Greene and Rodriguez Homer in Win
Toledo, Ohio - The Mud Hens claimed an 8-2 victory over the St. Paul Saints tonight, brining their postseason record to an even 4-4. The win was highlighted by the longball, with Riley Greene giving the Hens an early lead on a two run blast and Aderlin Rodriguez blowing the doors wide open with a seventh inning grand slam. Lost in the offensive showcase, starting pitcher Ricardo Pinto put together a good outing, posting a final line of 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, and 8 K. The bullpen would carry the team the rest of the way, giving up zero earned runs. The matchup was the first game ever played in October by the Mud Hens.
RHP Ricardo Pinto got the start for Toledo, opening up the game by throwing a quick 1-2-3 inning. After falling victim to a shutout last night, the Hens offense continued to be stifled by Saints pitching early on, falling in order in the bottom of the first.
Pinto's second inning was not as smooth as his first, giving up a two out single followed by a pair of walks. With the bases loaded and pressure on, Pinto was successfully able to navigate the threat, keeping the score 0-0. Josh Lester was the only Toledo batter to reach base in the bottom of the second, drawing a one out walk.
The score remained knotted up at zero apiece in the top of third as St. Paul drew a walk but nothing more off Pinto. Toledo got their first hit of night in the bottom half of the inning as Chris Proctor lined a single to center. Proctor wouldn't stay on base for long as Riley Greene later demolished a home run to dep right-center field, giving the Hens a 2-0 lead. Kody Clemens would also single in the inning but would be left on base as the Saints ended the frame.
Continuing to pitch well, Pinto threw his second 1-2-3 inning of the game in the top of the fourth. The Hens added another run to their lead in the bottom half of the inning, as Ryan Kreidler, who doubled earlier in the inning, came in to score on a fielding error. Brady Policelli reached base via a walk in the inning but would be stranded.
Pinto allowed his first run of the game in the top of the fifth as a leadoff walk came around to score after a single and a double. Limiting the damage to just the one run, the Hens' righty would successfully end the threat. With the lead cut to 3-1, Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson led off the inning with a hit by pitch and walk. Unfortunately, neither would come in to score as St. Paul ended the threat with three straight put outs.
RHP Elvin Rodriguez made his Triple-A debut for the Hens in the top of the sixth, working a quick 1-2-3 inning. Ryan Kreidler led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk, followed shortly by a Jacob Robson single. Kreidler would come in to score on an inning ending double play thanks to some smart base running by Robson. Robson initiated a run down between first and second, giving Kreidler enough time to score.
Now working with a 4-1 lead, Rodriguez continued to pitch into the seventh inning, making his way around a leadoff single in a scoreless frame. Looking to put the game out of reach, Riley Greene led off the inning with a double to centerfield. A Spencer Torkelson walk followed by a Kody Clemens single then loaded the bases for Aderlin Rodriguez. Rodriguez would not miss out on the RBI opportunity, sending a massive grand slam to left field. Ryan Kreidler would walk later in the inning but by then the damage had been done as the Hens exited the inning leading 8-1.
LHP Locke St. John entered the game from the bullpen to start the eighth inning. St. John would allow a leadoff single before promptly striking out the side. Two Mud Hens base runners reached in the bottom of the eighth, Chris Proctor on an error and Riley Greene on a walk. However, neither would come in to score.
RHP Drew Carlton took over for St. John in the ninth, surrendering a lone run after a leadoff single came around to score on a pair of errors. Carlton would successfully secure the victory however, giving Toledo a 2-1 series lead over St. Paul.
What's Next: The Mud Hens look to keep things rolling tomorrow as the team takes on the Saints in game four of a five game series. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
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