Hens slug three homers to rout Redbirds, win series

Toledo Mud Hens
TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Mud Hens clubbed three home runs in a series-clinching 9-3 win over the Memphis Redbirds on Sunday at Fifth Third Field.

Kody Clemens finished 2-for-2 with a solo home run, a double and two runs, while Renato Núñez went 2-for-4 with two singles, two RBI and a pair of runs. Meanwhile, Aderlin Rodríguez and Christin Stewart both ended the afternoon 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, and Isaac Paredes was 1-for-3 with a double, a sacrifice fly and a run.

Drew Hutchison won his fifth consecutive decision, tossing five innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five. Angel De Jesus took over for an injured Jason Foley and threw 1.2 hitless innings of relief, before Robbie Ross Jr. wrapped up the contest with two shutout frames.

The Mud Hens (25-22) started the scoring with four runs on as many hits in the bottom of the opening frame. Clemens smashed a single through the right side, before Paredes doubled off the glove of center fielder Scott Hurst to put men on second and third with one out. Núñez then brought both runners home when he grounded a base hit up the middle to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Toledo doubled its advantage two batters later when Rodríguez lined a two-run homer to left to plate Núñez, whom he tied for the team lead with his 11th home run of the campaign. Six of Rodriguez’s 11 round-trippers this season have come against the Redbirds (18-30).

Memphis bounced back with a pair of runs in the top of the second stanza. John Nogowski was plunked to lead off the frame, but a poor baserunning decision on his part limited Capel to a single off the center-field wall. Hutchison retired the next two batters he faced, but Kramer Robertson doubled to right field over the head of Stewart to cut the Redbirds’ deficit in half.

The Mud Hens needed little time to add to their lead, as Clemens led off the bottom of the third inning with an opposite-field homer to left that made it a 5-2 ballgame.

Memphis manufactured another run in the top of the sixth inning. Nogowski reached on a fielder’s choice to short, and advanced to second when Conner Capel walked on four pitches. After a double steal put both runners in scoring position, Juan Yepez grounded out to short to drive in Nogowski and trim the gap to 5-3.

The Mud Hens put the game beyond any doubt with two insurance tallies in the sixth and seventh innings. After Núñez hit a long single off the left-field fence, Stewart skied a two-run homer to right-center to open up a 7-3 cushion. From there, Dylan Rosa hit a double to left that plated Yariel Gonzalez, before Paredes lifted a sacrifice fly to center deep enough to score Dustin Garneau to extend the lead to 9-3.

What’s Next:
The Mud Hens return to Fifth Third Field on Tuesday as they begin a six-game series against the Columbus Clippers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Hens Notes:
JaCoby Jones made his first professional appearance at second base, moving from center field in relief of Kody Clemens prior to the top of the fourth inning. It marks Jones’ first infield appearance at any level since playing third base for Detroit in Game 1 of a doubleheader against Minnesota on Sept. 22, 2016.
Aderlin Rodríguez slashed .289/.413/.816 with two doubles, six homers, 15 RBI, eight walks and 11 runs in 12 games against Memphis this season.
Derek Hill had his 13-game hitting streak come to an end on Sunday.
Drew Hutchison is 5-0 over his last six starts, dating back to May 29 at Louisville. He leads the Mud Hens with five wins, 50 innings pitched and 53 strikeouts, while holding opposing hitters to a .216 batting averages.
• The Mud Hens finished 7-5 over Memphis in the regular-season series, winning four out of six meetings at Fifth Third Field.

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