SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Toledo Mud Hens dropped another tough one-run game 5-4 to the Syracuse SkyChiefs at P&C Stadium last night.
It was the 36th one-run game the Mud Hens have been involved in this season and the 20th time they have come up on the losing end, the 14th time on the road.
Toledo start-er Gary Knotts (1-2) had the Mud Hens behind the eight-ball early, giving up back-to-back home runs in the second inning.
“The home runs were a fluke,” Knotts said. “After that inning I was able to make pitches and get in a groove.”
That blip in an otherwise good outing by Knotts didn't affect the outcome, but aggressive running by Cody Ross did.
Toledo had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, but with runners on the corners and one out, Ernie Young hit a high chopper to third.
Ross went hard into second to try and break up the double play but was called for interference by third-base umpire Bill Smorol when he ruled that Ross grabbed Sequea as he was attempting to throw to first, and the double play ended the game.
“I thought it was a good call by the umpire,” Hens manager Larry Parrish said. “I think our guy was a little overaggressive running into second.”
In the Toledo fifth, Patrick Lennon singled and scored on a bases-loaded walk to Brant Ust. But Mike Smith (6-4) worked out of the one-out jam by striking out Gene Kingsale and getting Brandon Inge to ground out to third.
Toledo tied the game in the seventh. Lennon again singled and scored on an error by Smith on a bunt by Omar Infante. Kevin Jordan walked and scored on Kingsale's groundout.
Toledo had three bases-loaded opportunities in the game and could not come up with the big hit.
``We had a lot of opportunities and had bases loaded but couldn't get a guy in,'' Parrish said. ``I think [Smith] had some sinking action to the ball and got a lot of ground balls that way but this is a tough place to see the ball early in the game.
``Between the sunshine and the shadows for the first four innings it's hard for batters to see the ball. If a guy has any movement on his pitches he's going to get ground balls and that's what happened to us tonight.''
In the Toledo eighth, Ross opened the inning with a double to center and scored on a single by Jhonny Perez, who was in the game for an injured Hiram Bocachica.
Lennon singled and Jordan reached on an error but Infante and Ust could not come through at the plate to drive runs home.