TOLEDO, Ohio – Christin Stewart and Renato Núñez each tripled in the closing stages, while Ricardo Pinto tossed a season-high seven shutout innings as the Toledo Mud Hens held off the Columbus Clippers by a 4-2 count on Thursday at Fifth Third Field.
Winners in four straight, the Mud Hens (28-22) have triumphed in seven of their last eight home games against the Clippers (23-27), and 16 of their last 20 overall in the Glass City dating back to May 19. The result also marks Tom Prince’s 500th career win as a MiLB manager.
Pinto tallied his third win in four Triple-A starts this year, recording a season-best seven strikeouts, while scattering three hits and a pair of walks. Angel De Jesus retired Columbus in order in the top of the eighth, and withstood a late rally to complete the six-out save.
The Mud Hens left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth frame, but eventually broke the scoreless tie in the home half of the seventh. One night after hitting an inside-the-park home run off the center-field wall, Stewart sent a leadoff, stand-up triple toward the gap in right-center before being lifted for pinch-runner Cole Peterson. Three batters later, Yariel Gonzalez grounded out to third to bring home Peterson and stake the hosts to a 1-0 lead.
After making a terrific diving catch in right field to prevent extra bases in the top of the eighth, Dylan Rosa led off the bottom of the same inning with a double into the right-field corner, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With runners on the corners and one out, Núñez made it a 3-0 ballgame when he smashed a triple into center that plated Rosa and Isaac Paredes. Peterson then lifted a sacrifice fly to center that was deep enough to drive in Núñez and extend the lead to 4-0.
The Clippers mounted a late comeback bid, as Gabriel Arias and Ryan Lavarnway each recorded a two-out RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2. However, De Jesus recovered and forced Trenton Brooks to pop out to third, ending the contest.
The Mud Hens look for their fifth consecutive victory as they resume their series against the Clippers on Friday at Fifth Third Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
• With a two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth inning, Renato Núñez extended his hitting streak to seven consecutive games.
• The Mud Hens lead the Triple-A East with 18 triples.
• Renato Núñez recorded his eight multi-RBI game of the season.
• Former Toledo outfielder Anthony Gose was tagged with the loss for Columbus, surrendering one earned run on a hit and a walk during the bottom of the seventh stanza.