Hill homers twice in victory

Toledo Mud Hens
PAPILLION, Nebraska – The Toledo Mud Hens rode some major offensive firepower to victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers at Werner Park on Thursday night, winning 12-5.

The Mud Hens got started as quickly as humanly possible with Derek Hill swinging at the first pitch of the game, hammering it over the left field wall for a lead-off home run.

Lefty Derek Holland served as the opener and was successful, throwing a ten-pitch scoreless first inning. Righty Jason Foley then came on to relieve Holland. He allowed a walk and a single, but a double play ball allowed him to wiggle out of the inning without Omaha scoring.

As the top of the third inning rolled around, Yariel Gonzalez, hitting right-handed against the southpaw, smacked a ball to left field that left the yard. He now has homered twice in this series and three times since Saturday. The Hens wouldn’t stop there though. Paredes doubled, Nunez walked, and Klemens walked to load them. Jones hit a hard ball into the six hole that was fielded by the shortstop, but he had no play and that made it 3-0 Hens. Robson then came through with a two-run single. The rally continued as Dustin Garneau doubled to left to score another and the Hens had blown it open in the third, leading 6-0. With runners still on second and third and one out, Hill delivered a sac fly. Gonzalez, in his second at-bat of the inning, rifled a ball to third that Gabriel Cancel got his glove on, but could not squeeze and was ruled an RBI single.

With an eight-run lead, righty Nolan Blackwood entered the game in the third as the third pitcher of the night for Toledo. He too walked a batter and yielded a base hit, but once again the Mud Hens twisted a double play, this time one of the inning-ending variety.

Blackwood exited after three innings of work, allowing one hit and no runs while walking one and striking out two in all. Right-hander Henry Martinez worked the sixth inning. After the Mud Hens pitching staff shutout the Storm Chasers on Wednesday and for the first five innings of Thursday, they finally broke through. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and Ryan McBroom delivered an RBI single to put Omaha on the board. A wild pitch credited the Chasers with another run and also moved the other two runners into scoring position. Kyle Isbel then singled to center to plate the pair of runners, making it an 8-4 game. That knocked Martinez out of the game and Wladimir Pinto replaced him, still with only one out in the inning. With Isbel running, the batter swung and hit a fly ball to right field that Robson caught and was able to throw to first in time to double him up to end the inning.

Pinto returned for the seventh inning and quickly retired two batters before loading the bases on two walks and one single. A lineout to Hill in center ended the threat with the Hens still leading by four.

After the Hens offense was quieted for a few innings, they got back to work in the eighth. Derek Hill blasted his second home run of the night, this time a two-run blast. Two batters later, Isaac Paredes smoked one to left field that left the yard, making it 12-4 Toledo.

After 2.2 innings of work from Pinto, lefty Robbie Ross Jr. came on in the ninth to seal the deal. He allowed one run on three hits, but the Hens cruised to a 12-5 win.

What’s Next:

The Toledo Mud Hens and Omaha Storm Chasers meet again Friday night at 8:05 p.m. at Werner Park.

Hens Notes:

  • INF Yariel Gonzalez has homered in back-to-back games.
  • Eight different Hens scored runs in the game.
  • Stretching from Wednesday into Thursday, the Mud Hens threw 14 consecutive scoreless innings, a streak that was snapped in the sixth of today’s game.
  • OF Derek Hill recorded his first multi-homer game of the season.

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