Hens hit seven home runs in victory over Chasers

Toledo Mud Hens
Toledo, Ohio – The Mud Hens out slugged the Omaha Storm Chasers Thursday evening en route to a 11-10 victory. There was a lot on the line for both clubs as they entered the game tied for the division, meaning that the winner would walk away with the divisional lead with just over two weeks left to play in the regular season. The game was also the series finale against the Storm Chasers, giving the Hens a chance to split the regular season record against a potent Omaha team. The Hens would ultimately be the victors, powered by seven home runs by five different batters. Beyond that, each Toledo starter would safely record a hit in the contest.

After a relatively quite past few games on offense, the Mud Hens burst to life early. After Daz Cameron led off the first with a single, Riley Greene belted an opposite field two run blast to give the Hens an early lead. RHP Ricardo Pinto got the nod for the Hens, tasked with protecting a quick 2-0 lead. Pinto would do just that, working a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Leading off the top of the second, Josh Lester blasted a massive home run to deep right center field to extend the Toledo lead to 3-0. Not satisfied with just the one run, Zack Short and Ryan Kreidler promptly lifted a pair of singles. A walk by Grayson Greiner loaded the bases for Daz Cameron. Cameron would rope a single into left, scoring Short and Kreidler. Suddenly working to protect a 5-0 lead, Pinto worked another scoreless inning, navigating his way around around a leadoff single.

The Mud Hens added another pair of runs in the top of the third as Zack Short, who worked a two out walk, came around to score on a Ryan Kreidler home run. Meanwhile, Pinto continued to cruise in the bottom of the half of the inning, retiring the Chasers in order as his defense turned an inning ending double play.

Riley Greene continued to show why he was named Major League Baseball’s number seven overall prospect, sending his second home run of the afternoon deep to right center field. Continuing the Toledo power showcase later in the inning, Kody Clemens blasted a solo shot to right field, the team’s fifth homer of the day. Aderlin Rodriguez would single later in the inning but would be left on base as the Hens exited the fourth with a 9-0 lead. Pinto continued to show no signs of slowing down, mowing down Storm Chasers in another 1-2-3 inning.

For the first time all afternoon, the Mud Hen were held scoreless in the top of the fifth, limited to a leadoff double by Zack Short. Unfortunately for the Hens, things completely imploded for Pinto in the bottom of the inning as the first six batters he faced reached. When all was said and done, the Chasers would cut a promising 9-0 lead to 9-6 by innings end, reducing the lead to three.

Looking to get a few runs back, the Mud Hens launched their sixth and seventh home runs of game in the sixth inning. The blasts came courtesy of Spencer Torkelson and Kody Clemens. For Torkelson, the blast was his 25th of the season and 6th at the Triple-A level. Meanwhile, Clemens’ bomb was his second of the day and his 16th of the season. Josh Lester would also walk in the inning but would be left on base. With the lead extended to 11-6, RHP Will Vest was called in from the bullpen to pitch the bottom of the frame. The Storm Chasers would continue to claw their way back, as a two run shot cut the lead back down to three.

For the first time all game the Mud Hens would be retired in order in the top of the seventh, keeping the score 11-8. Still in a startling close game despite hitting seven home runs, RHP Jason Foley entered the game in the bottom of the seventh. Foley would allow a leadoff single that advanced all the way to third on a errant pick off attempt and a wild pitch, but escaped the threat in scoreless inning.

The Mud Hens put two runners on base in the top of the eighth as Riley Greene reached on an error and Spencer Torkelson reached on a long single. Torkelson’s single was actually a mere four feet away from being his second home run of the evening but the closeness of the play prevented Greene from taking off on contact, limiting Torkelson to a single. The next three Hens would strikeout as Omaha kept it a three run game. Foley continued to work into the bottom of the inning, allowing a lone run on a single that came around to score on an RBI double. Foley would also hit a batter but that runner would remain stranded.

The Hens would be limited to a two out Grayson Greiner double in the top of the ninth as the score remained 11-9. Foley started the ninth inning for Toledo, his third inning of work. However, a leadoff walk led to LHP Locke St. John getting the call from the ‘pen. St. John would immediately allow a double, scoring Foley’s runner and cutting the lead to just one run. St. John would later allow a one out walk to put the winning run aboard. Buckling down, St. John would induce an inning ending strike ‘em out throw ‘em out to end the game as the runner at second was picked off by Greiner.

What’s Next: The Mud Hens continue their road trip next week with a visit to Iowa to take on the Cubs. Game one is set for Tuesday at 7:38 p.m. EST.

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