Hens rally comes up short in back and forth game

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – The Mud Hens lost a back and forth game with the Clippers tonight, falling by a score of 7-5. After giving up and lead and then coming back to tie it in a game of cat and mouse that lasted most of the evening, the Hens rally ultimately came up just short. Offensively, Aderlin Rodriguez launched his eighth homer of the season while Christin Stewart stole home. New roster additions Erasmo Ramirez and Henry Martinez both pitched well out of the bullpen in the contest.

Continuing the theme from last night’s game, the Mud Hens got runners on base early in the first inning courtesy of a Jacob Robson double and Isaac Paredes walk, but were unable to bring either around to score. RHP Mark Leiter Jr. took the mound for the Hens in the bottom of the first, making his 2021 Triple-A debut. A pair of early walks came back to haunt Leiter as a to homer left center field quickly made it 3-0 in favor of the Clippers.

The Mud Hens were retired in order to start the second inning, unable to get a man on base. Matching zeroes, Leiter returned to mound and threw a 1-2-3 inning for the Hens.

The Hens went quickly again the top of the third as the Clippers recorded their second consecutive 1-2-3 inning. A leadoff double came back to bite Leiter in the bottom of the third as a two out RBI single extended the Columbus lead to 4-0.

Looking to jump start the offense, Jacob Robson led off the fourth inning with a walk followed by a sharply hit Isaac Paredes single. With two on and nobody out the Mud Hens were in business. Aderlin Rodriguez wouldn’t squander the opportunity, hitting an absolute missile to left field that cut the Clippers lead to one. With new life breathed into the game, Leiter returned to the mound and quickly retired the Clippers in order.

With momentum on their side, Christin Stewart led off the top of the fifth with a walk, quickly followed by a Zack Short single. With two on and nobody out for the second straight inning, the Hens found a way to scratch across the tying run with a little small ball. A double steal with Short successfully grabbing second, and garnering a throw, allowed Stewart to easily swipe home and tie the game at four apiece. RHP Erasmo Ramirez entered the game in relief of Leiter in the bottom of the fifth, retiring the Clippers in order in a quick outing.

The Mud Hens had their leadoff man reach for the third consecutive inning to start the sixth as Renato Nunez missed a homer by near feet, instead cruising into second with a double. A sacrifice fly and error by the Clippers defense put Nunez and Aderlin Rodriguez at the corners before the Columbus bullpen successfully navigated the threat. LHP Robbie Ross Jr. entered the game after Ramirez recorded the inning’s first out. Ross struggled in his appearance, immediately giving up a homer and single before escaping the jam and recording the final two outs.

Trailing 5-4, the top of the seventh inning was a busy one for the Hens as they capitalized on the Clippers bullpen’s struggle to find the strike zone. Zack Short led off with a walk followed shortly by a Jacob Robson walk. A fielder’s choice would swap Robson for Isaac Paredes at first. Renato Nunez then reached base for the second consecutive inning, loading the bases. A wild pitch then allowed to Short to score, tying the game, 5-5. A Kody Clemens walk reloaded the bases but the Hens would have to settle for just the one as the Columbus bullpen finally ended the inning. Ross Jr. returned to pitch the bottom of the seventh and continued to struggle, surrendering a leadoff single that came around to score on a two run homer.

Finding themselves trailing 7-5 after seemingly just tying the game, the Hens would be limited to a two out walk to Zack Short in the top of the eighth. RHP Henry Martinez took over for Ross Jr. in the bottom of the inning, putting forth a 1-2-3 inning as the game went to the ninth.

With their backs to the wall, the Mud Hens threatened early with Jacob Robson reaching on a walk. A double play and groundout ended the inning however as the Hens lost by a score of 7-5.

What’s Next: The Mud Hens take on the Columbus Clippers yet again tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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