Mud Hens Take Series Finale at Home
TOLEDO, Ohio - The Toledo Mud Hens would finish even in their four-game series against the Durham Bulls after Thursday's 8-5 win at Fifth Third Field.
Drew VerHagen (4-2, 4.42 ERA) went 6.1 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits for his first start since June 21 in which he's surrednered less than four runs. John Schreiber picked up the win and joins four others with five on the season.
Aaron Slegers (4-5, 6.45 ERA) took the loss on 6.1 innings of work, giving up four runs on six hits, walking one and striking out eight.
Toledo improves to 4-6 against the 2018 Governor's Cup Champions after wrapping up the 10-game season-series and 12-20 against IL South Division opponents this season.
A steller first inning for the Mud Hens was initated by Ronny Rodriguez with a towering shot to left, bringing in Willi Castro and Jacob Robson, for the 3-0 lead.
Rodriguez, with four home runs through 22 games with Toledo, would bumped his batting average to over .300 following a 3-for-4 outing in Wednesday's loss.
VerHagen recorded all seven of his strikeouts prior to back-to-back Durham singles in the fifth inning. It'd set up a Mac James line drive RBI base hit to right field.
The record-holder for most strikeouts in a game this season belongs to Ryan Carpenter (11) back on July 1.
Despite not turning into a run, Willi Castro grabbed his 19th double in the fifth that ricocheted off the left field wall.
Castro and Dawel Lugo have combined for 39 doubles to sit first and second among active Mud Hens batters, respectively. Castro, 22, also leads the team in runs scored (58).
VerHagen was relieved with runners at first and third having already giving up a ground ball single to Kean Wong which scored Lucius Fox.
The next at-bat saw James tie the score with a sacrifice fly as John Schreiber made his 32nd appearance for Toledo this season.
Castro would later find an opening in right-center for his second double of the night in the seventh to give the Mud Hens a 6-3 lead.
The native of Rio Pierdad, Puerto Rico, ends a three-game stretch without an RBI and becomes the seventh IL player to reach 100 hits through the latter half of July.
Bryan Garcia and Jose Cisnero both threw out the eighth inning and were responsible for the two-run comeback by Durham.
A fly ball to deep center provided Lucius Fox with his first-career Triple-A triple that brought home Dalton Kelly. Fox would round the bases when Kevin Padlo's ground ball to shortstop was not played in time.
Garcia came into Thursday third-best among Mud Hens pitchers in WHIP (1.00) and Cisnero made his second relief appearance after being optioned from Detroit on Wednesday.
Toledo finished with two more runs garnered in the eighth off a Danny Woodrow single to right field and JaCoby Jones taking the four-ball walk.
Woodrow has now extended his hitting streak to a team-high eight games.
Tyler Alexander (4-9, 5.72 ERA) is probable to start Friday in the first of a three-game series against the Syracuse Mets at Fifth Third Field.
Opening pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (EST).
Live coverage is available on Buckeye Cable Sports Network, MiLB.TV, BCSNNation.com and Fox Sports 1230 WCWA-AM.
#RoadToDetroit Report (rankings according to MLB.com 2019 Prospect Watch):
5. OF Daz Cameron : DNP
6. RHP Beau Burrows : DNP
7. IF Willi Castro: 3-for-5, 2 Runs, 1 Double, 2 RBIs
12. C Jake Rogers : 1-for-3, Walk, Run, Double
16. OF Jacob Robson: 1-for-4, Walk, Run, RBI
18. RHP Bryan Garcia: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
19. OF Danny Woodrow: 1-for-4, Run, RBI
22. RHP John Schreiber: W, 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
27. LHP Matt Hall : DNP
28. IF/OF Dustin Peterson : DNP
- Jacob Robson has taken sole possession of first place in stolen bases (19) and passes Louisville's Christian Colon (18) after going successful in his one attempt Thursday.
- Caleb Thielbar has logged 8.2 innings without a run allowed on three hits with 12 strikeouts in his last five relief appearances.
- It was announced Thursday that Ryan Carpenter has been added back to the rotation and will start Sunday. Carpenter was optioned from Detroit on Wednesday after starting in Cleveland for his ninth MLB appearance this season.
- The addition of Carpenter will move Gregory Soto to the bullpen for Toledo. Soto, the 24-year-old left-hander, has compiled an 0-3 record and 6.94 ERA over 23.1 innings pitched in Triple-A.
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