TOLEDO, Oh. - Louisville entered Sunday scoreless in their previous 11 innings. With left-hander Tony Cingrani slotted to start against Toledo's Shawn Hill, runs were more than likely going to be a premium.
The Bats went quietly in the top half of the first inning, which would quickly bring the standout Cingrani to the mound. Cingrani dominated the Mud Hens on opening night, throwing 6.1 innings, allowing no hits while striking out 14 batters.
In the bottom of the first Cingrani misplayed a bunt, allowing Quintin Berry to reach base. The error marked Louisville's 12th in just 11 games. After balking to send him to second, Berry would go on to steal third base to put some early pressure on Cingrani. However, Cingrani would strike out two in the inning and get Jordan Lennerton to fly out to avoid an early deficit.
With Saturday's injury to Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, one would wonder if Cingrani would be the next in line to replace him if needed. The speculation only grew when Chad Reineke began warming up in the Louisville bullpen in the second inning. Cingrani went on to strikeout the side in the bottom of the second inning, giving him five for the game. Cingrani's afternoon would come to an end, as Reineke would replace him to begin the third inning.
Cingrani (1-0, 0.00) improved his numbers through his first three appearances in 2013 to 14.1 IP, 3H, 0R and 26 K's.
Louisville would get their bats going in the third when Konrad Schmidt led off the inning with a single. Billy Hamilton advanced him into scoring position after grounding out to first base. Jason Donald followed with a two-out single up the middle to put the Bats up 1-0. The RBI by Donald marked the first run the Bats have scored in their previous 13 innings. Entering Sunday's contest the Bats were a perfect 5-0 this season when scoring first.
After Reineke retired the Mud Hens in order in the bottom of the third, the Bats would tack onto their lead in the fourth inning. Felix Perez was hit by a pitch, and advanced to third base after a successful hit-and-run by Denis Phipps. With one out in the inning, Josh Fellhauer hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Bats up 2-0.
Louisville would go down in order in the fifth inning. Billy Hamilton's struggles continued, going hitless on Sunday. Hamilton went just 2-for-17 in the four game series against Toledo, with both hits coming off of bunt singles.
After an uneventful fifth inning, action would start back up in the sixth. Henry Rodriguez led off the top of the inning with a double down the left field line. The Bats would leave him stranded however, as Neftali Soto, Felix Perez and Denis Phipps would go down in order.
Reineke retired the first two batters in the home half of the sixth, but the Detroit Tigers top hitting prospect Nick Castellanos doubled down the right field line to begin the two out rally. After a wild pitch advanced Castellanos to third, Jordan Lennerton singled up the middle to cut the Bats lead to 2-1.
Jose Arredondo came in for Reineke in the seventh, and struck out the side. In the bottom of the eighth Arredondo walked Gustavo Nunez, and gave up a single to Quintin Berry to give Toledo runners on second and third with Castellanos coming to the plate. Castellanos hit a soft line drive into shallow left field, but shortstop Jason Donald made an over-the-shoulder diving play, and doubled off Nunez at second base to halt the Mud Hens' rally. Arredondo went on to strike out Lennerton to get out of the eighth inning.
Soto led off the ninth with a single, as the Bats were looking to give closer Kevin Whelan some insurance runs. However Perez and Phipps both struck out, and Soto was caught stealing at second to end the inning.
Whelan retired Toledo in order in the ninth to pick up his second save on the season. Bats' pitchers combined to allow just one run on six hits, while striking out 11 batters. Louisville pitchers entered the game second in the International League with 93 strikeouts, and are now over the century mark in just their 11th game.
Louisville was outscored 12-7 in the series but were still able to obtain the series split. The Bats improve to 6-5 this season, 5-3 against Toledo. The Mud Hens fall to 3-8.
The Bats will take the short bus ride to Columbus, where they open up a three game series against the Clippers on Monday at 6:35 p.m. Louisville's Armando Galarraga (1-1, 2.53) will square off against Columbus' Carlos Carrasco (0-1, 17.18).