Toledo's Kevin Hooper heads for first base after Durham catcher Shawn Riggans couldn't hold on to a third strike. Hooper was thrown out at first. He had three of Toledo's 16 strikeouts.
The Mud Hens not only had trouble scoring last night at Fifth Third Field, they had trouble putting the ball in play.
More than half of Toledo s outs in its 5-1 loss to Durham came on strikeouts.
We didn t have a lot of threats, Hens manager Larry Parrish said.
Bulls starter J.P. Howell had 10 strikeouts and Durham relievers Jose Rodriguez and Jason Childers had three each. Every Hen except newbie Ramon Santiago, Max St-Pierre and pinch hitter Tike Redman was a strikeout victim.
The Hens (53-48) have lost six of nine.
You re always going to have games where you struggle, but I think we should have had a little better showing than we did, outfielder Ryan Raburn said.
We ve had a rough couple weeks, but hopefully soon we ll snap out of it and start playing like we should.
In front of a sellout crowd of 11,089, Hens starter Colby Lewis struck out a season-high nine batters but took the loss to fall to 4-7.
Lewis, who gave up six hits and walked two over seven innings, was able to get out of early-inning jams. But Durham finally capitalized in the sixth.
With one out, Delmon Young singled to right and Kevin Witt followed with a double down the right field line. Catcher Shawn Riggans drove them both in with a triple to right-center field.
Riggans foreshadowed his hit on the pitch before, when he hit a ball out of the park in foul territory. He later scored on a wild pitch by Lewis.
I didn t do enough to keep us in the ball game, Lewis said. I just need to get rid of those big innings and keep us a little bit closer.
Said Parrish: He threw well, he just made a bad pitch to Riggans.
Howell, with the Bulls (47-53) for a month since being traded from Kansas City, was sharp. Howell (3-2) scattered six hits over 52/3 innings. He was taken out after giving up his only run on a single by Dustan Mohr.
Mohr s hit scored Santiago, who joined Toledo yesterday after being optioned by the Tigers. Santiago was the most active Hen on the basepaths last night, reaching on a bunt single, a hit-by-pitch and a walk.
Just one of the Hens seven hits was for extra bases.
We had trouble hitting three different guys. We weren t relegated to just one, Parrish said. I don t know if that left-hander had us all messed up, and we stayed that way, or what.
The Bulls added two more runs in the ninth inning. Brent Butler had a leadoff double that was the result of confusion in the outfield between Mohr, Ryan Ludwick and Kevin Hooper. B.J. Upton hit a sacrifice fly to score Butler.
Ben Zobrist had a single. Then Young, with his brother, Tigers slugger Dmitri Young, watching in the stands, hit a triple to score Zobrist.
Bulls center fielder Darnell McDonald had an eighth-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 27 games. It s the longest streak in the International League this year.
Contact Maureen Fulton at: email@example.com or 419-724-6160.
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