INDIANAPOLIS - The fading Toledo Mud Hens dropped their fifth straight yesterday, a 2-1 loss to Indianapolis in 10 innings.
Toledo starter Andy Van Hekken was making his first start since beating the Indians at Fifth Third Field last Monday. He entered yesterday's game with a minuscule 0.92 ERA and actually lowered it in his first non-winning decision in Triple-A.
But the slumping Hens could scratch out only three hits and one run in the fifth game of this six-game road trip.
Reliever Matt Perisho (4-4) took the loss.
The Indians scored in the first inning when Manny Alexander, who had singled, scored from third when Hens first baseman Erie Munson couldn't handle a slow bouncer with two out, allowing Alexander to score.
It was one of three errors for the Hens.
From that point, Van Hekken allowed several base runners but no runs. And, over those seven innings Van Hekken retired the leadoff hitter each time.
Indianapolis starter Andrew Lorraine faced the minimum number of batters through four innings and then got the first two batters in the fifth on called third strikes.
Then Hens right fielder Chad Alexander singled to right and scored on Brian Rios' double to left center.
But that would be the end of Toledo's scoring.
In the sixth and ninth innings, the Hens put a runner at second with two outs, but both threats ended with pop-ups.
The Indians nearly ended the game in the ninth against reliever Perisho, whose error on a bunt allowed the potential winning run get to third.
But with the bases loaded and no outs, Perisho induced a pop-up to the catcher and then a shallow fly to right, and Alexander cut down the runner at the plate to force extra innings.
In the 10th Perisho allowed a leadoff walk and then a single to put two runners on with nobody out.
Bobby Smith, who went 4-for-5, singled home the winning run in the 10th.
Hens manager Bruce Fields refused to comment after the game.
The Mud Hens' loss, coupled with Louisville's 8-7 win in 12 innings at Columbus, leaves Toledo 31/2 games behind the Bats in the IL's Western Division.