NORFOLK, Va. — The Mud Hens are still searching for a victory on their eight-game road trip after dropping an 11-4 decision to Norfolk that completed a four-game sweep by the Tides.
Ivan De Jesus' eighth-inning grand slam highlighted a 15-hit attack for Norfolk, which had not swept a four-game series since accomplishing the feat against the Hens last April at Harbor Park.
De Jesus, who connected for an RBI double in the fourth inning, belted a two-out, opposite field shot off of former Tide Daniel Schlereth. Every batter hit safely and five different players drove in a run for Norfolk, which improved to 18-2 against Toledo over the last three seasons.
Norfolk (48-58) scored a run in each of the first three innings of the game. They scored two runs in the fourth, one run in the sixth, and five runs in bottom of the eighth.
In the second inning, Mud Hens Tyler Collins hit his 15th home run to center field. In the fourth inning, Mike Hessman notched a two-run home run, his 19th of the season and 408th of his minor league career blast. Jordan Lennerton, who had doubled, scored on Hessman's blast to temporarily tie the game at 3.
The pitchers ran into trouble all afternoon. Every Hens hurler gave up at least one run. Toledo starting pitcher Derek Hankins pitched five innings. He allowed four earned runs, struck out three, and walked three batters. Reliever Kenny Faulk threw one inning, allowing one earned run, and striking out two batters.
Melvin Mercedes gave up four hits, accounting for four earned runs.
Schlereth entered the game following Mercedes in the eighth. After walking the first batter, he gave up the De Jesus slam.
The Hens continue their trip today with the start of a four-game series against Durham beginning at 7:05 p.m. They return to Fifth Third Field on Tuesday for a five-game homestand against Norfolk and Indianapolis.