Hardy strong as Hens earn win

Weber’s broadcasting streak reaches 5,000 games


LOUISVILLE — The Mud Hens made broadcaster Jim Weber’s 5,000th consecutive game a successful one, claiming a 4-1 victory at Louisville on Sunday.
Blaine Hardy allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, and the Hens scored two runs in both the second and eighth to snap a three-game losing streak.
Hardy, coming off a complete-game one-hitter Monday, improved to 6-1 by limiting the Bats to just three hits and three walks while fanning five in seven shutout frames. Louisville did not push a runner past second base against the left-hander.

Meanwhile Toledo took advantage of a Bats error to score twice in the second inning. With one out Jordan Lennerton was safe on an error by former Hen Mike Hessman at first base, and with two outs Danny Worth drew a walk. Kevin Russo’s single scored Lennerton and pushed Worth to third.

Then Worth and Russo pulled off a double steal, with Worth stealing home. It marked the first time the Hens had stolen home since Ben Guez turned that trick as the front end of a double steal against Louisville exactly one year earlier.

Toledo got two insurance runs in the eighth when Alex Avila drew a walk from Louisville starter Tim Crabbe. Jose Arendondo came out of the bullpen to replace Crabbe, and Nick Castellanos promptly pounded a two-run homer, his 16th this season.

Those insurance runs proved valuable when the Bats rallied in the bottom of the ninth. Darin Downs, who got three quick outs in the eighth, gave up a one-out double to Hessman, then walked Henry Rodriguez. Downs got a groundout, but Kristopher Negron followed with an RBI single.

Luke Putkonen came on and got pinch-hitter Felix Perez to fly out to claim his first save this season.

NOTE: Avila continued his rehab assignment with the Mud Hens by catching seventh innings. He was 1 for 3 with a single and a walk before being replaced behind the plate in the bottom of the eighth.