BLADE/LORI KING Enlarge
The Mud Hens rallied twice, and nearly rallied a third time, but eventually suffered an 8-7 loss to Rochester in 16 innings at Fifth Third Field on Tuesday.
The contest was the longest for Toledo this season in terms of both innings and time of game (5:17).
The Red Wings scored three times in the top of the 16th inning off Jeff Todd, who threw four scoreless innings — twice as long as he has gone all season — before struggling. With one out Ray Olmedo doubled, and Doug Bernier singled him home to break the tie.
Todd got the second out of the inning, but Chris Colabello gave Rochester some insurance by slamming a two-run homer to right, his eighth of the season.
Toledo threatened to keep the game going with a rally off former Mud Hens and Tigers pitcher Virgil Vasquez in the bottom of the 16th. With two outs and no one on Quintin Berry walked, took second on defensive indifference, then scored on a single by Nick Castellanos.
Jordan Lennerton singled Castellanos to second, and Castellanos came home on a single by Avisail Garcia that sent pinch-runner Ben Guez to third.
But Guez was stranded at third when Vasquez struck out Brad Davis to end the game.
It was a high-scoring finish to a contest that also saw both teams scoring runs early. Rochester scored a run in the first, but Toledo responded with a pair of runs in the second thanks to a two-out, two-run single by Argenis Diaz.
Rochester tied the game in the third on an RBI double by former Hen Clete Thomas, then took the lead with an unearned run in the fourth.
The game remained 3-2 until the bottom of the ninth, when Lennerton opened the inning with an opposite-field home run off Luis Perdomo.
Rochester made a bid to win the game in the top of the 11th by scoring twice off Hens reliever Brayan Villarreal. Joe Benson opened the inning with a double into the gap in left center, and Villarreal walked Eric Fryer to put two on with none out.
Villarreal managed to strike out Eric Farris without allowing the runners to advance, but Olmedo made that a moot point with a double to the base of the wall in right, scoring Benson and sending Fryer to third.
Bernier then laid down a squeeze bunt — his second of the game — to score Fryer with what looked to be an insurance run.
But the Mud Hens found a way to tie the game in the bottom of the inning — with a little help from the Red Wings. Garcia and Ramon Cabrera opened the inning with singles off Rochester reliever Mike O’Connor. Danny Dorn then hit a hard grounder to first that Colabello snagged, but threw wildly trying to retire Davis, who came on as a pinch-runner, at second base.
The ball trickled into center, allowing Garcia to score and Davis to reach third. Davis then came home on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Russo.
NOTES: Tigers LHP Phil Coke, who pitched an inning in a rehab assignment Monday, did not experience any problems with the groin injury that forced him to the disabled list retroactive to April 26. Detroit has not announced the next step in Coke’s rehab assignment. … Garcia and Berry, both of whom were injured in Friday’s game, returned to the lineup Tuesday
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.