It has been a long time — seven years, to be exact — since Jack Hannahan has worn a Mud Hens uniform.
Hannahan, who is playing with Louisville at Fifth Third Field, has nothing but fond remembrances of his time in Toledo.
“It has been a long time, but the memories are all great ones,” Hannahan said Friday before Toledo’s 6-0 win over the Bats. “I remember winning two [Governors’ Cup] championships, and I remember this place just rocking.
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“Those were some of the most fun years I’ve had playing baseball.”
Toledo manager Larry Parrish, Hannahan’s manager when he played here from 2005-07, enjoyed a chance to talk with the infielder before this series began.
“You like to see good guys that you’ve had, especially ones who have played in the big leagues,” Parrish said of Hannahan. “We’ve seen him grow up — both on and off the field — and that’s one of the best parts of the game.”
Hannahan is with Louisville as part of the rehab for his right shoulder after surgery last October. He played with Cincinnati’s Low Class A Dayton club before the All-Star break, then joined the Bats on Thursday.
“After two setbacks, this is the best [my shoulder] has felt throwing,” said Hannahan, who went 0 for 3 against the Hens on Friday. “I’m still trying to build arm strength.
“Also I’m just trying to get at-bats and see pitches. I’m kind of behind the 8-ball, but I’m just trying to get back on track.”
Hannahan wasn’t the only Louisville hitter who struggled Friday as Toledo starter Duane Below and two relievers combined to shut out the Bats on just three hits.
“That is two good starts in a row for us,” Parrish said. “Offensively we scored two early, and we had some good at-bats later in the game.”
Despite giving up just two hits, Below allowed some baserunners because of three walks and a wild pitch. He also allowed just one runner past second base and struck out three.
Despite the strong performance in his eighth victory, Below called it a “frustrating” day.
“I had a lot of three-ball counts, and I needed to get quicker outs so I can go deeper into the game,” he said. “I felt my breaking stuff was better and I threw a lot of changeups.
“But I kept falling behind with my fastball.”
Daniel Schlereth pitched a scoreless eighth, and Justin Miller retired all six Bats he faced to finish off the victory.
Offensively Toledo scored a run in the first on an RBI single by James McCann, then added a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Ezequiel Carrera before scoring three times in the seventh to break the game open.
Brandon Douglas started that rally with a single, then stole second before coming home on an RBI single by Carrera. With the bases loaded, Mike Hessman’s high fly to deep center dropped for a single when Bats center fielder Jason Bourgeois lost it in the lights.
McCann capped that rally with a sacrifice fly.
Carrera also had a run-scoring single in the eighth to finish 3 for 4 with three RBIs, while Daniel Fields had two hits, one walk, and scored twice while McCann also had two hits and two RBIs.
NOTES: Danny Worth’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, a girl, on Thursday. Parrish said Worth, who is on Toledo’s Temporary Inactive list, is expected to return to the team Sunday. … Fields was promoted from Double-A Erie before Friday’s contest and will take Worth’s spot on the roster. … The Hens are expected to receive LHP Alex Burgos from Double-A Erie to help with today’s doubleheader. … Friday’s crowd of 10,081 at Fifth Third Field was the Mud Hens’ 17th sellout this season.