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The Mud Hens made a lot out of a little to claim a 6-3 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Fifth Third Field last night.
Toledo managed just three hits, but each one helped produce two runs as the Hens won for just the second time in the last seven games.
"That was a huge [win] - being down and coming back late," Mud Hens interim manager Mike Rojas said. "We had only three hits, but three quality hits. That was a great win for us, especially the way we've been rolling."
The Mud Hens' winning rally came in the seventh, and the rally started when Chris Shelton and Jack Hannahan drew leadoff walks. Chase Wright seemed poised to avoid further trouble when he struck out Mike Hessman and Dane Sardinha, but Wright walked Espinosa to load the bases and was replaced by reliever Ben Kozlowski.
Ramon Santiago greeted Kozlowski with a single up the middle that tied the contest by scoring both Shelton and Hannahan and pushing Espinosa to third.
"With two outs, that hit was huge," Rojas said. "[Santiago] has been swinging the bat good."
The next hitter, Brent Clevlen, fell behind Kozlowski 0-2 before working the count even. Then, with Santiago running, Clevlen swung at a low curve and lined it into the right-field corner for a double that scored Espinosa and Santiago.
"I was just trying to put the barrel of the bat on the ball," Clevlen said.
The Mud Hens' four-run seventh inning was in stark contrast to the early innings, when Wright and Toledo's Dennis Tankersley combined to allow just one baserunner through the first three innings.
The Yankees nicked Tankersley for a run in the top of the fourth. Kevin Reese led off with a double, then moved to third when Andy Phillips lined a single to left. Bronson Sardinha followed with a slow roller to shortstop. Santiago retired Sardinha as Reese scored.
The Mud Hens got their first hit off Wright in the fifth and managed to turn it into a pair of runs. Hannahan and Mike Hessman worked Wright for back-to-back walks with one out, and Dane Sardinha broke up Wright's no-hit bid with a double high off the wall in left, scoring Hannahan and sending Hessman to third.
Hessman scored on a sacrifice fly by Espinosa.
But Scranton/Wilkes-Barre wiped out that lead with one swing of the bat in the top of the sixth.
Bronson Sardinha led off with a walk and Shelley Duncan hammered the next pitch off the left-field scoreboard for his league-leading eighth home run of the season.
One out later Alberto Gonzalez singled, then moved to second on groundout by Andrew Beattie. Gonzalez stole third on an 0-2 pitch to Raul Chavez, and Dane Sardinha's throw to third hit Gonzalez on the wrist and rolled away, allowing Gonzalez to scamper home.
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