The Tigers #3 prospect, Matt Manning, started on the mound for the Mud Hens. He looked sharp early, recording three strikeouts in the first two innings. A lack of feel for his curveball and some command issues would come around to hurt him as the game progressed.
Jamie Westbrook started the third inning with a base hit. Manning proceeded to retire the next two batters, but a two-out walk put two on with two outs for Dustin Peterson. Peterson hit an opposite field shot that gave the Sounds a 3-0 lead.
A solo home run from Mario Feliciano in the fourth extended the Sounds lead to four. This time, the Mud Hens responded though. A Nomar Mazara blast to center started the scoring, followed by another solo shot from Renato Nunez. Kody Clemens then tripled and hustled home on a wild pitch to cut the Sounds lead to 4-3.
The long ball once again plagued Matt Manning though in the fifth when Derek Fisher tagged him for one to right-center, giving the Sounds an insurance run. Manning’s final line would be five innings, six hits, five runs, one walk, and six strikeouts.
After tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, Sounds reliever Clayton Andrews came back out for the sixth, but did not find the same result. Kody Clemens started the action with a single to center. Eric Haase then came through with an RBI double to the right-center gap and the Tigers were once again within one. A walk to Jake Rogers put men on first and second with only one out. Christin Stewart answered the call with a moonshot home run to right field, giving Toledo a 7-5 lead. Consecutive walks to Short and Mazara forced Nashville to go back to the bullpen. The Sounds appeared to be out of the inning, but an error from shortstop Dee Strange-Gordon allowed Short to score, extending the Toledo lead to three.
After replacing Manning, Erasmo Ramirez threw two scoreless relief innings for the Mud Hens. Jason Foley came on for the eighth and sent the Sounds down in order. Joe Jimenez came in for the save in the ninth and after allowing one run, closed it out for an 8-6 Mud Hens victory to open the season.
Toledo and Nashville matchup for the second game of the series tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. at Fifth Third Field.