Homers propel Hens to win over Redbirds

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – The Mud Hens blasted their way to victory tonight, smashing four home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Memphis Redbirds. All seven runs came via the longball as Zack Short, Aderlin Rodriguez, Yariel Gonzalez, and Dustin Garneau all went yard. Lost in the fire works show, the Mud Hens pitching staff put forth a valiant effort as starter Mark Leiter Jr. logged four innings of one run ball while the bullpen combined for an additional five innings of one run ball.

RHP Mark Leiter Jr. made his second start of the season for the Hens after being transferred from the Erie Seawolves last week. Leiter Jr. worked his way around a leadoff double in the top of the first enroute to a scoreless inning. The Mud Hens opened up the game in a big way in the bottom of the first, with Zack Short leading off the game with a no doubter to left field. Action on the basepaths continued with a Renato Nunez single, although he would later be replaced by Kody Clemens after he hit into a fielder’s choice. JaCoby Jones then walked, putting two on with two out. Aderlin Rodriguez continued the slug-fest for Toledo with a mammoth homer to left center field, scoring Clemens and Jones.

Leiter Jr. continued to pitch well in the top of the second, recording a 1-2-3 inning. Unfortunately, the Hens would also be retired in order in the bottom of the frame.

Leiter Jr. worked out of trouble once again in the top of the third after surrendering a leadoff walk followed by a single. The Hens righty dialed up a clutch strikeout followed by an inning ending double play. The Mud Hens would fall in order in the bottom of the third despite making some hard contact.

Leiter Jr. surrendered his first run of the game in the top of the fourth on a solo shot to right but would limit the damage to just one run after yet another inning ending double play. Still leading 4-1, the Mud Hens offense would be limited to a two out Yariel Gonzalez walk in the bottom of the fourth before Memphis closed out the inning.

RHP Angel De Jesus entered the game out of the bullpen to start the fifth for Toledo, closing the book on Leiter Jr.’s start. Leiter Jr.’s final stat line was 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 3 K’s. De Jesus struggled in his appearance as the first three batters he faced successfully reached base, loading the bases. Amazingly, De Jesus escaped the inning only giving up one run on a fielder’s choice, reducing the Hens lead to 4-2. Still struggling to score runs after the big first inning, the Mud Hens would be retired in order in the bottom of the fifth.

LHP Drew Carlton came onto the scene in the top of the sixth, relieving De Jesus. Carlton pitched a scoreless inning, the only baserunner coming via a scorched infield single. The Mud Hens finally broke into the Redbirds bullpen in the bottom of the sixth but would be limited to a single by Kody Clemens before Memphis ended the inning.

RHP Henry Martinez took over for Carlton in the seventh, having to work out of a jam early after the first two batter reached on an error and a walk. Martinez buckled down and was able to end the threat and keep the score at 4-2 in favor of Toledo. Yariel Gonzalez apparently wasn’t content with a 4-2 score however as he blasted a solo shot to left, extending the Hens lead to 5-2. A walk to Dylan Rosa kept the line moving for Toledo as Dustin Garneau stepped up to the plate and promptly launched a two run rocket to left center field. The blast was the Hens fourth of the night and extended the lead to 7-2.

LHP Robbie Ross Jr. came into the game in the eighth, replacing Carlton. The lefty would hit a batter and give up a single but ultimately recorded a scoreless outing. The Hens got two baserunners in the bottom of the eighth via walks to Kody Clemens and Aderlin Rodriguez but would not be able to plate either before heading to the ninth.

RHP Wladimir Pinto entered the game in the top of the ninth as the Hens looked to secure their 23rd victory of the season. Pinto would do just that, pitching a 1-2-3 inning and toping off a complete win for the club.

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

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