TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Mud Hens dropped a 2-1 rain-shortened contest to the Columbus Clippers on Tuesday at Fifth Third Field. The game was called after the top of the eighth inning due to inclement weather, with rain coming down in sheets for the bulk of the 36-minute delay.
The Mud Hens (67-48) currently lead Omaha by 2.5 games in the Midwest Division standings with five games remaining in this week’s home stand. Despite the setback, Toledo’s magic number can drop to three if the Storm Chasers fail to erase their 8-1 deficit against Iowa.
Spencer Torkelson finished 2-for-3 with an RBI single, while Daz Cameron went 1-for-4 with a double and a run. Aderlin Rodríguez ended the night 1-for-3 with a double, while Zack Short was 1-for-3 with a base hit.
Pedro Payano lasted four innings on the mound for Toledo, but was tagged with the loss after surrendering two earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out a pair. Locke St. John and Wladimir Pinto each hurled two hitless innings out of the Hen Pen, with the latter matching a season-high by notching five strikeouts.
The Mud Hens got the game’s first run off Columbus (53-60) starter Shane Bieber in the bottom of the third inning. Cameron lined a one-out double to left, advanced to third on a Riley Greene groundout, and came home when Torkelson ripped a base hit through the left side to stake the hosts to a 1-0 lead. In all, Bieber tossed 2.2 innings as he began a rehab assignment with the Clippers, allowing one earned run on a trio of hits and a walk while fanning three.
The Clippers went ahead for good with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Oscar Gonzalez sent a leadoff single up the middle, and Richard Palalcios eventually drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one down. Will Benson then lifted a popup that got lost in the twilight sky and landed in shallow left field for a two-run double which ultimately decided the game. The result also ended Toledo’s season-high, seven-game home winning streak lasting from Aug. 22-29.
The Mud Hens and Clippers will resume their six-game series on Wednesday at Fifth Third Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.