THE SERIES …. After a seven-game home stand, Lakeland will have Monday, Aug. 6 off and then hit the road for six games starting with a three-game set at Daytona on Aug. 7-9. All three games are 7:05 pm starts and all games will be available on the internet at www.daytonacubs.com.
THE FLYING TIGERS (24-19 second half, 2nd, 1.5 GB, 60-48 overall) … Lakeland pulled out a 4-3, 10-inning win over Clearwater on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the Threshers. The win is Lakeland’s fifth in a row and propels the team into second place in the North Division, 1.5 games behind Tampa. Tyler Collins is tenth in the Florida State League with a .299 average, second with 30 doubles and fifth with 118 hits. Luis Angel Sanz has moved into the top ten in the FSL rankings with a 3.54 ERA to place eighth and is tied for second with nine wins. Lakeland is second in the FSL with a .265 team batting average.
THE CUBS (20-24 second half, 6th, 6.0 GB, 50-62 overall) … Daytona lost 4-2 at Dunedin on Sunday, falling for the third straight time after posting five consecutive wins. Rubi Silva and Arismendy Alcantara rank sixth and seventh in the FSL, respectively, with .303 and .302 batting averages. Silva is tied for first with 11 triples and is third with 123 hits. John Andreoli has six more stolen bases (44) than any other FSL player and ranks third with a .394 on-base percentage. Austin Kirk is second in the league with a 3.20 ERA to go with his 6-3 record. Matt Loosen is fifth with a 3.33 ERA while sitting atop the standings with 10 wins. His 96 strikeouts is fifth most in the league while his .190 opponents batting average is lowest of any FSL starter. Daytona leads the FSL with a .266 team batting average.
LAKELAND PROBABLE STARTERS …
8/07 – RHP Cesar Carrillo (0-0, 5.40 ERA) … Carrillo joined Lakeland from AA Erie on July 30. His first appearance came on Aug. 1 when he came on to start the second inning for Al Aburquerque who was on a MLB rehab assignment. Carrillo worked 5.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Originally a first-round pick of the Padres in 2005, he made his major league debut for San Diego on Aug. 13, 2009. Carrillo signed with Detroit on June 12, 2012.
8/08 – LHP Alex Burgos (8-10, 5.32 ERA) … Burgos shutout Bradenton for 6.2 innings on his last start on Aug. 2 to win his eighth game of the year. Holding the Pirates to six hits, he struck out two and walked three. In his two starts prior to the Bradenton game, Burgos had allowed a total of 14 earned run on 13 hits with nine walks. Burgos is 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA vs. Daytona this season.
8/09 – LHP Drew VerHagen (0-2, 2.63 ERA) … VerHagen will be looking for his first win as a Flying Tiger. Since joining Lakeland on July 17, he lost his first two starts and did not factor into the decision in his last two. In his last outing on Aug. 3 against Clearwater, VerHagen came on in the first inning in relief of Drew Schlereth, who started the game as part of the MLB rehab assignment. VerHagen struck out five in that outing allowing one unearned on two hits in 3.2 innings.THIS YEAR … Lakeland has won eight of the previous 12 meetings this season and won two out of three in each of the four previous series. Tyler Collins has 15 hits in the series with a .375 average. He has hit three doubles, two triples and a pair of homers to drive in a team-high 12 runs. James Robbins also has 15 hits with three home runs and eight RBI. Robbins has scored 10 runs, but has struck out 14 times in the series. Rubi Silva has a series-high 16 hits for Daytona for a .356 average with three triples and 12 runs batted in.
INSIDE THE CUBS ROSTER … Daytona has added 19-year old Javier Baez to their roster and the former 2011 first-round pick (9th overall) will make his home debit on Aug. 7. Baez was hitting .333 with 12 homers, 22 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 57 games for Peoria, the Cub’s low-A affiliate. Austin Kirk was named to the 2012 Florida State League All-Star team while Ryan Searle, who is from Brisbane, Australia, was named to the FSL All-Star team in 2009. Five members of the Cubs were originally drafted by teams other than Chicago.
LOADED TEAM … Daytona catcher Micah Gibbs, former Daytona second baseman DJ LeMahieu, former Dunedin Blue Jay second baseman, Ryan Schmipf, and former Charlotte Stone Crab infielder Mikie Mahtook, along with former Lakeland Flying Tigers pitchers Charlie Furbush and Nolan Cain all played for the 2009 Louisiana State University baseball team. With all that talent, it is no surprise that LSU team won the NCAA College World Series that season.
HO-HUM, ANOTHER GAME, ANOTHER WALK-OFF … Lakeland had played 43 home games this season before winning one with a walk-off hit. In the last seven games, the Flying Tigers have won three times with such a hit. Marcus Lemon delivered a game-winning hit in the bottom of the tenth on July 30 against Bradenton while Dean Green duplicated the feat two nights later, also against the Marauders. On Sunday, Wade Gaynor delivered the knock-out blow in the bottom of the tenth against Clearwater.
MARVELOUS MARCUS … Marcus Lemon enters this series with a seven-game hit streak in which he is 16×35 (.457). In his last six games, he is an amazing 14×26 (.538) with eight runs scored. On Saturday, he scored a run and drove in two while on Sunday he scored twice and drove in a third run. Lemon has not struck out in his last 36 at bats.
TERRIFIC TYLER … Tyler Collins has hits in each of the last five games, totaling 10 base knocks in 20 at bats for a .500 clip. He has scored four times and driven in seven runs.
HE-MAN HERNAN … Hernan Perez has hits in four of his last five games and is 9×18 (.500) during those five games.
CLARK CONTINUES TO ROLL … Tyler Clark has not been scored upon in his last 17 outings and just once in his last 26 appearances. Since moving into the closer role, Clark has a 2-1 record and is 8-for-8 in save opportunities.
MIGHTY CROUSE … Matt Crouse has allowed just two runs (both in the same game) in his last eight appearances out of the pen with seven strikeouts and just one walk. He is 2-0 with a save in those eight games.
LUCKY LUIS … To say Luis Angel Sanz is dominant at home is an understatement. Sanz is a perfect 7-0 at home this season with a 2.89 ERA and has the most home wins for a Lakeland pitcher since Jonah Nickerson finished the 2008 season with a 7-1 home mark. Kevin Ardoin and Jeff Hahn were both 7-2 at home for the 2006 Lakeland club.
MLB REHAB … Joining the Flying Tigers on a MLB rehab assignment is Detroit Tiger reliever Daniel Schlereth, who is working his way back from left shoulder tendinitis.
POST NICK ERA … The talk of the Detroit organization is Nick Castellanos, who began the season in Lakeland. With Castellanos playing third base, the Flying Tigers were 28-27 with a .266 team batting average. Since his promotion to AA Erie, the Flying Tigers have a 32-21 record and a .263 batting average.
WINNINGEST ACTIVE MANAGER … Manager Dave Huppert, who was just named to the Florida State League Hall of Fame, recorded his 1,700th victory as a minor league manager on Sunday, June 3 when the Flying Tigers posted an 11-1 win at Jupiter. He is in his second season with Lakeland and his 24th season as a minor league manager. Huppert, who became the winningest active manager in the minor leagues with Lakeland’s sixth win on April 19 of this year, brings a 1,732-1,583 record into the Daytona series.