A bit of derring-do in the Mud Hens 5-1 win over Louisville Saturday shed light on the confidence Toledo has shown in recent days.
Ben Guez was standing on third base after leading off the fourth with a triple, while Danny Worth was on first base following a walk.
On the first pitch to Bryan Holaday, Worth took off for second -- and when Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco threw to second, Guez sped home.
The throw to the plate made it close, but Guez used a tricky slide to avoid Mesoraco, touch the base and score the run on the Hens' first steal of home in more than a year.
Photo gallery: Mud Hens vs. Louisville
"I could have had a better jump there, so I guess I made it close," Guez said. "[Mesoraco] had the ball, so I knew I'd have to make an unorthodox slide to sneak in.
"Luckily I got my hand in."
Toledo's fifth consecutive victory was the result of more than just a tricky slide. It took an offense that collected some timely hits while taking advantage of Louisville mistakes, along with a solid pitching performance by four Hens pitchers.
Ryan Raburn got the Mud Hens on the board in the first inning by slamming an 0-2 pitch from Louisville starter Chad Reineke over the right field fence for his fourth home run with Toledo this season.
Raburn now has pounded three home runs in his last four games.
"Ryan's home run was good to see," Toledo manager Phil Nevin said. "To drive the ball the other way like he has -- he has hit two that way since he has been with us -- has to give him some confidence."
In the second the Hens took advantage of two errors by Bats leftfielder Cody Puckett to score twice. Guez reached base on Puckett's first error, and when Puckett mishandled Worth's double off the wall Guez scored. Jerad Head followed with a single to score Worth.
Toledo added a run in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Cale Iorg, and that was more than enough offense thanks to starter Andy Oliver and the bullpen.
Oliver struggled with his command in the first but covered four innings in his first start since July 12, giving up two hits and one run while fanning three.
"I thought Andy had some jitters in the first, but he made his pitches and got out of there -- and threw three good innings after that," Nevin said. "I was excited by his outing."
Luke Putkonen gave up two hits and two walks in three scoreless innings to earn the win. Al Alburquerque struck out two in a scoreless eighth, while Bruce Rondon fanned one in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.