GWINNETT, Ga. — Al Alburquerque and the Mud Hens continue to search for their footing.
Alburquerque took the loss in his first appearance since being sent down by the Tigers as Toledo fell 7-5 at Gwinnett on Thursday.
The Braves dealt the Hens (15-33) their fourth straight loss with a four-run sixth inning capped by a shaky appearance from Alburquerque. Entering the game one on and one out with Toledo leading 5-4, the powerful right-hander gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Boggs on his first pitch of the night.
Alburquerque, who struggled with his control and was 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA in Detroit this season, allowed one run on one hit and a walk while striking out one over 1⅔ innings.
Toledo opened a 5-1 lead with three runs in the second and two in the fifth against Braves starter Daniel Rodriguez, who allowed five hits and five walks in five innings. But Gwinnett (18-30) got to Hens starter Ramon Garcia the second time through the lineup. After holding the hosts scoreless through three innings, Garcia was tagged for five runs on eight hits in 5⅓ innings.
Hens first baseman Jordan Lennerton improved his team-leading average to .333 with a pair of doubles in three at-bats while designated hitter Bryan Holaday went 2 for 4 with a triple, two RBIs, and a run scored.
SPREADING THE BRAND: The Mud Hens ranked among the top 25 teams in minor league baseball in merchandise sales last year.
Minor League Baseball announced on Thursday its national licensing program, which includes 160 professional clubs, generated about $54 million in revenue in 2012. That marks a 3.3 percent increase from 2011 and the third-highest total since the program began in 1991.
Other International League teams among the leaders were the Columbus Clippers; Durham Bulls; Indianapolis Indians; Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and the Pawtucket Red Sox.
“The Toledo Mud Hens are thrilled to be one of the top teams in Minor League Baseball fan wear sales again this year,” Hens director of merchandise and licensing Craig Katz said.