Leading off the top of the first inning for the Mud Hens, right fielder Daz Cameron started the inning the only way he seems to know how, with a hard hit base knock. Cameron would later be advanced all the way to third base via a groundout and flyout. A walk to the hot hitting Yariel Gonzalez would put runners at the corners, but the Hens would be unable to bring them around to score. RHP Drew Hutchison started on the mound for Toledo, looking to build off his best start of the season last Sunday. Hutchison pitched a relatively quick inning, the only blemish coming from a pitch hung over the center of the plate that was promptly lifted over the right filed wall for a home run.
Trailing 1-0 to start the top of the second, the Mud Hens were retired in order, failing to score a run to even up the game. Going back to work in the bottom of the second, Hutchison worked his way around a leadoff single, recording a scoreless inning and keeping the game within one for the Mud Hens offense.
Leading off the top of the third, shortstop Cole Peterson drilled a standup triple into the right field corner. Capitalizing on the RBI opportunity, Daz Cameron hit into a sacrifice groundout that allowed Peterson to score. Now tied 1-1, Hutchison continued to deal in the bottom half of the inning, pitching a 1-2-3 third inning.
Continuing the theme of leadoff men doing offensive damage in today’s game, Yariel Gonzalez sent a solo blast way over the right field wall to start the top of the fourth. The blast was Gonzalez’s sixth of year, a team leading mark. Hutchison, who was quickly settling into yet another quality start, came out to pitch the bottom of the fourth, this time with his first lead of the game. The lead would not last long however, as a leadoff single came back to haunt the righty on an RBI double.
Tied once more at 2-2, catcher Juan Centeno sent a deep fly ball to right for a double to lead off the fifth inning. A groundout advanced Cento to third, putting him in scoring position for the red hot Daz Cameron. Cameron wasted little time before sending a ground rule double to right, scoring Centeno and giving the Hens back the lead, 3-2. A wild pitch and a walk to second baseman Isaac Paredes put runners at the corners for the Hens but they would have to settle for just the one as the Bats wiggled their way out of a jam. Hutchison continued to pitch will in the bottom of the fifth, preventing the Bats from scoring and protecting the one run Toledo lead.
Looking to add to their lead in the top of the sixth, all the offense the Mud Hens could muster was an infield single courtesy of center fielder Derek Hill, extending his hit streak to ten games. Hutchison came out to start the bottom of the sixth, retiring the first batter he faced before a walk ended his outing. LHP Ian Krol came on in relief and immediately dialed up a double play to quickly end the inning.
Still leading 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Daz Cameron recorded his third hit of the game, this time a single to center. A fielding error by Louisville allowed Isaac Paredes to reach, scoring Cameron and extending the Mud Hens lead 4-2. Krol returned to the mound for the bottom of the seventh and continued to work efficiently, pitching a 1-2-3 inning.
Leading 4-2 in the top of the eighth, the Mud Hens offense would be limited to a Juan Centeno single before the Bats retired the side. Entering the game in the bottom of the eighth, was RHP Alex Lange who had to work himself out of trouble early after giving up a leadoff triple. A wild pitch would bring the runner in to score, making it a one run game at 4-3. The threat continued after a walk and single ended Lange’s night. LHP Robbie Ross Jr. then entered the game tasked with getting the elusive final out. Ross Jr. would do just that, only needing one pitch, as Toledo clung to their one run lead heading into the ninth.
Looking to give their closer a little more breathing room, the Mud Hens went into the top of the ninth looking for some insurance runs. Isaac Paredes would single in the inning but that was all the Hens could garner. Robbie Ross Jr. would return to the mound in the bottom of the ninth looking to put the finishing touches on a Mud Hens win. Ross Jr. would do just that, with special assistance on an over the shoulder web gem by shortstop Cole Peterson.
What’s Next: The Toledo Mud Hens take on the Louisville Bats tomorrow in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.