LOUISVILLE In the last three years Toledo might have won a game like last night s with Louisville.
But not this year, not right now.
Ryan Hanigan s RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Bats a 2-1 win over the Mud Hens.
They re going good and we re not right now, Toledo manager Larry Parrish said. We make one error tonight and it leads to their first run. Then, we start off the last inning with a bad hop ground ball that goes through.
The loss, in front of 9,435 fans at Louisville Slugger Field, equaled the Mud Hens longest losing streak (six games) of the season.
And the win gave Louisville a nine-game lead over the three-time defending IL West champs, as well as the franchise s first four-game sweep of Toledo.
After three games of robust offense, much of last night s game was a pitchers duel between Toledo s Anastacio Martinez and Louisville s Ramon Ramirez.
Martinez had struggled mightily in his previous outing, he lasted only 12/3 innings while allowing five earned runs and seven hits Aug. 2 against Indianapolis. In Martinez s previous four starts he had yielded 23 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. Last night he went 61/3 innings and gave up just four hits and an unearned run, but got a no decision.
He did a very nice job, Parrish said. I think because of [the previous outings] he had a little more zip on his fastball tonight.
The Bats took a 1-0 lead in the third. Leadoff hitter Michael Griffin started the inning with a shot that was too hot for Toledo shortstop Max Leon, who misplayed the ball.
Danny Richar singled Griffin to third before Kevin Barker s one-out sacrifice fly gave the Bats the lead.
It stayed 1-0 until the seventh when Clete Thomas led off with a single, but was then caught stealing by Hanigan. It was costly because on the next pitch, Erick Almonte hit a home run to right field.
It was a hit and run and we swung through it, Parrish said of the caught stealing. I thought if he threw a breaking ball Clete had a chance to steal it, but he got thrown out. The guy made a good throw.
That was the final inning for Ramirez, who gave up just four hits while striking out a career-high 11 batters.
The game remained tied until the 10th. Reliever Francisco Cruceta, the Mud Hens third pitcher of the game, struck out Richar before Adam Rosales singled past third baseman Jeff Larish.
The ball took an odd hop as Larish prepared to field it, so it was ruled a base hit.
Cruceta then walked Barker before being replaced by Clay Rapada. Rapada struck out Drew Anderson before Hanigan hit a low liner to center. Thomas tried to dive for the ball but could not reach it.
Louisville and Toledo face off again next week (Aug. 13-14) in a two-game series in the final regular-season meetings between the teams.
The Bats lead the season series 12-7.