Hens unable to complete comeback in wild game

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – It was a back and forth game between the Toledo Mud Hens and Indianapolis Indians that ultimately didn’t go the Hens way, falling by a score of 12-11. After taking an early 3-0 lead in the first, Indy roared back with nine unanswered runs. The Mud Hens then scored eight unanswered of their own before Indy tied the game in the eighth, eventually forcing extra innings. Once in extra’s the Hens were unable to quelch the Indians comeback bid. There were several noteworthy offensive performances in the game with Willi Castro and Aderlin Rodriguez both having three hit games. Jacob Robson, Renato Nunez, and Christin Stewart would also record multi-hit games. Reliever Drew Carlton was likely the best defensive player of the game, stopping the metaphorical bleeding as he ended the Indians stretch of nine unanswered runs with four quality innings of work.

The Mud Hens got out to an early lead in the top of the first with Willi Castro leading off the game with a double to center field. A single by Jacob Robson put two on with nobody out. A double play ball would allow Castro to score, giving the Hens an early 1-0 lead. The Hens weren’t done there however, as a Kody Clemens double down the left field line continued the scoring threat with Aderlin Rodriguez at the plate. Rodriguez would send a massive homer to right, extending the lead to 3-0. Unfortunately for Toledo, that lead would not last long as starter Ricardo Pinto had a very rough outing. After getting the leadoff man out, Pinto would allow the next seven consecutive batters to reach base, four of them on extra base hits. What was once a safe 3-0 lead quickly became a 5-3 deficit with the Indians now leading.

The rapid momentum shift continued into the top of the second as the Hens were quickly retired in order to start the second. Meanwhile in the bottom half of the second, things continued to go wrong for starter Ricardo Pinto. A leadoff single followed by a balk and a homer allowed the Indians to increase their lead to 7-3. A solo homer later in the inning continued the Indianapolis hit parade as the Hens saw the deficit increase to 8-3. After giving up the 10th hit of the game in the form of the single, Pinto was finally able to end the inning.

The Hens would be limited to a Renato Nunez single in the top of the third, the hit was very nearly a home run but a lucky bounce off the left field wall resulted in Nunez being thrown out at second. After an uncharacteristically poor start, RHP Drew Carlton took over for Pinto in the top of the third. After getting the first two outs on just five pitches, a homer followed by a long double continued to fuel the Indians offense.

Trailing 9-3 in the top of the fourth, the Hens got a pair of runs back after an Aderlin Rodriguez single came around to score on a Christin Stewart triple. A JaCoby Jones single later scored Stewart making it 9-5 Indians. Continuing to pitch into the fourth Drew Carlton threw the Hens first scoreless inning of the game, facing the minimum three batters after getting a key double play.

The Mud Hens continued to chip away at the Indianapolis lead in the top of the fifth, with Willi Castro leading off the frame with a single. Castro would later come into score on a Renato Nunez double. Another double, this time by Aderlin Rodriguez, advanced Nunez to third for Christin Stewart. Stewart wasted little time in sending the game tying homer to right center field. Suddenly in a brand new game, tied 9-9, Drew Carlton continued to provide some much needed relief for the Hens, pitching another scoreless 1-2-3 inning.

The Hens continued to put pressure on the Indians pitching staff in the sixth as Juan Centeno walked before Willi Castro’s third hit of the game put runners at the corners. Jacob Robson’s single gave the Hens their first lead since the first inning, scoring Castro. The Hens also scored an insurance run as a Renato Nunez sac fly scored Centeno, making it 11-9 Toledo. Carlton pitched his fourth inning of the night in the bottom of the sixth, facing the minimum three batters once again as the defense turned a double play to end the inning.

The Mud Hens were limited to a Christin Stewart walk in the top of the seventh, their first scoreless frame since the third inning. RHP Bryan Garcia took over for Carlton in the bottom of the inning, throwing a quick and painless 1-2-3 inning.

The only Hen to reach base in the top of the eight was Willi Castro, who reached after striking out on a wild pitch. Unfortunately, Garcia’s second inning of work in the bottom of the eighth was not as effective as his first. Back to back two out walks came back to haunt him as a double tied the game 11-11.

The Mud Hens would be limited to a one out walk to Aderlin Rodriguez before the Indianapolis bullpen ended the frame. RHP Ethan DeCaster took over for Garcia in the bottom of the ninth tasked with sending the game into extras. DeCaster would do just that, pitching a 1-2-3 inning.

The Hens threatened often in the top of the tenth, with JaCoby Jones getting hit by the first pitch of the frame. With Christin Stewart already at second to start the inning, Stwart would quickly be swapped out with Jones as Juan Centeno reached on a fielders choice. It was an odd play to end the Hens threat as the Indy third baseman had an error trying to field a grounder hit by Willi Castro. Jones made an aggressive turn at third base and was tagged out in a pickle after the ball was backed up by the Indy short stop. Things derailed further for Toledo in the bottom of the inning as RHP Jason Foley relived DeCaster. With a runner already at second base, a poor decision to try and throw out the lead runner at third on a sacrifice bunt led to both runners successfully reaching. The Hens then intentionally walked the bases loaded with nobody out before an RBI single ended the game.

What’s Next: The Mud Hens continue their series with the Indianapolis Indians tomorrow with game two of six. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.

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