MiLB Recap Blog: 'Wolves win again

Nickerson evened his record at 3-3.

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 30th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – CHARLOTTE 4, TOLEDO 2
19-30, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 4, AKRON 1
28-19, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – LAKELAND 7, PALM BEACH 6
19-22, 4th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WISCONSIN 4, WEST MICHIGAN 3
31-16, 1st in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - VSL METS 11, VSL TIGERS 3
3-9, 7th in VSL

Rookie DSL Tigers - DSL CUBS 7, DSL TIGERS 3
0-1

Dusty Ryan continued to heat up with a solo shot, and Will Rhymes and Donnie Kelly both had three hits, but that wasn't enough to overcome the Knights on Saturday. Mike Hessman and Ryan Roberson both chipped in doubles as well. Brooks Brown fell to 0-3 since being promoted from Erie, though he turned in a quality start. Brown went eight innings allowing seven hits and three runs. Freddy Dolsi worked the ninth, allowing three hits and a run.

Erie won their second straight against Akron behind three hits from Max Leon and two each from Ryan Strieby and Andy Dirks. After a rough start after being promoted to Double-A, Dirks has resurrected his batting average to a nice .303 mark. Part of Leon and Strieby's night included a double from each player. With an injury to Duane Below, Jonah Nickerson got a chance to move back into the rotation, and he appears poised to seize that opportunity. Nickerson went seven innings, allowing just one run on six hits; evening his record at 3-3 on the year. Cody Satterwhite closed the door for his sixth save of the season, with two scoreless innings.

It took extra innings to get the win, but the LFT pulled one out against the Cardinals. Jeramy Laster led the way with two hits, including his third home run of the season as he continues to slug upon returning from a knee injury. Justin Henry and Michael Bertram also chipped in two hits each, while Chris Carlson ripped his second double of the year. Thad Weber tossed 5 2/3 innings allowing three runs to get the game started. He walked one and struck out four. Brett Jacobson allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings, though none of them were earned as a result of a result of errors by Jacobson and third baseman Santo De Leon. Brendan Wise got things back out of the seventh inning after a three unearened runs crossed, and he picked up his first win with Lakeland this year. Scott Green slammed the door with a perfect tenth for his sixth save.

Brewers top prospect Brett Lawrie homered off of Victor Larez in the seventh to propel the Rattlers to a win over West Michigan. The three runs allowed by Larez in the seventh came on the heels of six stellar innings from Luke Putkonen, who allowed only one unearned run and two walks while striking out six. Jordan Lennerton doubled as part of a two-hit night while Brandon Douglas picked up two singles and scored to raise his average to .346 on the year.

Just a day after breaking out and scoring eleven runs of their own, the VSL Tigers surrendered eleven runs as they were routed by the Mets. Julio Guilarte fell to 0-2 on the season as he yielded eight runs on six hits and two walks in just 2 1/3 innings. Carlso Alvarado had a rough time of his own with five hits and two runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings, while Juan Lozano allowed another run in 2 1/3 innings. Gilbert Gomez homered in the third inning, for the only RBI of the game for the Tigers. Jesus Alvarado was the only Tiger player to collect multiple hits, with a 2-for-4 night with two singles.

In their season opener, rookie Antonio Cruz gave up four runs on four walks and just one hit in just 2/3 of an inning, to dig a hole for the Tigers. Yadier Polanco tossed three no-hit innings in the middle frames, while Edgar De La Rosa gave up two runs on four hits in one inning of work. Ariel Medina closed the door with a scoreless final frame with one strikeout. The offense only collected two hits in the game, with a single from catcher Raynolds Guzman, and a two-run single from third baseman Domingo Gonzales. Much heralded rookies Javier Azcona and Steven Moya didn't have story book starts to their career, as Azcona went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, and Moya went 0-for-1 with a walk and two runs scored.

Posted by: Mark, 5/31


May 29th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 5, CHARLOTTE 1
19-29, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 11, AKRON 8
27-19, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – GAME 1 - JUPITER 10, LAKELAND 1; GAME 2 - JUPITER 9, LAKELAND 3
18-22, t-3rd in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WISCONSIN 5, WEST MICHIGAN 3
31-15, 1st in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - VSL TIGERS 11, VSL METS 2
3-8, 7th in VSL

Donnie Kelly led the Toledo offense yet again, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI, bumping his average to a robust .340 on the year. The Brents, Clevlen and Dlugach both collected two hits as well. Danny Worth -- playing third base as he increases his versatility with an eye towards a utility job in Detroit -- picked up his fourth double of the season. After a rough first outing back in Toledo, lefty Luke French got back on track with seven shutout innings that included just one walk and six strikeouts. Casey Fien also righted his ship after a rough outing earlier this week, going two innings with two strikeouts and a run allowed to collect his fourth save of the year.

The balls were flying out of Jerry Uht Park on Friday, with Akron picking up two bombs, and Erie slugging six of their own. Beau Mills slugged both for Akron, while Scott Sizemore, Joe Tucker, Max Leon, Brennan Boesch, Mike Hollimon, and Andy Dirks all hit shots for Erie. Leon's home run was part of a three hit night, while Boesch, Hollimon, and Dirks had two hits each on the night. With all the offense behind him, Alfredo Figaro picked the right time to have a rough outing; giving up five runs in five innings as he battled his control all night. Jay Sborz threw 2 2/3 perfect innings with three strikeouts, and Josh Rainwater was touched up for three runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Michael Bertram had a double and a triple, and Jeramy Laster doubled and drove in the Flying Tigers only run of the night, as the offense really couldn't get anything going. Andrew Hess was touched up for nine hits and four runs in just four innings, and the rough nights continued from there. Lester Oliveros gave up two runs and three hits in one inning, while Chad Linder gave up four runs on six hits in three innings of relief. Even Scott Green was touched up for three hits in his lone inning, but he neglected to allow a run.

Matt Hoffman's second start in the Florida State League was a far cry from his first. After going seven shutout innings in his debut, he was pounded for twelve hits and nine runs (six earned) in just 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. Robbie Weinhardt tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts against two walks, to lower his ERA to 1.06 on the year. The offense was led by another double from Michael Bertram, along with doubles from Santo De Leon and Kody Kaiser. None of the LFT players collected more than a single hit in the contest.

Mark Sorensen dropped another start for West Michigan, falling to 0-2 since joining the club, while giving up four runs on five hits in five innings. Even with the rough outing, he still sports a solid 3.71 ERA. Anthony Shawler and Jared Gayhart combined for four innings of one-run relief work. Gustavo Nunez collected three hits to spike his average back up to .299, while Avisail Garcia, Bryan Pounds, and Brent Wyatt each picked up two hits of their own. Pounds and Wyatt both doubled as a part of their day, as did Joe Bowen, who doubled for his only hit of the game while scoring and driving in one.

The VSL Tigers offense went crazy last night, collecting 16 hits and 11 runs. Four separate players collected three hits each, led by Luis Sanz's 3-for-4 day with a double, triple, and single. Alexander Moreno and Gabriel Purroy both had 3-for-5 days with a double and run driving in, while shortstop Dixon Machado had a 3-for-4 day with two RBI. Second year starter Gino Aguirre worked five innings of two runs ball (one earned) and struck out one, while Wilfredo Ramirez picked up the win with three innings of one-hit, three strikeout ball. Yonny Mosquera closed the door with one inning of relief with one strikeout.

Posted by: Mark, 5/30


May 28th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – NORFOLK 7, TOLEDO 6
18-29, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - POSTPONED; RAIN
26-19, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – SUSPENDED; RAIN
18-20, 3rd in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 8, QUAD CITIES 0
31-14, 1st in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - GAME 1: VSL PHILLIES 10, VSL TIGERS 5 - GAME 2: VSL PHILLIES 3, VSL TIGERS 2
2-8, 7th in VSL

Norfolk just seems to have Toledo's number this year, taking Thursday's game in extra innings as their role through northern Ohio continues. Doubles from Dusty Ryan and Will Rhymes, along with singles from Jeff Frazier and Donnie Kelly pushed two runs across in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, but right-hander Ron Chiavacci couldn't hold the lead in the end. Starter Ruddy Lugo went 5 1/3 innings allowing five runs on nine hits. Dusty Ryan finished the game with four hits, including his fifth home run, and Jeff Frazier chipped in three hits. Brent Clevlen also homered in the contest. The rehabbing Marcus Thames continued to struggle, going 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.

Some fantastic defensive plays helped Casey Crosby move to 3-0 on the season with six shutout innings. Crosby had his electric stuff, but didn't have his best command, yielding four walks but striking out five along the way. The six innings of work dropped Crosby's ERA to 2.53 on the season. Erik Crichton and Tyler Conn combined for three scoreless frames to preserve the team shutout against the River Bandits. On top of a great defensive play, second baseman Brandon Douglas was a perfect 3-for-3, and only a home run short of the cycle. Ben Guez had the big blast of the day, a grand slam in the third inning; his fourth home run of the season.

In the first game of a double-header, the VSL Tigers dropped their seventh game of the year, as the pitching staff had a rough day on the mound. Yorfrank Lopez started and took the loss, giving up three runs in three innings, though only one run was earned. Carlos Alvarado gave up two more runs (one earned) in two innings of relief work, and Angel Nesbitt gave up four more runs (three earned) in his two innings on the hill. Nesbitt's ERA has now climbed to an astronomical 23.63. Dixon Machado and Alexander Moreno both picked up two hits, with one of Machado's being his first double of the season. Gabriel Purroy also doubled and scored in the game.

In a seven inning second game to the double-header, the VSL Tigers took a 2-0 lead to the bottom of the fifth on the back of another double and run scored from Gabriel Purroy, and a run driven in by Alexander Moreno. Eugenio Suarez swiped two bases in the game as well. Starter Josue Carreno pitched well through five innings, giving up just one run on seven hits without walking a batter and striking out four. He appeared in line for the win, but rookie Jose Tablante couldn't hold the lead as the Phillies scored two in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead and hold on for the victory.

Posted by: Mark, 5/29


May 27th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – TOLEDO 8, NORFOLK 6
18-28, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - HARRISBURG 6, ERIE 5
26-19, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – GAME 1: LAKELAND 9, JUPITER 3 - GAME 2: JUPITER 3, LAKELAND 0
18-20, 4th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 8, QUAD CITIES 5
30-14, 1st in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - VSL PIRATES 9, VSL TIGERS 1
2-6, 7th in VSL

The Norfolk Tide were without their premium catching prospect, as Matt Wieters was called up to the big leagues; meaning maybe Toledo pitchers would have a slightly easier time through the order. Chris Lambert managed four innings scattering seven hits and two runs to set his team up well. Clay Rapada was superb in relief with three one-hit innings that included three strikeouts. After Rapada's heroics, Freddy Dolsi did his best to give the game back, letting up four runs on five hits in just one inning, but Ron Chiavacci picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth. Donnie Kelly's tear continued with three more hits on Wednesday, while Brent Clevlen picked up three hits of his own. Brent Dlugach and Max St. Pierre both had two hits as well.

Michael Hollimon homered in his first game back from the DL, driving in two on the shot, and Alex Avila also ripped a home run in the game -- his fourth of the season. Andy Dirks continued to settle in at Double-A with two more hits last night, while Max Leon picked up two hits of his own. Jon Kibler was knocked around a bit, giving up ten hits and four runs in six innings of work, though he walked only one and struck out thre. Josh Rainwater held Harrisburg in check with 1 2/3 perfect innings of work to drop his season ERA to a shiny 1.90.

In the completion of a suspended game from Tuesday, the LFT managed to pick up the win as the finally dodged enough rain drops to get the game in. Thad Weber started on Tuesday, and had gone two hitless innings with two strikeouts, before giving way to Lauren Gagnier as the game resumed on Wednesday. Gagnier picked up the win with five innings of two-run ball and two strikeouts. Robbie Weinhardt yielded a run in an inning of work, but Brendan Wise tossed a scoreless inning to close the door. Despite the extensive layoff, the Lakeland bats were alive and well in game one. Audy Ciriaco ripped a grand slam, while Chris Carlson and Jeramy Laster both touch all four as well. Jordan Newton had three singles and a run scored, while Kody Kaiser and Michael Bertram each collected two hits.

Though Charlie Furbush was merely solid in four innings of work -- giving up three runs on five hits -- the offense went silent in game two of the twin bill. Justin Henry and Chris White collected the team's only two hits of the game; both singles.

Brandon Douglas led the way with a 3-for-5 night at the plate, while four separate players picked up two hits each. Ronnie Bourquin and Jordan Lenneton both singled and doubled, while Angel Flores and youngster Avisail Garcia both singled twice. Brandon Hamilton yielded three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, while striking out four and walking two. Victor Larez continued his stellar relief with 3 1/3 innings of two-hit ball. Though not a save situation when Tyler Stohr entered the game, he made it interesting by giving up a two-run shot in the ninth.

Dixon Machado and Jesus Alvarado were the only offensive bright spots, and it wasn't much, as both players collected just two singles in the contest. Rookie Juan Espinoza worked three innings as the starter, giving up four runs on three walks and five strikeouts. Working as his piggy-back starter, Leonel Vasquez worked three innings of his own with one hit allowed. Carlos Alvarado struggled more than Espinoza, giving up five runs with five walks and two hits in just one inning of work to let the game get out of reach.

Posted by: Mark, 5/28


May 26th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – NORFOLK 9, TOLEDO 5
17-28, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 6, HARRISBURG 3
26-18, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – POSTPONED; RAIN
17-19, 4th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - WEST MICHIGAN 8, QUAD CITIES 4
29-14, 1st in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - VSL CARDINALS 7, VSL TIGERS 5
2-5, 7th in VSL

No matter what happened in Toledo on Tuesday, Jeremy Bonderman's second Triple-A rehab start was going to be the news of the night. Bonderman threw 97 pitches (60 for strikes) over six innings. He allowed seven hits and three runs (two earned) while walking three and striking out four. His velocity still hasn't come all the way back, working routinely at 84-86, and touching 89 a few times during his start. Casey Fien had a rough night as he continues to audition for a big league job, giving up three runs on four hits in just 1/3 of an inning to take the loss. Since returning from Detroit, Wilkin Ramirez has been working in the leadoff spot as he did last night, where he went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. His lone hit on the night was a double. Will Rhymes also doubled as part of a two-hit night, and Brent Dlugach drove in two as part of his two knock evening. Marcus Thames made his rehab debut and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Two doubles a piece from Scott Sizemore and Brennan Boesch, along with a three-hit night (double, triple, and single) from Andy Dirks led the offense as Erie finally got back on a winning track. Pat Stanley was the starter for Erie as Jonah Nickerson moved to the bullpen last on Monday, and he worked five shutout innings with only two hits and two walks allowed. Stanley continues to impress in his first season in the organization. Though Ramon Garcia and Brett Jensen combined to allowed three runs in their 1 2/3 innings of work, Zach Simons and Cody Satterwhite did their part by combining for 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, with Satterwhite collecting his fifth save of the year.

Mauricio Robles put together another gem for the 'Caps, firing seven innings of three-run ball with two walks and seven whiffs. The win moved his record to 4-2 on the season. Luis Sanz finished the game with two innings of one run ball, though he did allow five hits. Brent Wyatt led the offense with a breakout 4-for-5 game and two RBI. Gustavo Nunez was 2-for-5 with his 22nd stolen base, and Brandon Douglas was 2-for-4 as the top three in the lineup combined for eight of the teams thirteen hits. Ben Guez knocked his third home run of the season, with a three run show in the first to set the tone for the night.

A four-run sixth wasn't enough to complete the comeback for the VSL Tigers, as they fell to the Cards 7-5 on Tuesday. Yorfrank Lopez started and took the loss allowing two runs in four innings of work, though he did walk just one and strikeout eight along the way. Carlos Alvarado really let the game get away as he gave up four hits and four runs in 1 2/3 innings of work. Fernando Celis continued his excellent relief work with two more perfect innings to close out the game. Jose Soledad led the offens ewith a 3-for-4 night, including his first career home run in the sixth inning. Jesus Alvarado also collected three hits, while Eugenio Suarez, Luis Sanz, and Luis Cortez each collected two knocks in the game.

Posted by: Mark, 5/27


May 25th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – NORFOLK 5, TOLEDO 2
17-27, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - AKRON 8, ERIE 1
25-18, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – OFF DAY
17-19, 4th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - KANE COUNTY 6, WEST MICHIGAN 4
28-14, 2nd in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - VSL CARDINALS 16, VSL TIGERS 4
2-4, t-5th in VSL

Starter Eddie Bonine yielded one first inning run and three more in the third to dig a 4-0 hole for the Mud Hens on Memorial Day. Led by a 3-for-4 day with a steal from the red hot Donnie Kelly, the offense tried to mount a comeback but could only muster two runs on the day. Wilkin Ramirez knocked his third triple of the year as the team's only extra-base hit. Bonine finished the day with six innings of four run ball, while walking an uncharacteristic four batters. Fu-Te Ni worked a strong 1 2/3 innings with two strikeouts at the back end of the game.

In a reversal of Sunday's score, Erie fell hard to Akron on Monday, with an 8-1 final. Just as on Sunday though, Brennan Boesch had a great game, picking up a double and a triple in three at-bats. Ryan Strieby was largely pitched around in the contest, walking three times as the Aeros decided they would force others to beat them this time around. With an error from Santo De Leon and one by himself, starter Luis Marte ended up yielding eight runs, only three of which were earned. Jonah Nickerson came on in relief of Marte, tossing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless releif with two walks and only one strikeout. The relief appearances signals a demotion for Nickerson after struggling mightily in the rotation.

Doubles from Gustavo Nunez and Billy Nowlin weren't enough as the 'Caps fell again to Kane County. Only Ben Guez and Avisail Garcia failed to collect hits, but nobody in the lineup picked up more than one knock. Luke Putkonen pitched well yet again as the starter, working five innings of two-run ball with two walks and four strikeouts. After working much of the season as a fantastic reliever for the 'Caps, Jared Gayhart allowed three runs on one hit and two walks in only an inning of work to let the game slip away. Anthony Shawler worked a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts to close the game and give his team a chance in the ninth.

The VSL Tigers brief two game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Cardinals in what turned out to be a route. Aldo Navia hit his first professional home runs in the sixth inning, and Gilbert Gomez doubled home a run in the ninth to lead the offense. Four errors by the defense let the game get out of hand after starter Julio Guilarte gave up seven runs in just two innings of work. The bullpen gave up nine runs, but only three of them were earned along the way. Juan Lozano was the best pitcher on the day for the Tigers, giving up one run in 2 1/3 innings of work while striking out three.

Posted by: Mark, 5/26


May 24th Games

AAA Toledo Mud Hens – GWINNETT 4, TOLEDO 1
17-26, 4th in West Division

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 8, AKRON 1
25-17, 2nd in Southern Division

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers – POSTPONED; RAIN
17-19, 4th in North Division

A West Michigan Whitecaps - KANE COUNTY 6, WEST MICHIGAN 5
28-14, 1st in Eastern Division

Rookie VSL Tigers - OFF DAY
2-3, t-4th in VSL

Ryan Roberson blasted a solo shot in the sixth inning of Sunday's game, but that was all the offense the Mud Hens could generate. Donnie Kelly doubled as he continued his recent hot streak, and Wilkin Ramirez swiped his 16th base of the season. Brooks Brown struggled mightily in his second Toledo start, walking five in just 5 1/3 innings, while also giving up seven hits and four runs. Case Fien and Scot Drucker -- recently moved to the bullpen -- combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The Erie offense got off to a roaring start in the first two innings, with three runs in each frame, led by a two-run shot from Brennan Boesch, and a solo shot from Ryan Strieby in the first. The home run was Strieby's league leading 12th of the season. Also going yard was shortstop Cale Iorg -- his fourth of the year -- as part of a 1-for-3 night with a walk. Boesch and Strieby both also doubled in the game, while Scott Sizemore also doubled in four trips to the plate, and Shawn Roof tripled. Duane Below earned his first Double-A win as he tossed 6 1/3 innings allowing only an unearned run while allowing two hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Josh Rainwater and Josh Kite finished the game to make sure the Seawolves picked up the win.

Leadoff hitter Gustavo Nunez was 2-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases as West Michigan jumped out to an early lead. Brent Wyatt also collected two hits including a double; his seventh of the season. Avisail Garcia remained hot with a two-run single and his third stolen base since joining the Whitecaps. Mark Sorensen turned in a quality start, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings, while striking out six. Erik Crichton couldn't hold the lead as he gave up two runs in just one inning of work, and Luis Sanz yielded the game with a run allowed in the bottom of the eighth.

Posted by: Mark, 5/25


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