Pair of home runs can’t save Mud Hens in 5-4 loss at Durham


DURHAM, N.C. — An early offensive start couldn’t help the Mud Hens in the end with a 5-4 loss to host Durham on Friday.

A two-run home run from Ben Guez in the third inning — his third of the season — staked Toledo (7-16) to a 2-0 lead, but the Bulls (15-7) responded quickly with four runs in the bottom of the frame as Vince Belnome hit a grand slam to right field off Toledo starter Casey Crosby (1-4). Tim Beckham and Juan Apidaca had each singled to start the inning and Rich Thompson reached on a walk.

Durham added another run in the bottom of the fourth as Brandon Guyer scored on an error charged to Hens third baseman Kevin Russo while batter Jason Bourgeois reached during the force-out attempt.

Toledo’s Nick Castellanos hit a solo homer in the eighth — his third of the season — and Guez scored off a Danny Dorn double to centerfield.

Guez finished 2-for-3 with a double and the home run while Dorn was also 2-for-3. Castellanos finished with three hits.

Crosby pitched four innings, gave up six hits, and allowed four earned runs while striking out five and walking two. Evan Reed, Brayan Villarreal, and Matt Hoffman combined to pitch the final four innings and did not allow any hits while striking out six and walking one batter.