Coming into Sunday, the Mud Hens trailed the division-leading Storm Chasers by just two games. The two teams will start a six-game series on Tuesday at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.
Righty James Marvel, making his second start of the series for the Indians, got off to what appeared to be a good start before things went south for him. He struck out Jacob Robson and Renato Nunez to start, but then issued a full count walk to Kody Clemens and gave up a long home run to Aderlin Rodriguez, which put the Mud Hens in front 2-0.
Right-hander Michael Fulmer made his second rehab appearance and first start of the season for Toledo. He did walk the leadoff man, but struck out Anthony Alford and induced a 3-6-1 inning-ending double play.
The Hens offense stayed busy in the second inning. Yariel Gonzalez singled to right and Jon Rosoff walked. Robson then doubled to left-center to make it 3-0 Toledo. With men on second and third still, Nunez hit a deep fly ball to left-center that bounced on the warning track and went over the wall for a ground-rule double that scored two more. Clemens singled to left and Rodriguez was hit by a pitch to load them up with two outs for Christin Stewart. After going full, Marvel threw a backdoor breaking ball that froze Stewart, but not before the Hens added three more, now leading 5-0.
After just one inning, southpaw Robbie Ross Jr. replaced Fulmer. Three straight singles, two to left field and one to right, loaded the bases with no outs. A sac fly from Chris Sharpe plated the first Indians run of the game. The next batter produced the same result, a sac fly to right field, making it a 5-2 game.
The Mud Hens went back to the bullpen once again, bringing in Ethan DeCaster to pitch the third inning with the Hens still leading by three. He struggled with his control a bit, hitting a batter and also walking one, but three groundouts got him through the frame without any runs coming across to score.
DeCaster returned for the fourth and was greeted by a leadoff single. Macias stole second and came around to score on a two-out base hit to right off the bat of Ethan Paul. The Mud Hens lead was cut to just two runs.
Rodriguez singled to start the fifth and Stewart smoked a fastball over the right field fence for a two-run homer, making it 7-3 Toledo.
The Mud Hens went to their fourth arm of the game, Nolan Blackwood, to handle the fifth inning. A ground out, a pop out, and a strike out resulted in a nine pitch, 1-2-3 inning for Blackwood. After two scoreless innings from Blackwood, left-hander Locke St. John was called on to hold the four-run lead. He allowed a one-out double, but went on to strike out the side. After one inning from St. John, Drew Carlton entered. Just like Blackwood’s first inning, Carlton needed only nine pitches to retire the Indians in order. The Mud Hens went back to the bullpen again in the ninth. Wladimir Pinto represented the seventh pitcher of the game for Toledo. He walked two, but ended up striking out the side and ultimately put this one in the win column for the Hens.
The Toledo Mud Hens host the Omaha Storm Chasers on Tuesday at Fifth Third Field with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
- INF Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to eight games and also his team-high home run total to 17.
- LHP Locke St. John threw a scoreless inning in relief, making it 20 consecutive innings without allowing a run.
- With a Sunday win, the Mud Hens won the series 4-2, their second road series win of the season.