Stewart, Huffman homer as Mud Hens edge Columbus 3-2


Christin Stewart and Chad Huffman hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the eighth inning as the Toledo Mud Hens held on for a 3-2 win Friday against the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park. 

With the win, Toledo moves to ½ game behind Columbus in the International League’s West Division. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre also won, so the Mud Hens remain ½ game behind the RailRiders in the wild-card race. 

What happened: Pete Kozma opened the scoring for Toledo in the top of the second with a sacrifice fly. The Clippers got two runs in the sixth, when Adam Rosales scored on a double play and Yu Chang singled home Brandon Barnes.

The Clippers led 2-1 until Stewart and Huffman connected on their back-to-back home runs in the eighth against Columbus reliever Neil Ramirez.

After that, Toledo reliever Johnny Barbato pitched two scoreless innings for his 12th save of the season. Hunter Cervenka picked up his third win of the season for the Hens by pitching a scoreless seventh inning. 

Toledo starting pitcher Jacob Turner lasted six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. 

Game MVP: Huffman had just one hit but he made it count.

Make a note of it: With the win and a 6-5 loss by In­di­a­nap­o­lis to Lou­is­ville, the Mud Hens passed the In­di­ans in the IL West and wild-card stand­ings. Toledo now is in sec­ond place in the di­vi­sion.

Comings and goings: The Detroit Tigers activated left-handed pitcher Blaine Hardy from the disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Josh Smoker to Toledo.

A look ahead: Toledo takes on Columbus in the second game of the key four-game series at 7:15 p.m. Saturday. Toledo will start right-hander Spencer Turnbull (0-1, 4.26 ERA), while Columbus sends Adam Wilk (6-8, 3.80 ERA) to the mound.

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