Saints use big eighth to steal Friday decision from Hens 

Toledo Mud Hens

TOLEDO, OH.: The Toledo Mud Hens battled back from two early deficits, but the St. Paul Saints grabbed the advantage for good by putting a crooked number up on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth on their way to a 9-4 victory on Friday evening at Fifth Third

TOLEDO, OH.: The Toledo Mud Hens battled back from two early deficits, but the St. Paul Saints grabbed the advantage for good by putting a crooked number up on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth on their way to a 9-4 victory on Friday evening at Fifth Third Field.

Royce Lewis and Jake Cave got the Saints off to a fast start against RHP Logan Shore, notching a single and a double to put two runners in scoring position in the top of the first. Jose Miranda followed with a sacrifice fly to push the first run of the night across.

Shore didn’t factor in the decision for Toledo, permitting four hits, two walks, and three runs over 2 and 1/3’s stanzas of his start.

Toledo was also able to put their leadoff man on in the bottom of the first inning when Zack Short drew a walk. Two batters later, Jamie Westbrook swatted his second home run of the season since coming over in a trade from the Brewers organization: 2-1 Mud Hens.

The lead traded hands once again in the third, when St. Paul scored twice to take a 3-2 advantage. Mark Contreras began the stanza by slamming a line drive over the right field fence for his fourth long ball of the season. Curtis Terry then worked his way on by reaching on a throwing miscue from Mud Hens third baseman John Valente. Derek Fisher moved him to third with a knock. A wild pitch from Shore forced in Terry for the other run.

RHP Miguel Diaz and RHP Luis Castillo held the Saints bats in check over the next eleven outs, combining for six strikeouts and allowing just one hit. RHP Bryan Garcia also didn’t give up a run but did surrender two hits while setting down two batters.

A pair of singles by Jake Robson and Jack Lopez, along with a walk drawn by Short set the Hens up for success with a bases loaded situation in the fourth. Kody Clemens came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single for a 4-3 Toledo edge.

Clemens extended his hitting streak to five consecutive games with that single. He has six hits through four games of this series and has at least one knock in 13 of his 15 assignments this season.

Robson and Lopez each went 2-4 on the night with a run scored. Lopez now has multiple hits in two of his last three assignments. Robson recorded his first multi-knock effort of the campaign and has now hit safely in three of his last four games.

The game got away from the Mud Hens in the eighth when St. Paul scored six runs to turn a deficit into a large lead. Lewis, Miranda, and Contreras all walked with the bases full for the first three tallies. Terry reached via a fielder’s choice, forcing in Lewis and Miranda on a throwing error from Valente to make it 8-4. Daniel Robertson was hit by a pitch from RHP Alex Powers to bring in another run.

LHP Miguel Del Pozo (0-2) took the losing end of the decision for the Hens, yielding three hits and four earned runs in 2/3’s of an inning.

INF Brady Policelli came on in the ninth and got the final out of the frame for the Mud Hens, working around a walk in the process.

RHP JC Ramirez allowed three walks, four hits, and four runs with five punchouts mixed in through 3 and 2/3’s innings of his start. RHP Jake Petricka, RHP Trevor Megill, RHP Tyler Bashlor (2-0) and RHP Yennier Cano kept the Hens off the board the rest of the way, giving up just four hits and four walks over the remaining 5 and 1/3’s stanzas.

NEXT UP: The series between the Saints and Mud Hens resumes on Saturday evening at 5:05 p.m. inside the friendly confines of Fifth Third Field.

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