Prospect VerHagen tosses seven scoreless

Hessman hits 400th Minor League home run

Prospect VerHagen tosses seven scoreless

Right-hander Drew VerHagen, the Tigers' No. 12 prospect, threw seven scoreless innings and Minor League veteran Mike Hessman hit the 400th home run of his career to lead Triple-A Toledo to a 3-0 victory Tuesday at Rochester.

VerHagen struck out five batters, walked one and gave up five hits. He threw 98 pitches in seven innings, matching the longest start of his career.

After VerHagen left the game, Corey Knebel, the Tigers' No. 5 prospect, and Kevin Whelan each threw a scoreless inning to complete the shutout.

In nine starts this season, VerHagen has a 3.86 ERA. He has struck out 25 batters and walked 13 in 46 2/3 innings.

With a two-run homer in the first inning off left-hander Scott Diamond, Hessman became the sixth player to hit 400 Minor League home runs. Hector Espino holds the career record with 484.

Hessman, 36, is in his 19th Minor League season. He was selected by the Braves in the 15th round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft and hit the first home run of his career while playing in the Gulf Coast League that summer. He made his Major League debut in 2003 with the Braves and has played part of five seasons in the big leagues, most recently in 2010 with the Mets. But he has spent most of his career in the Minor Leagues, largely in the Braves and Tigers organizations.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.