July 31, 2017 - International League (IL) - Toledo Mud Hens
Two solo home runs proved to be the difference in Toledo Mud Hens loss to the Rochester Red Wings on Sunday evening. Efren Navarro extended his hitting streak to 13 games in a 2-0 defeat.
Both starting pitchers were on top of their games in the contest. Toledo's Anthony Vasquez threw the first 8.0 innings, allowing just one run on six hits, and struck out seven batters. Aaron Slegers for Rochester matched him pitch for pitch, firing eight scoreless, giving up just four hits and struck out one.
After each team went down in order in the first, Rochester put two men on in the second but Vasquez was able to escape trouble without allowing a run. In the bottom of the second, Dominic Ficociello singled to give the Hens their first hit, but that is all they would get in the inning.
Vasquez and Slegers were in cruise control through the middle innings, keeping both offenses at bay. It wasn't until the top of the sixth inning that the Red Wings finally got to Vasquez. Byron Buxton sent the first pitch of the sixth deep to left and hit one off the bottom of the foul pole in left to give Rochester a 1-0 lead.
The Hens put their first runner in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth. Kody Eaves led off the inning with his first career hit at the Triple-A level and Juan Perez bunted him to second. Brendan Ryan hit a fly ball to right that advanced Eaves to third to bring up Tyler Collins with two outs.Slegers got Collins to pop out in foul territory on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat and preserve the one-run Red Wings' advantage.
Jeff Ferrell came in the top of the ninth and ByungHo Park greeted him with a solo home run to right-center field to double the Rochester lead to 2-0.
Heading into their final at bat, the Hens faced a two-run deficit against Rochester closer John Curtiss . Matt den Dekker pinch hit for JaCoby Jones to lead off the ninth and was retired on strikes. Both Navarro and John Hicks walked to put two men on. Jason Krizan came up and grounded into a fielder's choice to keep things alive for Ficociello. The first pitch to him was grounded to second to end the game.
Toledo has an off day on Monday before traveling to Louisville for a three-game series against the Bats. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.