Clemens extends hit streak to six in loss

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – The Mud Hens dropped game three of a six game series with Columbus tonight, falling by a score of 8-2. The Mud Hens offense struggled to capitalize with runners on base tonight, leaving nine aboard, as an early Clippers lead proved too much to overcome. Noteworthy offensive performers from the game were Jacoby Jones and Renato Nunez, who both collected two hits apiece, one of Jones’ being the Hens only homer. Kody Clemens also extended his hitting streak to six consecutive games. RHP Pedro Payano was on pace for a quality start in his first extended action with the Hens before loading the bases in the fifth. As the runners came in to score it skewed what could have been an impressive stat line.

JaCoby Jones led off the game with a splash, launching a solo shot to deep left center field. It seemed the like Mud Hens were going to break the game open right then and there as three consecutive walks to Jacob Robson, Grayson Greiner, and Isaac Paredes loaded the bases with nobody out. Cleveland top prospect Triston McKenzie then settled in and struck out the next three batters and limited the damage to just the one run. Leading 1-0 Pedro Payano made his first start of the season for the Hens, taking the mound in the bottom of the first. Unfortunately, the lead would not last long as the Clippers came out swinging for the fences, recording a leadoff double followed by back to homers, creating a 3-1 deficit.

McKenzie picked up where he left off in the top of the second, retiring the Hens in order. Matching his counterpart, Payano also bounced back in the seconding inning, retiring Columbus in order to end the frame.

Grayson Greiner worked his second walk of the game in the top of the third, but McKenzie would work around the baserunner and end the inning before Greiner could come around to score. Payano got into a little bit of hot water in the bottom of third, surrendering a double and a walk, but was ultimately able to work out of the jam without giving up a run.

After breaking into the Clippers bullpen in the top of the fourth, largely thanks to a high pitch first inning for McKenzie, Kody Clemens extended his hitting streak to six straight with a leadoff single. Clemens would later be caught stealing however, as Columbus recorded another scoreless inning. Payano recorded his second 1-2-3 inning of the game in the bottom of the fourth, keeping the contest within two for the Hens lineup.

The Mud Hens would threaten early in the top of the fifth with JaCoby Jones recording his second hit of game and Jacob Robson reaching on walk but wouldn’t be able to scratch a run across. A leadoff single and back to back walks would end Payano’s outing in the bottom of the fifth as RHP Gerson Moreno came out of the bullpen looking for the final two outs in his Triple-A debut. Moreno’s debut could’ve been better as he walked in a run before giving up back to back singles that drove in three. Moreno finally recorded his first out on a sacrifice fly that extended the Clippers lead to 8-1. Moreno proceeded to reload the bases with back to back walks before a strikeout ended the frame.

Suddenly trailing by a whole touchdown after watching the Clipper plate five runs, Renato Nunez extended his hitting streak to four games with a single to right field before a Cole Peterson triple drove him in. Zack Short worked a walk to put runners at the corners, but the Hens would have to settle for one as Columbus limited the damage. Returning to pitch the bottom of the sixth after a rough fifth inning, Moreno would work around a leadoff walk by promptly striking out the side, keeping the score 8-2 in favor of Columbus.

The Mud Hens offense would be limited to a single by Grayson Greiner in the top of the seventh but would still be set down in order as Greiner was called out trying to stretch the single into a double. RHP Nolan Blackwood came into pitch the bottom half of the inning for the Hens, throwing a stress free inning, allowing only a lone walk.

Renato Nunez would secure his second hit of the night in the top of the eighth, sending a line drive into right field. That would be all the offense the Mud Hens would muster however, as the game went into the bottom of the eighth. LHP Miguel Del Pozo came on to pitch the bottom of the frame where the first two batters would reach before Del Pozo settled in and closed out the inning without surrendering a run.

The Mud Hens would be retired in order in the top of the ninth, resulting in 8-2 defeat to the Columbus Clippers.

What’s Next: The Mud Hens take on the Clippers again tomorrow in game four of a six game series. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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