Mud Hens manager Bruce Fields' return from a one-day illness might have made him wish he was sick again.
Toledo put together an all-around lackluster performance in losing to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons 8-3 at Skeldon Stadium yesterday.
Offensively, the Hens had just five hits, and on several occasions baserunning mishaps took the Hens out of potential rallies.
And the Hen pitching staff was in constant trouble, giving up 16 hits and at least one runner in every inning. Defensively, two errors didn't help.
It all added up to the Hens' third consecutive loss and the team's 10th defeat in the past 11 games.
And it was enough to make Fields, who missed Sunday's game with the flu, sick all over again.
“It looks as if guys don't care,” Fields said. “They want to get the game over with and get out as quick as they can. They're just putting in their time.
“In every phase of the game we are not playing well.”
The Red Barons opened the scoring in the third inning when Reggie Taylor homered off Toledo starter Mark Johnson. In the fourth, Scranton added two runs with four singles and a stolen base.
The Hens got two of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth when Lyle Mouton and Randall Simon drew two-out walks from Scranton starter David Coggin, and Carlos Mendez stroked a two-run double to center.
The Red Barons scored in the sixth, but the Hens countered when Kurt Airoso hit a line-drive homer to left in the bottom of the inning.
The Hens would not score again while the Barons added two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to break the game open.
“It seems as if every time we get behind early and, when we try to get back in the game, the other team comes back and scores some runs,” Fields said. “We're always playing catch-up.
“You'd expect our older guys, the guys who have major league experience and who have played that this level before, would do what it takes to rally around their teammates and then correct the problem. But it's not happening. It's not every one of those guys, but it's a bunch of them. And that's disappointing.”
The Hens begin a two-game series against Columbus today at 7 p.m. with Adam Pettyjohn (2-7) facing a starter to be determined by the Clippers.
NOTES: Scranton catcher Jeff Reed is a former Hen, having played in Toledo from 1983-86. Since then, Reed's 22-year pro career includes time with Minnesota, Montreal, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Colorado and the Chicago Cubs.