LOUISVILLE - Thursday night is $1 beer night at Louisville Slugger Field. The Toledo Mud Hens could only wish that hits came as cheaply last night.
The Mud Hens managed only five hits - three by Dustan Mohr - and they had just two over the final seven innings - both by Mohr - in a 4-3 loss to Louisville before 7,977 fans.
Toledo scored three runs on three hits in the first two innings, but then were shutdown and sat down. The Mud Hens were retired 1-2-3 for five straight innings before a final rally try in the ninth.
"We didn't do much the rest of the way," Toledo manager Larry Parrish said.
To make matters worse for the Mud Hens (48-40), Indianapolis (47-38) beat Columbus 5-2 to move into first place in the International League West by a half-game. The two teams begin a three-game series tonight.
Meanwhile, with the win the Bats (46-41), now two games behind Indy, earned a split in the four-game series.
Toledo looked strong early on, but much of that may have been thanks to Bats starter Phil Dumatrait. The left-hander walked three of the first five Hens then Mohr, the center fielder who was signed as a free agent June 28 after 21 games with the Boston Red Sox and 22 games with Pawtucket, doubled down the left field line - just off the glove of Louisville left fielder Norris Hopper.
But Hopper made up for that in the bottom of the inning when he led off with a bunt single, stole second, moved to third on Chris Denorfia's single, and scored on Earl Snyder's sacrifice fly.
Toledo added a run in the second inning, but could've had more.
Tike Redman led off with an infield single, then moved to third on Maxim St-Pierre's double to right field - his first hit of the series - then Kevin Hooper laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt to score Redman. But that was all the Mud Hens could muster as David Espinosa struck out looking and Ryan Raburn hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
"We had some chances early to really blow it open," said Parrish, whose team is 13-15 in one-run games.
The Bats tied the score with two runs in the fifth.
Louisville, which leads the IL in batting with a .273 average and had 12 hits last night, scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth on William Bergolla's RBI double.
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