Hens shutout Cubs in series victory

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – The Mud Hens secured a series victory over the Iowa Cubs this evening by a score of 3-0. The game was highlighted by great pitching for Toledo with starter Mark Leiter Jr. leading the charge. Leiter Jr.’s start was one of his best of the season, posting a final line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K’s. RHP Bryan Garcia, LHP Locke St. John, and LHP Miguel Del Pozo combined for the final three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, securing the shutout. On offense, Willi Castro started the game with a leadoff homer, one of his two hits of the evening. Renato Nunez and Aderlin Rodriguez would both have key extra base hits in the contest, while JaCoby Jones also posted a multi-hit game. Despite winning four of the six games in the series, this was the first game in which the Hens totaled more hits than the Cubs.

Making his sixth start of the season for the Hens, RHP Mark Leiter Jr. faced the minimum three batters in the top of the first, assisted by an inning ending double play. The Mud Hens took an early lead in the bottom of the inning after Willi Castro led off the game with a homer to right. Renato Nunez nearly went back to back with Castro, lining a triple off the left field wall. Nunez would come into score on a Yariel Gonzalez groundout.

Working with a 2-0 lead, Leiter Jr. worked a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second. Unfortunately, the Hens would also fall in order in the bottom of the second.

It was a slightly more stressful inning for Leiter in the top of the third, surrendering a leadoff single and two out walk. Leiter Jr. would work his way out of the jam however, keeping the score 2-0 in favor of Toledo. The Hens would threaten in the bottom of the frame as Willi Castro reached on a line drive single and Renato Nunez walked, but an inning double play ended any chance of tacking on an insurance run.

Leiter Jr. pitched another quick 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, inducing three softly hit balls. The Mud Hens continued to threaten in the bottom of the inning as a Kody Clemens walk and JaCoby Jones single put two on with one out. Iowa once again navigated the threat before the Hens could capitalize, keeping the score 2-0.

Leiter Jr. continued to deal in the top of the fifth, striking out the side in his fourth 1-2-3 inning of the game. Likewise, the Hens would also be set down in order in the fifth.

RHP Bryan Garcia relieved Leiter Jr. to start the sixth, still holding onto a 2-0 lead. Garcia would give up a two out double but nothing more. Toledo got back on the board for the first time since the first inning in the bottom of the sixth, with Aderlin Rodriguez doubling in Yariel Gonzalez, who had singled in the previous at bat. Kody Clemens also reached base in the inning via a walk but ultimately remained stranded with Rodriguez.

LHP Locke St. John took over for Garcia in the top of the seventh, pitching with a 3-0 lead. St. John allowed back to back one out singles but left both runners stranded in a scoreless inning. The Mud Hens would be limited to a leadoff walk by Jacob Robson in the bottom of the inning before Iowa retired the side.

St. John returned to pitch the top of the eighth, giving up a leadoff single before getting two quick outs. LHP Miguel Del Pozo then entered the game tasked with stranding the runner and ending the inning. Del Pozo would raise the heart rate of Hens fans by give up back to back walks, loading the bases, before getting an inning ending flyout. JaCoby Jones drilled a double down the left field line in the bottom of the eighth while Christin Stewart was intentionally walked, neither would come around to score.

Del Pozo returned to pitch the top of the ninth for the Hens, throwing a 1-2-3 inning to shut the door on the Cubs.

What’s Next: The Mud Hens travel to Indianapolis next week to take on the Indians. Game one of the six game series is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

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