Hens club three solo homers, but fall to Bats

Toledo Mud Hens
LOUISVILLE, Ky.Josh Lester, Spencer Torkelson and Zack Short all homered for the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday, but the Louisville Bats scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to come away with an 8-4 result at Louisville Slugger Field.

Lester finished 1-for-4 with a solo shot, while Torkelson and Short both went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk. Riley Greene ended the night 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and a run, while Aderlin Rodríguez was 1-for-4 with a base hit.

Ricardo Pinto was limited to three-plus innings of work due to injury, taking the loss after surrendering six earned runs on four hits and five walks while striking out a pair. Making his first appearance in a Toledo uniform since Aug. 21, 2018, A.J. Ladwig needed 46 pitches to complete four perfect innings of relief.

The Mud Hens (70-53) looked to open the scoring in the top of the third inning as Greene and Torkelson drew back-to-back walks to lead off the frame. After a passed ball allowed both runners to move into scoring position, Kody Clemens hit a ground ball to second that allowed Greene to come home and stake Toledo to a 1-0 lead.

Lester doubled the Mud Hens’ advantage an inning later, smashing a 3-1 pitch over the wall in center for his seventh Triple-A home run of the campaign. The Columbus, Ga., native paces the Detroit Tigers organization with 32 minor-league homers, 25 of which came with Double-A Erie.

Louisville (53-69) captured the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth, sending 13 men to the plate as part of an eight-run inning. In all, the Bats capitalized on five singles, an error, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly and five walks, three of which came with the bases loaded.

The Mud Hens cut into the Bats’ lead with a pair of solo blasts. Torkelson led off the top oft the fifth frame by hammering a 1-0 pitch over the wall in dead center to trim the deficit to 8-3. left-center. With one out in the top of the eighth, Short added a solo shot of his own to left-center to make it a four-run contest.

What’s Next:
The Mud Hens, who are 1-2 during the Triple-A Final Stretch, look to even up their five-game series against the Bats on Saturday afternoon. First pitch from Louisville Slugger Field is at 1 p.m.

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