The Mud Hens saw their playoff hopes pushed to the brink of extinction with a 10-2 loss to Louisville at Fifth Third Field Sunday.
Six Toledo pitchers combined to allow 17 hits and 10 runs, including four in both the third and sixth innings, as the Hens lost for the second night in a row.
The Mud Hens saw their “tragic” number for an International League playoff berth drop to one with the loss.
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“That wasn’t a very good game,” Toledo manager Larry Parrish said.
“The only good thing was that we made it through the game with the bullpen, and hopefully we can get that back in better shape.
“There isn’t much else good you can say about that one.”
About the only good news was that Mike Hessman had a big day, hammering a pair of solo home runs to account for both of the Hens runs. He now has 28 homers this season and trails IL leader Andy Wilkins of Charlotte by only one.
“It’s funny: [trainer] Chris McDonald comes in every day to tell me elbow this, knee this, finger that,” Parrish said, numerating Hessman’s injuries this season. “Meanwhile he’s hit 28 homers and put together a pretty good year.”
The Hens did little else against Louisville starter Jon Moscot, who allowed a single by Hernan Perez in the first, then retired the next 11 in a row before Hessman homered to open the fifth.
Hessman pounded a long homer in the seventh, then doubled to open the ninth to give him three of Toledo’s six hits. Wade Gaynor also had two hits, a double and a single.
That was far too little offense as Hens starter Shawn Hill and the bullpen struggled.
Hill gave up three hits and a run in the first, then surrendered five straight singles in the third that eventually produced four runs.
The Bats broke the game open as Hill and Jose Ortega combined to give up four hits and two walks in a four-run sixth, and Ian Krol gave up three hits and a run in the seventh.
NOTES: Before the game the Mud Hens sent pitcher Will Startup to Double-A Erie and added pitcher Buck Farmer to the roster. … Rehabbing Detroit outfielder Andy Dirks, who was with the Mud Hens Saturday, left the team Sunday and returned to Lakeland to continue his rehab from hamstring trouble. … Sunday’s crowd of 9,153 was Toledo’s 28th sellout this season.