May 16th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – CHARLOTTE 9, TOLEDO 8
17-19, t-2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - BOWIE 4, ERIE 0
22-13, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – GAME 1; BREVARD COUNTY 1, LAKELAND 0 - GAME 2; LAKELAND 10, BREVARD COUNTY 6
15-18, 4th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 13, GREAT LAKES 6
24-10, 1st in Eastern Division
After shutting out their opponent for three straight games, the Mud Hens had a rough time keeping the Knights off the scoreboard on Saturday; yielding nine runs including four by Freddy Dolsi in the bottom of the ninth to lose the game. Scot Drucker gave up 12 hits in six innings of work with four runs allowed to get the no decision as the Toledo offense gave him the support he needed. Wilkin Ramirez had a huge night going 4-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI. Mike Hessman hit his seventh bomb of the season along with a double and a single, but it wasn't enough to pull out the win behind a rough night from the pitching staff.
Bowie's Jake Arietta tossed a complete game one-hitter to stifle the Erie offense, striking out ten along the way. The one hit allowed went to Deik Scram. Jon Kibler continued to get things on track in Double-A, tossing a complete game himself, but yielding four runs (two earned) with only five hits and two walks. Kibler fell to 1-3 on the season, but lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.23.
In the completion of a suspended game, Brevard's one run in the fourth inning was all that was needed to pull out the victory in the first game of the double header. Trevor Feeney took the loss allowing the lone run in his 2 1/3 innings of work. Jay Sborz made his 2009 Lakeland debut with 2 2/3 scoreless innings of work, and Robbie Weinhardt continued his dominance with another perfect inning of relief. The bats were held in check, with singles from Audy Ciriaco and Justin Henry, and a double from Jordan Newton being all the LFT could muster.
The bats came alive in the second game, led by Ciriaco's two home runs and a 3-for-5 performance that ended with seven RBI. Kody Kaiser picked up three hits in four at-bats, and Roger Tomas and Devin Thomas each collected two knocks as the LFT offense generated ten runs including four in the ninth for the win. Charlie Furbush got back on track with five innings of solid ball including no walks and four strikeouts. Scott Green blew the save late, allowing inherited runners from Brett Jacobson to score, but Chad Linder picked up his first win of the season with 1 2/3 hitless frames.
The boys in Grand Rapids enjoyed having big leaguer Jeremy Bonderman in town, putting up seven runs in the games first two innings to line him up for the win. Bonderman tossed seven innings allowing six hits with only two runs and one walk. He struck out four in the contest. Luis Sanz came on in relief, his first appearance above short-season ball, and yielded two runs in just one inning of work, walking two and giving up one hit. The offense was led by a second inning three run jack from center fielder Brent Wyatt; part of his two-hit night. Also collecting two hits were shortstop Gustavo Nunez, first baseman Ronnie Bourquin, and left fielder Billy Nowlin. Brandon Douglas also had a big game with three hits and three runs scored, while Jordan Lennerton made his lone hit count by driving in three on a double.
Posted by: Mark, 5/17
May 15th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 6, PAWTUCKET 0
17-18, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - GAME 1; ERIE 12, BOWIE 5 - GAME 2, BOWIE 5, ERIE 4
22-12, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – POSTPONED, RAIN
14-17, 4th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 5, DAYTON 2
23-10, 1st in Eastern Division
For the third straight game, the Mud Hens received an exceptional pitching performance to shutout out the Paw Sox. Ruddy Lugo evened his record at 3-3 on the season with seven shutout innings that yielded only four hits and no walks. Casey Fien picked up the save with two clean innings to extend the streak. Mike Hessman launched his sixth home run of the season in the eighth inning to make sure the game was out of reach, all while Jason Tyner, Jeff Frazier, Ryan Roberson, and Brent Dlugach each collected two hits in the game. The Hens managed two runs off of Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka in five innings of work, though he did whiff nine batters.
In the first game of a twin bill with Bowie, the Erie bats were on fire, launching balls over the fence. Alex Avila (second), Cale Iorg (third), Scott Sizemore (sixth), and Brennan Boesch (fifth) all dropped bombs off two Bowie relievers. Those four were also 80% of those that collected two hits in the contest, with Max Leon rounding out the crew; raising his season average to .324. Despite allowing five earned runs in just five innings, Jonah Nickerson came away with the win and a .500 record. Josh Rainwater closed the deal with two perfect innings.
After all the fireworks in the first game of the double header, having only two Erie balls leave the yard seems a bit anti-climactic. Brennan Boesch hit another shot while Max Leon smoked a two-run job that gave Erie the lead heading to the bottom of the seventh (in a seven inning game). Cale Iorg also continued to come alive at the plate with a 1-for-4 performance with a double. Ramon Garcia picked up the spot start, and gave up one earned run (three total) in five innings of work. After Leon's home run in the top of the seventh, closer Brett Jensen couldn't seal the deal as he gave up a two-run walk-off shot to end the game.
West Michigan continued its strangle-hold on first place with a 5-2 win over the Dayton Dragons. Home runs from Ronnie Bourquin and Angel Flores led the offensive attack, while Jordan Lennerton blasted two doubles and Gustavo Nunez picked up two hits. As has become the theme in Grand Rapids this season, the pitching was dominant, with Mauricio Robles firing six innings of two run ball with one walk and five strikeouts. Erik Crichton and Victor Larez combined for three innings of shutout ball with three hits and two strikeouts to close the win for the 'Caps.
Posted by: Mark, 5/16
May 14th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 8, PAWTUCKET 0
16-18, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - BOWIE 6, ERIE 1
21-11, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – POSTPONED, RAIN
14-17, 4th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 7, DAYTON 4
22-10, 1st in Eastern Division
Dusty Ryan's breakout game and a fine pitching performance from four Hens' hurlers was more than enough for Toledo to shut out Pawtucket for the second day in a row. Ryan went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, and three RBI, while Mike Hessman blasted his fifth bomb of the year; a two-run shot. Will Rhymes also chipped in with two hits and an RBI in the game. On the hill, Ron Chiavacci tossed four shutout innings with one walk and seven strikeous. Pat Stanley made his Triple-A debut with 2 2/3 scoreless innings with two walks and five strikeouts; making it further known that he could be a viable relief option down the line.
Scott Sizemore collected the only extra-base hit for the Seawoles with a double off Bowie's Sean Gleason. Ryan Strieby and Santo DeLeon both collected two singles to try and help further the effort, but they could only pick up one run. Luis Marte fell to 2-3 on the season after giving up 13 hits in 7 1/3 innings, which yielded five earned runs. Josh Kite recorded the final two outs of the game, but not before giving up a hit, two walks and one run.
There tend to be good stories every year in the minor leagues, and Ronnie Bourquin is making his case to be that story this year. After being on the brink of release, Bourquin is putting together a fine year for West Michigan, including a 4-for-5 effort in last night's in over Dayton. Bourquin's two doubles were half of the team's four two-base hits, with Ben Guez and Gustavo Nunez picking up the others. Nunez's collected two singles and scored once as well, while also swiping his 12th base of the season. Luke Putkonen picked up his second win of the season with five solid innings, though he walked one and didn't strike out a batter. Anthony Shawler yielded a run in his inning of work, but Jared Gayhart tossed two scoreless frames and Tyler Stohr slammed the door in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Posted by: Mark, 5/15
May 13th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 1, PAWTUCKET 0
15-18, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 8, READING 5
21-10, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – CANCELLED, RAIN
14-17, 4th in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - DAYTON 2, WEST MICHIGAN 1
21-10, 1st in Eastern Division
There are pitching duels, and then there are pitching duels. Wednesday morning in Toledo, right-hander Eddie Bonine locked up with Boston's Clay Buchholz in a dandy. Buchholz fanned eleven in eight shutout innings, yielding just four hits. Bonine bested him by whiffing five and giving up just one hit in nine shutout innings; lowering his ERA to 1.88 since being optioned down from Detroit. In the bottom of the tenth inning, Toledo finally scratched out a run. Donny Kelly singled and then managed to do his best Jayson Werth impression by stealing both second and third to get himself in scoring position. Will Rhymes singled him home for the winning run. Casy Fien worked a clena top of the tenth with two strikeouts to earn the win, moving to 2-0 on the season.
Ryan Strieby is doing his best to force his way into the Tigers plans sooner than later, including blasting his tenth home run of the young season on Wednesday. His solo shot in the fifth was the last of the scoring for Erie, but the pitching staff held the Phillis in check to preserve the win. Brooks Brown was touched for five runs in five innings while striking out four against just one walk. Zach Simons picked up the hold and Cody Satterwhite the save, with two scoreless frames each. Scott Sizemore remained red hot at the plate with three more hits and two runs scored, while Max Leon collected two knocks himself. Deik Scram doubled and drove in three, and Cale Iorg tripled for the second time this year.
The West Michigan pitching staff looked on its way to tossing another gem to earn another win, but Dayton had other plans late in the game. Casey Crosby left in the second inning after giving up two hits and striking out one, but Brayan Villareal had his back. Brayan tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief striking out four, before giving way to lefty Tyler Conn who gave up a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to give the game away. There wasn't much to sing about at the plate for the 'Caps, with a Gustavo Nunez solo shot in the third providing the only offense. Billy Nowlin and Joe Bowen both collected doubles in the loss.
Posted by: Mark, 5/14
May 12th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – PAWTUCKET 2, TOLEDO 1
14-18, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 5, READING 2
20-10, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 8, DUNEDIN 5
14-17, t-3rd in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 9, DAYTON 4
21-9, 2nd in Eastern Division
After a series in which Toledo's bats came to life, they quieted again in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Pawtucket. The team managed six hits, but the only two extra base hits came from Mike Hessman, who also produced the only run, a solo blast in the ninth inning. Chris Lambert was solid as the starter, but took the loss. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in seven innings of work. Clay Rapada and Freddy Dolsi each tossed a scoreless inning of relief as well.
Erie was shut out for the first six innings of the game, but came to life with a four run seventh inning, sparked by a two-run single by Andy Dirks. Scott Sizemore also singled home Santo de Leon, and Brennan Boesch took a walk with the bases loaded to bring home the fourth run. Unfortunately for the starter, Alfredo Figaro, he had already exited, giving up two runs on just three hits in 6 2/3 innings of work. The four-run inning gave Erie the lead, one they would not relinquish. Brendan Wise took the win, while Brett Jensen earned his fifth save. Deik Scram also added a solo home run in the eighth.
Lauren Gagnier picked up the win for Lakeland as the offense gave him plenty of run support in their 8-5 victory. Gagnier gave up five runs (four earned) in 6 2/3 innings of work. Lester Oliveros, Robbie Weinhardt and Chad Linder combined to shut out Dunedin over final 2 1/3 innings, with Linder picking up the save. Justin Henry led the offense with two hits, two runs and three RBI. Kyle Peter also drove in a pair of runs while Devin Thomas had two hits and a run scored.
The Whitecaps haven't done this much so far this season, but on Tuesday, they used the long ball to cruise to victory. Ben Guez, Billy Nowlin, Ronnie Bourquin and Luis Salas each went long for the 'Caps. Their production provided plenty of run support for Matt Hoffman, who improved to 5-0 for the year. Hoffman gave up two runs while scattering seven hits in eight innings of work. Bourquin drove in a total of three runs for West Michigan, while Joe Bowen added a pair of hits for the club.
Posted by: Wez, 5/13
May 11th Games
AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 9, LEHIGH VALLEY 2
14-17, 2nd in West Division
AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 3, READING 2
19-10, 2nd in Southern Division
A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 5, DUNEDIN 3
13-17, t-3rd in North Division
A West Michigan Whitecaps - OFF DAY
20-9, 2nd in Eastern Division
Scot Drucker struck out a career-high eight batters as he helped lead Toledo to a 9-2 victory over Lehigh Valley. Drucker gave up two runs on six hits in six innings as he returned to the rotation after a couple week hiatus with the addition of Dontrelle Willis to the team for his rehab assignment. Ron Chiavacci tossed three shutout innings of relief to earn the three inning save. Jeff Frazier had a two run homer at the plate, while Don Kelly also added a solo shot, and Brent Clevlen had three hits, a run and an RBI.
Just another day at the ballpark for Erie, where they pulled out another one run victory, which has quickly become par for the course for the 'Wolves. Jon Kibler got his first win of the season for Erie as he gave up just one run over 7 2/3 innings of work. Kibler also walked four and struck out two. Erie managed just four hits for the game while Reading had more than double that, but Erie made them count. Deik Scram got the scoring started in the fifth with a solo home run, and then Brennan Boesch drove in a run via an RBI triple, and then came home via a sacrifice fly. Ramon Garcia battled in the ninth, and had the winning run in scoring position before getting a strike out to end the threat and preserve the win for his first save of the year.
The Flying Tigers continue to battle amongst the rest of the North division, as their win on Monday jumped them up into a four way tie for third place. Charlie Furbush got the start but took a no-decision, lasting just 3 2/3 innings as he faced 20 batters in his work. He did only allow two runs though. Rob Waite earned the win in relief, allowing a run in 2 1/3 innings of work, while Brett Jacobson and Scott Green combined for three shutout innings of relief, with Green picking up his fourth save. Jordan Newton and Kyle Peter were responsible for most of Lakeland's run production, each with two hits, a run scored, and two RBI - Newton's via a two run homer, his first since being bumped up to Lakeland. Audy Ciriaco also had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI.
Posted by: Wez, 5/12