Want to know why the Mud Hens struggled on their just completed road trip?
Toledo's 5-2 loss to Norfolk at Fifth Third Field last night showed how the Hens managed to lose all eight road games.
The Tides scored when they had opportunities, while the Hens weren't able to cash in on their chances. As a result, Toledo lost for the ninth straight time.
"I think [a losing streak] definitely affects you," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish admitted. "We have to keep working, keep grinding, and try to get things to go our way."
Toledo fell behind quickly last night as Norfolk scored a first-
inning run off Eddie Bonine. The run came home on a two-out single by Jolbert
Cabrera off an 0-2 pitch.
But the Tides seemed to knock the Hens on their heels with a three-run third.
Joey Gathright led off with a double and came home on a single by Justin Christian.
Christian stole second, and after Jeff Fiorentino walked, the pair executed a double steal.
Bonine got Matt Wieters to ground out, keeping the runners in place, and the Hens intentionally walked Cabrera to load the bases. Justin Turner spoiled that strategy by hitting a sacrifice fly to score Christian, and Steve Torrealba's two-out single plated Fiorentino.
"I didn't think, early in the game, Bonine was very sharp," Parrish said. "He didn't look like himself to me, but after the third he settled down and was OK.
"But give them credit. They had a couple of good at-bats where they got two strikes, but put the bat on the ball and got the job done. They just put the bat on the ball and good things happened for them."
Meanwhile, the Mud Hens' best opportunity to get back into the game came in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with one out thanks to walks to Ryan Roberson and Brent Dlugach sandwiched around a single by Don Kelly.
Mike Hessman's sacrifice fly scored Roberson, and Dusty Ryan walked to load the bases again before Danny Worth struck out to end the threat.
"We're behind, so we needed a base hit somewhere," Parrish said. "I think three guys went to the plate there. When that many hitters get chances, someone has to step up and get a base hit or hit a ball in the gap."
In the fifth Wilkin Ramirez, who moved to the leadoff spot to
accommodate the arrival of Marcus Thames, led off with a triple, and he came home on Jeff Frazier's groundout.
That was it for the Hens until the ninth, when they loaded the bases with two outs but failed to score.
"We got behind, but we battled back and made it close," said Kelly, who finished with three of Toledo's nine hits. "We had some guys on, and we battled. It's not like we're lying down out there and just handing the other team the game. We're showing some life until the end, and that's all you can ask for.
"We're playing the game the right way. We're just not getting the results we wanted."
NOTES: Thames began a rehab assignment as the Hens' DH. The slugging right-hander, who suffered a pulled ribcage muscle, will play in the outfield today before returning to the DH role tomorrow. RHP Jeremy Bonderman will make a second rehab start for the Mud Hens tonight against the Tides.
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