TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Mud Hens walked off the Columbus Clippers in the series finale at Fifth Third Field on Sunday night, 5-4.
Right-hander Pedro Payano made his fourth start of the season for the Mud Hens. He also pitched Tuesday against the Clippers, throwing 5.1 innings of three-run ball en route to earning his first win of the season.
After Payano retired the side in order, the Mud Hens offense got to work. Isaac Paredes drew a one-out walk. After Triston McKenzie’s second strikeout of the inning, Renato Nunez torched a ball that hit the top of the scoreboard in left field, giving Toledo a 2-0 lead.
Back-to-back hits from the Clippers in the second put guys at second and third with no outs. Payano nearly pitched out of the jam, striking out the next two hitters, but catcher Gavin Collins poked a ground ball to left that scored a pair and tied the game.
In the bottom of the second, the Hens regained their lead. After McKenzie fell behind 3-0 to Aderlin Rodriguez, he grooved a fastball down broadway and Rodriguez did not miss it, sending it over the left field wall on a line.
It appeared as if Payano was on pace to throw his third straight scoreless inning; however, with two outs in the fifth, he found himself in trouble. Nolan Jones’ single was followed by a walk issued to Gabriel Arias. Trenton Brooks then smacked a double to center field that scored both runners and put Columbus in front, 4-3.
Left-hander Locke St. John entered in the sixth to pitch for the Mud Hens. He struggled a bit with his control, walking two and allowing a hit to load the bases. After working ahead of Jones, St. John induced a ground out to first base to escape the threat unharmed. His seventh inning was much smoother, a 1-2-3 inning that featured two punch outs as the Hens stayed within one.
Righty Nolan Blackwood was called on to handle the eighth and did so successfully. He allowed a hit and a walk, but ultimately kept it a one-run game despite the Clippers’ attempt to score an insurance run or two.
The Mud Hens scored three runs in the first two innings, but were then kept off the board from the third through the eighth inning. As they came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, they needed one to tie and two to win. Stewart was hit by a pitch to start the inning. That brought JaCoby Jones to the plate as the potential game-winning run. On a 2-0 fastball, Jones smoked a ball to right field that left the yard and won the game for the Mud Hens, 5-4.
The Toledo Mud Hens are visiting the Omaha Storm Chasers on Tuesday night at Werner Park with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
- Lefty Locke St. John has not allowed an earned run in his last five appearances, a 15.1 inning scoreless streak. He owns a 1.55 ERA this season.
- Infielder Aderlin Rodriguez homered for the second straight game. He also singled, making this his 15th two-hit game of the season, a team-high.
- Prior to JaCoby Jones’ walk-off home run tonight, Steven Moya in 2016 was the last player to hit a walk-off home run for the Mud Hens.