MiLB Recap Blog: 'Caps Make Record Comeback

Each morning, check in for the Minor League Recap Blog. Get all of the results from the games, the latest standings and the daily blog recapping the previous day's action.

May 10th Games

13-17, 3rd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 6, BOWIE 5
18-10, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – OFF DAY
12-17, t-5th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHGAN 9, CLINTON 8 (13)
20-9, 2nd in Eastern Division

With Dave Dombrowski and Glenn Ezell as onlookers, Toledo couldn't come all the way back as they fell to Lehigh Valley 5-3. Ruddy Lugo got the start but struggled, allow four runs in 5 1/3 innings of work - he also walked four and struck out just two. Mike Hessman showed signs of finally breaking out of his early season slump, ripping three doubles and driving in two runs. Don Kelly also added two hits with two walks and scored twice.

The SeaWolves held off a late run as they completed a sweep of Bowie 6-5. Jonah Nickerson has had a rough go of it in Erie to start the year, but picked up his first win of the season with a quality start on Sunday. Nickerson gave up three runs in six innings of work, also walking two and striking out six. Brett Jensen allowed a run in the ninth but closed things out to earn his fourth save. Deik Scram and Alex Avila each had a home run for the club, combining for five RBI, while Cale Iorg added two hits and a run scored.

The West Michigan Whitecaps were forced into extra innings yet again on Sunday, but this time around, they pulled out a win in the process of making history in their 9-8 victory. The Whitecaps were put in the position of being down 8-0, before coming from behind to tie things in the ninth, and eventually claim the win in the 13th. Brandon Hamilton was the starter but was chased early, giving up six runs on four hits (and four walks) in 1 2/3 innings. In the ninth down three, the 'Caps got a pair of runners on for Ben Guez, who blasted a three run homer to knot the game at eight. Things stayed the same until the 13th, when Brandon Douglas hit a fly ball to centerfield with the bases juiced, an out deep enough to score Luis Palacios as a sac fly and win the game. Brent Wyatt also added two runs and two RBI.

Posted by: Wez, 5/11

May 9th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 11, LEHIGH VALLEY 4
13-16, 3rd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 7, BOWIE 5
17-10, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – BREVARD COUNTY 3, LAKELAND 2
12-17, t-5th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - CLINTON 6, WEST MICHIGAN 2 (15)
19-9, 2nd in Eastern Division

Toledo got a strong start from their horse to help snap their losing streak and pull out an 11-7 win. French earned just his second win of the season but turned in another quality start, giving up three runs on five hits in six innings. French controlled the strike-zone well and the only runs he allowed came after a play that first baseman Mike Hessman should have made, but was ruled a hit. Jeff Frazier, Wilkin Ramirez and Don Kelly each had three hits and two RBI, while the Brent's, Dlugach and Clevlen, each added a home run. The game ended with some entertainment from Lehigh Valley manager Dave Huppert being ejected for arguing a controversial foul ball that was first ruled a home run, then after an umpire conference, was ruled a foul ball. On the subsequent pitch, IronPigs outfielder Jason Ellison was ejected after being called out on strikes on a questionable pitch. The ejections seemed to fire up Lehigh Valley though, as they scored three runs and got the tying run on deck before Casey Fien got a strikeout to end the game.

Erie once again got help from the long ball as they moved to second place in the division with a 7-5 win over Bowie. Luis Marte got a no-decision as the starter, giving up three runs in five innings with seven strikeouts. Zach Simons got the win in relief despite initially losing the one run lead Erie had when Marte exited. Cody Satterwhite pitched the final two innings for his third save. Ryan Strieby had a three run blast (his ninth) while Scott Sizemore also added a solo home run. Max Leon also added two hits and two runs for the team.

Thad Weber has had a great start to the season, but not even he could help Lakeland get a win on Saturday, as they fell 3-2 to Brevard County. Weber fell to 3-3 for the season, as he allowed three runs in seven innings with six strikeouts. Both Pat Stanley and Robbie Weinhardt tossed a scoreless inning of relief, but the Flying Tigers were unable to even get a runner into scoring position from the fourth inning on. Michael Bertram and Justin Henry each had an RBI, with Jordan Newton adding two hits and scoring a run.

The Whitecaps fell in a 15-inning marathon game to Clinton on Saturday, losing 6-2. Mauricio Robles got a no-decision as the starter, tossing five shutout innings, allowing just two hits while walking four and striking out seven. Plenty of Whitecaps relievers appeared and performed well, but it was Victor Larez that would take the loss, giving up four runs in the top half of the 15th inning. Brandon Douglas had three hits in the loss, with Ronnie Bourquin driving in both of the team's runs.

Posted by: Wez, 5/10

May 8th Games

12-16, 3rd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 4, BOWIE 3
16-10, 3rd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – BREVARD COUNTY 5, LAKELAND 3
12-16, 5th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - CLINTON 5, WEST MICHIGAN 0
19-8, 2nd in Eastern Division

Eddie Bonine had a rough start to the game, but settled down to give the Mud Hens seven strong innings, exiting with a 4-3 lead in the eighth. But Freddy Dolsi lost his command in the ninth, giving up two doubles and hitting two batters as Lehigh Valley scored the go-ahead and game-winning runs. The Mud Hens offense made a push to get the game back, but both Jason Tyner and Danny Worth struck out with the bases loaded to end the threat and the game. Wilkin Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run, and Ryan Roberson also added a two run blast for the Hens.

While the Mud Hens haven't been able to pull out close victories, Erie did it yet again on Friday evening, pulling out a 4-3 win over Bowie. Brooks Brown was strong once again, giving up two runs in seven innings of work as he improved to 4-0 on the year. Brown also walked two and struck out one. Bowie actually tied the game in the top half of the seventh at two, but Erie came back with two runs in the bottom half via a Scott Sizemore double and a Brennan Boesch single that scored Sizemore. Josh Rainwater pitched the final two innings for the save. Alex Avila was a perfect 3-for-3 on the day, including an RBI, while Ryan Strieby had two hits and two runs, including a solo blast.

Defense was a problem for the Flying Tigers on Friday, and although it didn't result in any unearned runs, there were four errors committed in Lakeland's 5-3 defeat. Duane Below fell to 1-4, giving up four runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. Brett Jacobson did toss 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief. Chris White had a double and a triple and an RBI from the leadoff spot for the Flying Tigers, and Michael Bertram also added two hits for the club.

The Whitecaps have been red hot all season long, but they ran into a buzzsaw on Friday night, getting shut out against Clinton 5-0. Luke Putkonen took the loss, giving up four runs in six innings of work. The 'Caps only mustered four hits for the game, and just one of those was an extra base hit, a double from Ronnie Bourquin.

Posted by: Wez, 5/9

May 7th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – PAWTUCKET 8, TOLEDO 1
12-15, 2nd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - GM1: ERIE 9, HARRISBURG 6

15-10, 3rd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 2, BREVARD COUNTY 1
12-15, 5th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 2, BELOIT 0
19-7, 2nd in Eastern Division

Pawtucket completed a four game sweep of the Mud Hens with an 8-1 shutout on Thursday. Chris Lambert got hit hard as he took the loss. Lambert gave up seven runs on nine hits in just three innings of work before exiting. Casey Fien and Fu-Te Ni did combine for three shutout innings but Pawtucket had already built up a sizable lead. At the plate, Toledo was finally able to start getting some hits, unfortunately they still couldn't turn those into runs. Jason Tyner, Danny Worth and Dusty Ryan each had two hits apiece, with Worth (playing third base) driving in the lone run.

The SeaWolves split their doubleheader with Harrisburg on Wednesday as they attempted to make up for the rainouts that the two teams had suffered through the first part of the week. Alfredo Figaro proved human in the first game, giving up five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of work - Josh Kite would earn the win in relief. Ryan Strieby led the charge at the plate, going 3-for-3, including two home runs, and four RBI. Scott Sizemore and Santo de Leon also each added solo home runs. In the nightcap, Ramon Garcia and Jay Sborz combined to give the club five shutout innings, but Zach Simons and Cody Satterwhite couldn't hold the lead (in part due to a costly error). Satterwhite recorded the final out in the sixth to leave the game tied at six, but gave up the game-winning double in the seventh to end it. Sizemore had another home run, while Cale Iorg had a pair of solo shots, his first two home runs on the season. Brennan Boesch also hada solo blast.

The Flying Tigers pulled out a win on Thursday, but it wasn't easy. The Flying Tigers clung to a slim 1-0 lead heading into the ninth, when Scott Green came on and allowed the game tying run. But the Flying Tigers came back strong in the bottom of the ninth, when Michael Bertram led off the inning with a double, was sacrificed over to third on a bunt, and then came home on a wild pitch for the game winning run. Andrew Hess tossed six more shutout innings for Lakeland with seven strikeouts as he dropped his ERA below two now. Kyle Peter had two hits and scored a run, while Andy Dirks also had two hits and drove in the other run.

Casey Crosby got back on the right track, but because the offense couldn't get on the board until after his day had ended, Crosby took a no-decision. Crosby though was outstanding, giving up just one hit in five innings of work, with three walks and seven strikeouts. Tyler Conn picked up the win in relief, while Tyler Stohr earned his fifth save by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth. The 'Caps got on the board in the sixth when Chao-Ting Tang reached on a bunt single, then got all the way to third on a throwing error. He scored on a Gustavo Nunez single. The two then repeated the same thing in the eighth for an insurance run, only this time around Tang singled on a line drive before advancing to third on another throwing error.

Posted by: Wez, 5/8

May 6th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – PAWTUCKET 2, TOLEDO 1
12-14, 2nd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - HARRISBURG 2, ERIE 0 (6)
14-9, 3rd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – DUNEDIN 6, LAKELAND 4
11-15, 5th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 3, BELOIT 0
18-7, 2nd in Eastern Division

With Dontrelle Willis on the mound again for the Mud Hens, the club still couldn't get much offense going as the club fell 2-1 to Pawtucket. Dontrelle took the loss for his work, but pitched well in his second Triple-A appearance. Willis allowed two runs on five hits over 7 2/3 innings of work. He also walked four and struck out four, while throwing 118 pitches (74 for strikes). Toledo managed just two hits on the night, with Ryan Roberson driving in Brent Clevlen for the team's only run.

Erie was supposed to fit a doubleheader in on Wednesday, but was only to fit in one rain-shortened game; a 2-0 loss to Harrisburg. Jon Kibler took the loss, but turned in what was likely his best start of the year; he gave up two unearned runs on three hits in six innings, walking four and striking out three. The game would have been knotted at 0 still, but a foul pop up was dropped by Scott Sizemore with two out and a runner on in the sixth, giving Harrisburg new life, and in that same at-bat, Kibler allowed a two run blast. Brennan Boesch had two singles and a walk in the losing effort.

Lakeland came back from a 4-1 deficit to force extra innings, only to lose the lead again and the game for good in the tenth. Down 4-1 heading into the bottom half of the seventh, Mike Gosse tripled after a Kody Kaiser walk that scored Kaiser, and then Andy Dirks singled home Gosse to get within a run. Dirks then drove in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, scoring Chris White. The team had runners on second and third with only one out, but Audy Ciriaco hit into a fielder's choice, and Michael Bertram struck out swinging to force extras. With Robbie Weinhardt on the mound, Dunedin put up a pair of runs to reclaim the lead for good this time. Kaiser also had a solo home run. Lauren Gagnier got the start, giving up four runs in 6 1/3 innings of work.

At least the Whitecaps continued their winning ways, pulling out a 3-0 shutout victory over Beloit. Matt Hoffman was the star of the night, tossing seven shutout innings on four hits. Hoffman also walked two and struck out six as he improved to 4-0 on the year. Jared Gayhart and Erik Crichton each tossed a scoreless inning of relief to close the game out. Brandon Douglas and Bryan Pounds each drove a run in, while Gustavo Nunez added two hits and scored a run.

Posted by: Wez, 5/7

May 5th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – PAWTUCKET 4, TOLEDO 0
12-13, 2nd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - PPD: RAIN
14-8, t-2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 8, DUNEDIN 5
11-14, t-4th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - BELOIT 9, WEST MICHIGAN 3
17-7, 2nd in Eastern Division

The Mud Hens continued their struggles in Pawtucket, especially after having lost two members if its everyday lineup as of late to Detroit. Ruddy Lugo took the loss, giving up all four Pawtucket runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. Lugo battled his command, walking five while allowing six hits. Not much was happening at the plate, with Brent Clevlen responsible for three of the team's six hits. Toledo did however have threats going, but was never able to capitalize - loading the bases with nobody out in the second, and runners on second and third with one out in eighth.

Erie was postponed yet again on Tuesday; they'll try and get two games in on Wednesday evening.

The Flying Tigers picked up their second straight win over Dunedin, winning 8-5. Charlie Furbush picked up his third win of the season though he wasn't outstanding on the mound. Furbush gave up four runs on four hits in five innings of work. At the plate, Michael Bertram ripped a two run homer, while Kody Kaiser had two hits, two runs and two RBI, Andy Dirks had two hits and two RBI, and Chris White had three hits and a walk to reach base on every at bat. Trevor Feeney pitched the final two innings, giving up a run but securing the win for his second save.

Recently, the Tigers had been victimized by the "big inning". On Tuesday, the Whitecaps had the same happen, as a six run inning for Beloit put a huge gape between the two teams and resulted in their 9-3 loss. Brayan Villareal pitched fairly well as the starter, giving up a run on just one hit in 3 2/3 innings. But his control was wild, as he walked five while striking out eight. Anthony Shawler was the pitcher that took the brunt of the damage, giving up five runs in two innings of work, with Victor Larez allowing the final three runs to Beloit. Brandon Douglas had three hits while scoring two of the team's runs in the loss.

Posted by: Wez, 5/6

May 4th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – PAWTUCKET 2, TOLEDO 1
12-12, 2nd in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - PPD: RAIN
14-8, t-2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 9, DUNEDIN 8
10-14, 5th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 3, BURLINGTON 1 (10)
17-6, 2nd in Eastern Division

The Mud Hens dropped the series opener with Pawtucket, falling 2-1. Luke French turned in another strong start, but with little run support, took the loss. He allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings of work. Scot Drucker, now working in relief because of the starters added to the roster recently, pitched two perfect innings of relief, including four strikeouts. Brent Dlugach ripped a pair of doubles as he continues his hot hitting, while Ryan Roberson produced the team's only run with a solo blast.

Erie's game with Harrisburg was postponed and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on June 28th.

Lakeland beat back a late rally by Dunedin to squeeze out a 9-8 victory. Thad Weber picked up his third win, allowing four runs in six innings of work. Chris Carlson had a home run and two RBI for the offense, while Kody Kaiser seemed to be awakening from his early-season slump, with three hits, three runs scored, and an RBI. Andy Dirks also added three hits, two runs and two RBI. Scott Green was tagged for four runs in the eighth inning, but all went unearned as he should have been out of the inning, if not for a Justin Henry error. Brett Jacobson pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the year.

And the Whitecaps needed extra innings yet again to wrap up a game with Burlington, but this time came out on top. Brandon Hamilton got a no-decision as the starter but pitched well, scattering five hits over six shutout innings of work. In the tenth, with the game knotted at one, Gustavo Nunez took a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, and then on a wild pitch ball four, scampered home to score the go-ahead and eventual game winning run. Billy Nowlin drove in Ronnie Bourquin later in the inning for an insurance run. Tyler Stohr recorded the final two outs for his fourth save.

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