All was well for Toledo until it wasn’t.
Two blown leads resulted in a hard-luck 7-6 loss to the visiting Syracuse Chiefs.
What happened: The Hens jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning, and starting pitcher Jacob Turner rolled through the first 3.2 innings. But with two outs in the fourth, he gave up a two-run single.
It didn’t get much better with the bullpen. Paul Voelker surrendered two runs in the fifth, including a bases-loaded walk, and Hunter Cervenka yielded another run in the sixth.
With the game tied at six in the eighth, Toledo’s Christin Stewart hit a leadoff triple and scored when Dawel Lugo hit a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield.
Johnny Barbato blew the save — and the game — in the ninth, allowing four hits, including a two-run, two-out bases loaded single. It was his first blown save of the season in 10 attempts.
The Hens had two base runners in the ninth before their rally fizzled.
Game MVP: With two out and the bases loaded in the ninth, Syracuse’s Adrian Sanchez hit a soft single down the rightfield line that found an opening between a hard-charging Harold Castro and first baseman Jason Krizan. The two-run RBI decided the game’s outcome.
He said it: “[To lose] on a bloop like that, it’s tough,” Mud Hens manager Doug Mienktiewicz said. “We’re trying the best we can. We have to pitch better. I said, when we pitch well, we don’t hit, and when we hit well, we don’t pitch. You can’t fault the guys, they’re trying. Giving up four hits in an inning is not something Johnny’s done all year. That’s baseball. We can’t keep making it come down to one run every night.”
Mud Hens' Jacob Turner pitches against the Iron Pigs in the second inning at Fifth Third Field on July 22, 2018.
BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge
Make a note of it: Turner had a streak of 10.2 scoreless snapped in the fourth inning when Irving Falu hit a two-out, two-run double before being thrown out at third base. ...The Hens, attempting to reach the postseason for the first time since 2007, are four games out of the IL West and 2.5 games out of the wild card. ...Athletic trainer Chris McDonald was named the International League’s PBATS trainer of the year. McDonald is in his fifth season with Toledo after spending the previous eight years at Double-A Erie.
A look ahead: The Mud Hens go for the series win over Syracuse Wednesday. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., with southpaw Ryan Carpenter (2-8, 5.30 ERA) taking the hill for Toledo and righty Phillips Valdez (4-7, 2.84 ERA) starting for the Chiefs.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.