Stewart and Rodriguez power Hens to series lead

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – The Mud Hens took the series lead over the Indianapolis Indians tonight in a 6-4 victory. With the win, Toledo will move up to two games back of the first place Omaha should the Storm Chasers lose later tonight or will remain three games back should the Storm Chasers win. Regardless, tonight’s victory was headlined by a barrage of extra base hits by the Hens and an excellent outing for starter Mark Leiter Jr. Aderlin Rodriguez extended his team leading hit streak to seven games tonight in a three hit performance that included a double and a triple. Christin Stewart also shined, recording two hits including a long two run homer in the top of the fifth. Reliever Angel De Jesus also impressed out of the bullpen, throwing two perfect innings in relief.

The Hens were limited to a two out double by Kody Clemens in the top of the first as Indians starter Mitch Keller struck out the side. Hens starter, RHP Mark Leiter Jr. got off on the right foot in the bottom of the inning, throwing a quick 1-2-3 inning.

The bottom of the order gave Toledo an early lead in the top of the second as Yariel Gonzalez, who walked in the previous at bat, came into score on a Dylan Rosa double. Cole Peterson joined in on the RBI party with a line drive single that scored Rosa. Leiter Jr. continued his perfect outing in the second, sitting down the Indians in order.

The Hens had a two out rally in the top of the third with Kody Clemens reaching third base on a fielding error in the outfield. Clemens would score as Aderlin Rodriguez would also reach third, however, this time on a triple. A pair of walks to Christin Stewart and Yariel Gonzalez would load the bases for Toledo, but the Hens would have to settle for the one run. Now working with a 3-0 lead, Leiter Jr. surrendered his first hit of game in the bottom of the third in an otherwise scoreless inning.

The Mud Hens capitalized on another Indianapolis fielding error in the top of the fourth, with Cole Peterson reaching before Jacob Robson doubled him in, extending the Toledo lead, 4-0. Leiter Jr. pitched another scoreless inning in the bottom of the fourth, the only blemish coming from a one out walk.

The Hens offense continued to fire on all cylinders in the top of the fifth with Aderlin Rodriguez doubling to left before Christin Stewart launched a massive homer to centerfield. With the lead extended to 6-0 in favor of Toledo, Leiter Jr. pitched another perfect inning in what would be his final trip to the mound. The final line on Leiter Jr. was 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K’s.

The Mud Hens went quietly in the top of the sixth, recording their first scoreless inning since the first. RHP Will Vest took over on the mound in the bottom of the inning, making his first appearance for the Hens since being returned by the Seattle Mariners as a Rule Five pick. Vest surrendered a pair of runs in his debut, as a double and walk came in to score on the Indians second double of the inning.

The Hens were limited to pair of singles in the top of the seventh, courtesy of Aderlin Rodriguez and Christian Stewart. Neither came in to score, as the game remained 6-2. RHP Angel De Jesus relived Vest in the bottom of the seventh, inducing three quick groundouts to retire the side in order.

Cole Peterson recorded his second hit of the night in the top of the eighth, but would ultimately be stranded as Indianapolis ended the frame. De Jesus returned to pitch the eighth, throwing another 1-2-3 inning.

Maintaining a 6-2 lead, the Hens were retied in order in the top of the ninth. RHP Bryan Garcia entered the game in relief of De Jesus, immediately giving up a leadoff solo home run. The homers continued to plague Garcia as another solo shot cut the Hens lead to 6-4. Eventually settling in, Garcia was able to shut the door with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.

What’s Next: The Toledo Mud Hens take on the Indianapolis Indians again tomorrow in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.

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