Pina helps Mud Hens to victory

New catcher contributes HR, defense


Welcome to the Mud Hens, Manny Pina.

Roughly a week after Pina joined the team, he played a starring role in Toledo’s 4-3 win over Scranton/​Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

At the plate, Pina slammed a three-run homer, his first with the team, that gave the Hens the come-from-behind victory. Behind the plate, he picked a runner off second base to blunt a potential rally by the RailRiders.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view more photos

Both were important in helping the Hens snap a modest two-game losing streak, as was a rain delay that stopped an eighth-inning rally. Scranton/​Wilkes-Barre loaded the bases with two outs before the contest was stopped, then never restarted following an extensive wait.

The RailRiders scored first off Toledo starter Derek Hankins as Zelous Wheeler walked, raced to third on a double by Corban Joseph, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Francisco Arcia.

Scranton/​Wilkes-Barre increased its lead to 3-0 in the third inning thanks to a bad call by umpire Brian de Brauwere. With Antoan Richardson on first, Jose Pirela hit a grounder to second base that Brandon Douglas caught and tossed to Hernan Perez.

Perez dropped the ball transferring it from glove to hand, and de Brauwere called Richardson safe. After a walk to Rob Refsnyder, Kyle Roller followed with a two-run single.

But the Mud Hens started a comeback with a run in the third off RailRiders starter Bruce Billings. Brandon Douglas beat out a bunt single, Danny Worth walked, and Ezequeil Carrera lined an RBI single.

Then Pina, who picked the RailRiders’ Arcia off second base to blunt a rally in the top of the fourth, won the game in the bottom of the inning.

Trevor Crowe singled and Jordan Lennerton walked to set the table for Pina, who lined the first pitch of the at-bat over the fence just under the scoreboard in left for a home run.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 48 minutes by rain. … The Mud Hens added Bryan Augenstein to the roster to replace Chad Smith, who was called up to Detroit on Thursday. Augenstein was 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA with Double-A Erie. … Mike Hessman again was not in the Toledo lineup. He has not swung a bat in several days and is not expected to play in today’s noon contest. … Ben Guez left Wednesday’s game after two innings because of back problems. 

Contact John Wagner at:, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.