*** Detroit Tigers Minor League Report - April 26th *** From The Sports Network
TOLEDO MUD HENS - Marcus Thames went 4-for-5 with three home runs, a double, five runs batted in, and three runs scored as he and his Mud Hens teammates secured the 9-5 win over the Louisville Bats in International League play on Sunday. Thames hit solo shots in the third and eighth innings, then belted a two run bomb in the ninth to help cement the win and provide pitcher John Ennis with his second victory of the campaign. Thames now leads the team in home runs with five and is batting .274. Ennis is currently 2-2 on the young season, but has given up 16 runs, 11 of those earned, while striking out only 10. Perhaps the most impressive arm on the staff, at least to this point in the season, has to be righthander Pat Ahearne, who is 2-0 with a 2.54 ERA and a team-high 22 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings of work. Now with two straight wins after suffering through a four-game slide the third-place team in the West Division has four straight against Columbus next on the docket.
ERIE SEAWOLVES - Just when the SeaWolves were beginning to get their sea legs, a postponed game against New Hampshire on Sunday slowed their momentum. With three straight coming up at home against New Britain this week Erie, which has won two straight and five of the last six games, knows that first place in the Southern Division of the Eastern League is just a game out of reach. However, a couple more poorly played games and the SeaWolves could easily find themselves at the bottom of a division where every team is separated by no more than a game and a half entering play on Monday. At the moment, outfielder Kurt Airoso is perhaps the only offensive threat that opposing teams are having to key on, with three home runs and 10 RBI, but he's also one of 10 players on the roster already with double-digit strikeouts. Airoso has had 10 official plate appearances in the last three games, striking out four times.
LAKELAND TIGERS - Five runs over the first four innings against Dunedin on Sunday proved to be more than enough for the Tigers as they captured their third straight win with a 6-2 decision at home. The victory was the sixth in the last seven outings for the team which is now 8-9 on the season and fifth in the West Division of the Florida State League as a result. Lakeland looked a bit sloppy in the field at times with four errors, but players like outfielder Victor Mendez made it all go away as he belted the only home run of the game and finished with a pair of hits. Outfielder David Mattle added a couple of RBI on three hits, as did infielder Anderson Hernandez who also scored a couple runs in the process.
WEST MICHIGAN WHITECAPS - Over the last week or so the wins have been few and far between for the Whitecaps, but on Sunday they put an end to yet another three-game slide with a 7-3 victory against Battle Creek thanks to a trio of home runs. Infielders Kelly Hunt and Kody Kirkland each knocked one out of the park, accounting for five of the team's seven runs, while outfielder Luis Sabino offset his three strikeouts (the team had a total of 11), with a bomb of his own. Despite the spontaneous offense though, West Michigan is still in a three-way tie for last place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League at just 7-10. Hunt, a .273 hitter, remains the only player on the team with double-figure RBI with 13, although five of those came in a single game against Battle Creek just over a week ago.