BUFFALO — The Mud Hens claimed a wild 7-6 victory over Buffalo on Sunday to win three of four games in the series with the Bisons.
Toledo used a four-run fifth inning to take the lead, and Jose Valverde pitched out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the bottom of the ninth as the Hens won for the fifth time in six games.
The Mud Hens scored twice in the first inning as Avisail Garcia singled then moved to third on a double by Danny Worth. Nick Castellanos hit a grounder to third, but a wild throw by Bisons third baseman Jim Negrych allowed both baserunners to score.
Buffalo got one of those runs back in the bottom of the first, then took a 4-2 lead on a three-run homer by Ryan Goins off Hens starter Ramon Garcia in the fourth.
Toledo responded with four runs in the top of the fifth off Bisons starter Chien-Ming Wang. Bryan Holaday opened the inning with a home run, his fourth this season, and the Hens tied the game when Kevin Russo doubled and Garcia singled him home.
The Hens weren’t done, though, as Danny Worth reached base when Wang mishandled a sacrifice bunt, and Jordan Lennerton singled home Garcia. Castellanos grounded into a forceout that plated Worth.
Buffalo scored again in the fifth, but the Toledo bullpen shut down the Bisons after that.
The Mud Hens added a run in the seventh when Danny Dorn doubled and Ben Guez drove him in, and that run proved critical when Valverde struggled to start the ninth.
Valverde gave up a single, a double and a walk to the first three batters he faced to load the bases with no one out, and Mauro Gomez singled to left to bring home a run while keeping the bases loaded.
With the tying run on third base, Valverde struck out Negrych, then got Andy LaRoche to hit into a game-ending double play to earn his fourth save with the Mud Hens.