BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Enlarge
Thad Weber’s solid start for Buffalo in the Bisons’ 7-5 win Monday over the Mud Hens helped make his return to Fifth Third Field a success.
“There was a little added adrenaline, and a little extra emotions because of my attachment to Toledo the past couple of years,” he admitted. “But any time I can throw well and put my team in a position to win, it’s a good day.”
The 28-year-old right-hander benefited from the Bisons’ seven-run second inning outburst. Weber gave up a home run to Danny Dorn in the second, then held the Hens scoreless until they scored twice off him in the seventh.
“Any time you put a seven-spot on the board, that allows me to be a little more relaxed,” said Weber, who allowed seven hits and two walks while fanning seven in 6 2/3 innings. “I wish I would have been in the strike zone more, but I just wanted to do my best to make pitches, get outs, and get our guys back into the dugout as quickly as possible.”
Weber struggled here in 2011, going 5-11 with a 5.65 ERA before improving last season, when he posted a 7-11 record and 4.20 ERA.
That improvement earned him a two-game stay in Detroit — and caught the eye of San Diego, which claimed him off waivers on Aug. 23.
“At the time, I thought [San Diego] was a great opportunity for me,” Weber said. “I loved my time in Toledo, and I thank the Tigers for giving me an opportunity in the big leagues, but San Diego was a good spot for me.”
This season he began the season with the Padres’ Triple-A team in Tucson, then made three appearances with San Diego before Toronto claimed him on waivers May 19.
Weber has pitched in four games with the Blue Jays but has spent much of the season with Buffalo, with Monday’s win improving his season’s numbers with the Bisons to 5-4 with a 2.65 ERA.
“I feel I’ve been given a good opportunity [with Toronto],” Weber said. “There could be a lot of action [in the future], especially with the trade deadline coming, but you try not to get caught up in that.
“All I’m concerned about is how I pitch and what I do for my team.”
HE’S NO. 2:
Mud Hens first baseman Jordan Lennerton has flourished since moving into the second spot in Toledo’s batting order.
He went 1-for-4 with a walk Monday, improving his numbers while batting second to .400 with a home run and three walks that give him a .571 on-base percentage.
“Hitting behind [leadoff man Avisail Garcia] is great because he hits the ball hard, puts a lot of balls in play and gets on base,” Lennerton said. “Hitting in front of [Nick Castellanos], I’m probably going to see a lot more pitches to hit.
“It’s a way to get me more pitches and get going.”
NOTES: Among those in attendance at Fifth Third Field Monday were Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski and assistant GM Al Avila. Former Hen Craig Monroe, now a studio analyst for the Tigers’ broadcasts on Fox Sports Detroit, also was at the game. … Monday’s crowd of 9,776 was Toledo’s fourth sellout in a row, 20th full house this season, and 347th sellout in Fifth Third Field history.