Thursday's games began with the match up in Detroit between Jay Happ and Justin Verlander. Happ threw 7 shut out innings, before tiring in the 8th, and allowing a run on 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 7. Verlander went 9 innings, and the Tigers won in the 11th. Quintin Berry continues to make the most of his opportunities. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Berry entered the game as a pinch runner, stole second base, and scored the winning run moments later. "Q" is now 17 for 17 stealing major league bases! Anthony Gose was 0 for 4 for Toronto, but really battled in his first look at Verlander. He even smoked a line drive to center filed that Austin Jackson ran down. Gose also made the play of the game, a full out dive to snag the drive off the bat of Miguel Cabrera in the 1st inning.
In Philadelphia, the Phillies scored a run off Alfredo Simon (2-2, 2.49) in the bottom of the 11th inning, to take a 4-3 win over the Reds and split their series. Cole Hamels started for the Phillies, logging 6 innings and giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. Domonic Brown (.286) had 2 hits and scored 2 runs, and Ryan Howard (.250) had a single and 3 walks. BJ Rosenberg threw a scoreless inning in relief of Hamels.
In Reading, Darin Ruf made #33 a big one, a grand slam home run in the Phillies big 7-6 win over Erie. Darin is now 4 short of Ryan Howard's Reading record of 37. The 4 RBI gives Ruf a HomeSide leading 92 on the year. Cody Asche (.297) had a single, a double, a walk, and a home run. It was the 10th home run for Asche since moving up from Clearwater, where he hit just 2! Reading moves 1 game ahead of New Britain, who lost their 5th straight, 9-6 to New Hampshire. Mike Dubee (4-4) was the winner for the Fisher Cats, in the right place at the right time!
In Clearwater, Jesse Biddle was at it again, mowing down Daytona hitters and allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks over 7 innings in a 3-0 Threshers' win. Biddle struck out 9, and improved to 10-5, 3.10 for the year. Clearwater has won 4 in a row, and 9 of 11, and remain locked in a 4-way battle for first place.
In Lakewood, Kelly Dugan (.296) pounded 3 hits, and Willie Carmona drove in 4 runs with a double and a home run, as Lakewood rallied from 4 runs down twice for an 8-7 win over Kannapolis. Lakewood scored 5 runs in the 6th inning, using 5 consecutive doubles, which I think was a team record. Blake Mascarello (4-1, 2.20) was the winning pitcher, with 3 innings in relief of Etahan Stewart.
In Rochester, Tyler Cloyd was cruising along against the Red Wings, allowing no hits through 6 innings. However, the 7th inning saw Rochester strike for 3 runs on a single and back to back home runs to take the lead in the game. Derrick Mitchell, Mike Spidale, and Cody Overbeck all had 2 hits for Lehigh Valley. The IronPigs remain a half game behind Pawtucket, who lost to Charlotte, 2-1. Greg Golson (.273) had a single and scored 1 of the runs on a home run by Connor Jackson.
In Tacoma, Kevin Howard (.279) hit his 3rd home run of the year, and his second this week for the 51s, and singled in another run as Las Vegas beat the Rainiers, 6-1. Tuffy Gosewisch (.290) also had a hit and scored a run for Vegas............In Sacramento, Michael Taylor (.294) had 2 hits and scored a run for River Cats in their 6-3 win over Salt Lake...........Travis Mattair had 2 more hits, and 2 more RBI (79) for Bakersfield in the Blaze' 10-4 win over Inland Empire.