Mud Hens center fielder Ezequiel Carrera smacks a single against Pawtucket in the second inning on Saturday night against Pawtucket af Fifth Third Field. He had three of Toledo’s 14 hits.
The Mud Hens came into Saturday’s contest knowing its bullpen would have to pitch nine innings — and a few runs by the offense would be good if the team wanted to win.
The bullpen did its job, allowing just three earned runs, while every Toledo hitter but one had at least one hit as the offense scored a whopping eight runs with two outs.
The result was a 10-5 Hens win over Pawtucket at Fifth Third Field.
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“To win a game like this, you have to score a few [runs], which we did,” Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. “And you figure you have to get innings out of every guy you use, and we did that.
“And that’s how we were able to piece together a win.”
After a scoreless first inning, the runs poured across home plate like a waterfall.
Pawtucket got things rolling with a two-run homer by Alex Hassan in the second, but Toledo responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning off Matt Barnes.
Trevor Crowe singled, James McCann doubled Crowe to third, and Ben Guez singled home Crowe and sent McCann to third. Jordan Lennerton then followed with a single to left that scored McCann, giving Toledo four straight hits and two runs.
Then with two outs and runners on first and third, Hernan Perez hit a slow roller to shortstop that trickled through for a single that brought home Guez.
The Red Sox tied the game with a third-inning run that deserved an asterisk. With one out, Jonathan Herrera hit a grounder to Mike Hessman that hit the lip of the infield and took a bad hop past Hessman, allowing Herrera to reach second.
Then with two outs, former Mud Hen Andres Torres blooped a single just over the glove of Perez at shortstop to score Herrera.
But Toledo wasted little time in retaking the lead. Hessman drew a one-out walk, then galloped home from first on McCann’s second double of the night.
Guez followed with a grounder that Pawtucket third baseman Mike McCoy allowed to roll into left field, and the error allowed McCann to score.
“We kept going back at them,” Parrish said. “Whenever they scored, we came back and scored – and scored more than they did.”
The Mud Hens took advantage of a wild spell by Barnes to score three more times in the fifth. With two outs and no one on base, McCann singled for his third hit of the game, and a walk to Guez knocked Barnes out of the contest.
Reliever Jose Valdez then walked Lennerton to load the bases, and Danny Worth’s single down the left-field line scored McCann and Guez.
Carrera then singled to plate Lennerton.
A Toledo error allowed the Red Sox to score two times in the sixth and crawl back into the contest. Hens reliever Daniel Schlereth gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs.
Corey Knebel replaced Schlereth and got Corey Brown to hit a popup behind third base. But shortstop Perez failed to catch the pop, and the error allowed two runs to score.
Toledo added two insurance runs in the eighth, taking advantage of two hits to score on a bases-loaded walk to Crowe and a run-scoring single by McCann, who finished the night 4-for-5.
“It looks as if McCann is getting a second wind,” Parrish said. “A few weeks back it looked like his bat was slowing down a little bit, but now he‘s squaring the ball up again.”
NOTES: Pawtucket’s Ryan Roberts, who crashed into the left-field wall Friday and left the game early after suffering a sprained left ankle, was placed on his team’s seven-day disabled list. … Carrera’s three singles extended his current hit streak to 14 games, one shy of the team’s season high and the longest active streak in the International League. … McCann’s four-hit day extended his current batting streak to eight games, while Lennerton now has a seven-game streak. … Saturday’s crowd of 10,800 was the Mud Hens’ 16th sellout this season and the 377th full house in Fifth Third Field history.