Hens rally to beat Bats behind Clemens, Reyes

Toledo Mud Hens

LOUISVILLE, KY.: Toledo watched its early lead be completely erased by the Bats on Wednesday evening, but the Mud Hens responded by scoring at least a run in each of the last five innings to win a seesaw affair at Louisville Slugger Field, 10-6, and capture the club’s sixth consecutive

LOUISVILLE, KY.: Toledo watched its early lead be completely erased by the Bats on Wednesday evening, but the Mud Hens responded by scoring at least a run in each of the last five innings to win a seesaw affair at Louisville Slugger Field, 10-6, and capture the club’s sixth consecutive victory.

The Hens got on the board first with a strong two-out rally in the opening frame. Daz Cameron notched a single, and Kody Clemens and Josh Lester drew free passes ahead of Ryan Lavarnway, who came through with a two-RBI knock for the early 2-0 edge.

Louisville’s Taylor Motter crunched his fourth homer of the season in the home half of the third, a solo shot off Mud Hens starter Chase Anderson, to bring the Bats within 2-1.

Rehabbing Detroit Tigers outfielder Victor Reyes had his loudest hit of the night in the fifth, belting his first Triple-A home run in nearly a calendar year to bump the Hens lead back to 3-1.

A fielding miscue by Zack Short in the bottom of the fifth enabled the Bats to open the floodgates. With two men on, Juniel Querecuto reached on a missed catch by the Toledo shortstop, forcing Sandy Leon across for the first run. Aristides Aquino swatted a key two-run single later in the inning opposite Drew Carlton for a 4-3 Louisville lead.

Anderson surrendered just one earned run and three hits over 4 and 1/3’s stanzas, scattering three walks and four punchouts while not factoring in the decision.

Ben Lively also received a no-decision for Louisville, yielding eight hits, four runs, two walks, and racking up seven strikeouts in 5 and 1/3’s innings.

The clubs traded single tallies in the sixth. Reyes pushed in a run on a sacrifice fly, plating Lavarnway, to tie the game. However, Lorenzo Cedrola’s RBI single guided Louisville back into the lead, 5-4.

Clemens slammed a lead-off double to begin the seventh inning and later stole home while Brady Policelli was caught trying to steal second to tie the game once more. Another Toledo error proved costly at the time though, as John Valente spiked a throw to first on a routine grounder hit by Motter, scoring Aquino, and permitting the Bats to take the 6-5 edge to the eighth.

Clemens made long-time former Mud Hens and Tigers hurler Buck Farmer (0-1) pay for two eighth inning walks ahead of him, belting a massive three-run shot to right-center field, his seventh of the year, and placing Toledo in the lead for good, 8-6.

After maintaining a respectable .290 batting average throughout the month of April, Clemens is now hitting .333 in May with three long balls and 8 RBIs. Wednesday’s 3-5 effort at the dish marked the first time this season that he has driven in three runs and scored three runs. He has hit safely in 26 of his 30 Mud Hens games.

Farmer took the loss for the Bats, walking three and surrendering the homer to Clemens. He only retired two hitters in his appearance.

Cameron rounded out his multi-hit effort by stroking a two-run single for some important insurance tallies in the ninth. He has now hit safely in 14 of his last 16 Toledo assignments.

Reyes climbed aboard four times and was 3-4 with three runs scored. He has reached base in both contests during his current rehab assignment.

Lavarnway went 2-3 at the plate to record his seventh multi-hit effort of the season.

Valente became the third Mud Hen this season to ensure a hitting streak of at least 10 games, singling in the ninth inning to extend the streak.

Toledo’s bullpen combined to fire 4 and 2/3’s innings and only allow one earned run. Miguel Del Pozo (2-2) twirled two shutout frames to earn the win. Bryan Garcia turned in a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to finish out the contest.

NEXT UP: The Mud Hens gun for their seventh straight win and continue their series against the Bats with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch on Thursday evening at Louisville Slugger Field.

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