Charlotte 7-2. With the win, the Hens improve to 10-5 on the season and are back on top of the IL West division, leading Columbus by half a game. In his first start since the Hens' home opener, Nelson Cruz pitched a solid game, going six strong innings and only allowing one run on five Knight hits, while striking out five Charlotte batters. Toledo got all the runs it needed in the second, third, and fourth innings scoring one, two and four runs respectively. Chris Shelton was the catalyst for the Hen offense going 2-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI, while improving his season average to .373. The Hens will be on the road for the first time in a week when they travel to Indianapolis tomorrow, which begins a seven-game road trip for the club.
- Doug DeSloover, Toledo Correspondent
AA Erie SeaWolves - 8-7, tied 2nd in Southern division
The SeaWolves game on Friday night vs. the Baysox was rained out. The game is rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, starting at 3:05pm.
- Paige Edelman, Erie Correspondent
High-A Lakeland Tigers - 12-3, 1st in West division
The L-Tigers beat the Miracle 2-1 and improved their record to 12-3. Lakeland starter Cristhian Martinez went three innings and gave up five hits and a run. Kevin McDowell came on for the Tigers in the fourth and pitched four shutout innings. Brain Rogers came on in the eighth with the game tied 1-1 and pitched the last two innings. Danilo Sanchez hit his fifth home run of the year in the bottom of the eighth to score the go ahead run. Rogers closed out the Miracle in the ninth and got the win. Lakeland second baseman Juan Francia was four for four with an RBI. Francia hit a two-out single in the fifth that scored Wilton Reynolds. Reynolds had stolen second to get into scoring position. Brent Clevlen was two for four with a double. The Tigers have now taken two in a row against the Miracle. The two teams began the series tied for the best record in the division. The Tigers are now up by two games in the division. The third game of the series is tomorrow night at 7pm in Lakeland.
- Aaron Westgate, Lakeland Correspondent
A West Mich. Whitecaps - 8-7, tied 2nd in East division
Friday it was the 'Caps turn to have a game-winning 9th inning. Splitting their series 2-2, West Michigan and Lansing essentially repeated Thursday's game but switched roles. On Friday, Lansing provided the 9th inning error and wild pitch that allowed the 'Caps to score their game-winning runs. Lugnuts starter Casey Janssen had the West Michigan lineup swinging. Nine 'Caps fell to Janssen's strikes. Center fielder Justin Justice had the biggest hit of the night when he tripled to center field in the top of the 1st. West Michigan pitching was a combined effort with Jair Jurrjens, Tony Peralta, Matthew Righter, and Collin Mahoney all taking a turn on the mound. Righter took the win and Mahoney the save. West Michigan returns home on Saturday, meeting the Peoria Chiefs at Fifth Third Ballpark. Game time is 2:00 p.m.
- Deb Ziegler, West Michigan Correspondent