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Mud Hens fall as Louisville rallies late

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Mud Hens pitcher Matt Hall delivers during a game against the Rochester Red Wings earlier this season. Hall pitched well, but the Mud Hens fell 5-2 at Louisville on Thursday night.

BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge

What started as a pitcher’s duel between the Toledo Mud Hens and Louisville Bats on Thursday night at Louisville Slugger Field ended up being a decisive 5-2 victory for Louisville. The Bats scored four runs in the eighth inning to earn a come-from-behind win and damage Toledo’s fading playoff hopes.

Mud Hens starting pitcher Matt Hall and Louisville starter Jose Lopez were on top of their games as Hall fired six scoreless innings and Lopez gave up a single run in his 6⅓ innings of work.

However, with Toledo leading 2-1 in the eighth, the Bats broke through for four runs on four hits, an error, and a hit batsman.

What happened: Harold Castro got the Mud Hens on the board in the top of the second inning with an RBI single that scored Daz Cameron. Once Hall exited the game, Louisville immediately scored on Toledo reliever Josh Smoker as Josh VanMeter had an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh. The Mud Hens answered with a run in the eighth off Bryan native Matt Wisler on a Cameron sacrifice fly. Louisville scored the winning runs in the eighth beginning with a bunt-single by Brian O’Grady on which pitcher Hunter Cervenka committed a throwing error. Nick Longhi was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for another run, and VanMeter had a two-out, two-run single that pushed the lead to 5-2.

Game MVP: VanMeter had three hits and three RBIs.

Make a note of it: Center fielder Cameron batted fifth in the lineup for Toledo on Thursday night...Wisler allowed one run on three hits in his inning of relief.

Comings and goings: The Detroit Tigers optioned Zac Reininger to the Mud Hens before Toledo’s game Thursday night...The Tigers will send outfielder JaCoby Jones to Toledo on Friday on an injury rehab assignment.

A look ahead: Toledo hosts Columbus on Friday night as the beginning of the final home series of the season for the Mud Hens. Warwick Saupold (2-0, 4.71 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Toledo, while Ryan Merritt (1-2, 4.47 ERA) will start for the Clippers.

Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com419-724-6110, or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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