Hens beat Saints twice, complete six-game sweep

Toledo Mud Hens
TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Mud Hens earned two victories as they completed a six-game sweep of the St. Paul Saints on Sunday, winning 10-9 in 14 innings to finish a suspended game before holding on for a 9-8 result at Fifth Third Field.

The Mud Hens (59-42) maintain their two-game lead over Omaha in the Midwest Division standings, while moving 6.5 games ahead of St. Paul (53-49). It also marks Toledo’s first seven-game winning streak since June 10-17, 2013.

Game 1: Toledo 10, St. Paul 9 (14 Innings, Completion of Suspended Game)
With the Mud Hens and Saints knotted at nine apiece after 13 innings, Saturday’s game was suspended due to an MLB rule stating that a new inning can’t start after 12:50 a.m.

St. Paul opened up a 7-2 cushion in the top of the third, but the Mud Hens eventually pulled even in the bottom of the ninth when Spencer Torkelson lifted a game-tying solo home run to right-center to force extra innings.

After a pair of scoreless frames, the Saints managed to reclaim the lead in the top of the 12th. Ben Rortvedt started the inning on second base, and came home when J.T. Riddle grounded a base hit through the left side to give the visitors a 9-8 edge.

The Mud Hens stayed alive with a run in the bottom of the same stanza. JaCoby Jones was placed on second base to begin the frame, and was joined by Kody Clemens after the latter drew a leadoff walk. Grayson Greiner singled on a sinking line drive to Riddle to load the bases for Jacob Robson, who walked on four pitches to force in Jones and make it a 9-9 ballgame.

Once play resumed at 2:07 p.m. the following day, the Mud Hens needed all of 13 minutes to finish off the Saints. Will Vest kept St. Paul off the board in the top of the 14th, and Toledo tallied the game-winning run in the home half of the inning. With Aderlin Rodríguez in scoring position, Christin Stewart grounded a leadoff single into left to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Three batters later, Ryan Kreidler singled through the left side to bring home Rodríguez and end a contest that lasted a season-long five hours and seven minutes.

Game 2: Toledo 9, St. Paul 8
The Mud Hens opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Niko Goodrum drew a one-out walk, Riley Greene smashed a two-run homer to right for his second round-tripper since arriving in the Glass City.

St. Paul got on the board with a run in the top of the second, but the Mud Hens answered with a five-spot in the bottom of the third. Daz Cameron picked up a leadoff walk, before Goodrum singled into right and Greene was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Spencer Torkelson then drew a walk to bring in Cameron and put Toledo in front by a 3-1 count. One pitch later, Clemens cleared the bases when he whacked a grand slam over the right-field fence to give the hosts a commanding 7-1 lead.

The Saints scored twice in the top of the fourth, only for the Mud Hens to respond in kind during the home half of the fifth. Clemens reached on a fielder’s choice to second, and scored all the way from first when Rodríguez lined a double into the right-field corner. Stewart then dropped a single into shallow center to plate Rodríguez and open up a 9-3 advantage.

St. Paul cut into Toledo’s with a run in the top of the sixth. Riddle picked up a two-out walked before David Bañuelos tripled off the center-field wall. The visitors added another run an inning later, as Damek Tomscha reached on a fielding error by Rodríguez that allowed Mark Contreras to score.

The Saints plated two more runs in the eighth, as Jose Miranda and Tomas Telís slugged back-to-back RBI singles to close the gap to 9-7. St. Paul continued its comeback bid in the top of the ninth, as Drew Stankiewicz lined a single into right before Riddle doubled into the gap in right-center. Ultimately, Drew Carlton tallied three strikeouts as he completed a four-out save.

*What’s Next:
*
The Mud Hens take to the road for 13 games in a 13-day span, beginning on Tuesday as they open a seven-game series against the Omaha Storm Chasers. First pitch from Werner Park is set for 8:05 p.m. EDT.

Hens Notes:
Kody Clemens recorded his first professional grand slam in Sunday’s 9-8 victory.
– Toledo’s 10-9, 14-inning thriller is the team’s longest game in terms of time elapsed (five hours, seven minutes) and number of innings this season.
Riley Greene has tallied two homers and 11 RBI in his first 12 games in a Toledo uniform.
– The Mud Hens are 38-16 this season within the friendly confines of Fifth Third Field, and are still perfect in Sunday home games.

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