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A “fun” night at the ballpark led to the Mud Hens claiming an 11-5 win over Syracuse at Fifth Third Field Tuesday.
And talk about fun: Toledo pounded out 18 hits, including 11 for extra bases, and scored at least three runs in three different innings to win its fifth game in a row.
“Hitting is contagious,” said James McCann, who went 4-for-4 with three doubles to lead the offense. “When you have two or three guys going, everybody jumps on board the train. It’s been fun to go to the park and play.”
The Hens broke on top with four runs in the fourth off Chiefs starter Aaron Laffey. Jordan Lennerton pounded a bases-loaded double to score three of those runs, and a fourth scored on a Syracuse error.
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Toledo added three in the fifth, thanks in large part to a moonshot two-run homer by Tyler Collins onto the roof of the buildings behind the right-field fence, to take a 7-1 lead.
“We swung the bats well against a guy who’s a pretty good pitcher in Laffey,” Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. “We just wanted to be aggressive. A guy like him, if he gets ahead in the count, he can move the ball around the zone.
“If you get a pitch to hit against him, you have to whack it.”
That was more than enough offense for Toledo starter Kyle Lobstein, who claimed his third straight win by allowing just four hits and one run while striking out six in six solid innings.
“He’s throwing the ball much better,” Parrish said of Lobstein. “Early in the season he was over-rotating, not getting the front shoulder up-to-down, and didn’t have any angle on his pitches.
“He had a bullpen to work on his mechanics, and now he’s had three good games in a row.”
The Hens added four more runs in the seventh off Syracuse’s Tyler Robertson as Ben Guez slammed a two-run homer and Daniel Fields added a solo shot into the Roost.
The only spoiler was the struggles of Luke Putkonen, who is on a rehab assignment with Toledo. In the eighth he gave up three singles to load the bases, then surrendered a grand slam off the scoreboard in left to Brock Peterson.
"I didn’t think he had the pop on his fastball, the movement," Parrish said. "There also were some things we don’t want to talk about, but that we might be able to help him with."
NOTES: Mike Hessman missed his second straight game with an ankle injury and is not expected to play in today’s 10:30 a.m. start. … The start of the game was delayed 33 minutes by rain.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.