TOLEDO, Oh. - Louisville (28-30) avoided the four-game sweep at Toledo (20-39) Monday night. Billy Hamilton scored two of Louisville's three runs; including an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning to give the Bats the late 3-2 lead. Armando Galarraga threw 7.2 strong innings for the Bats as the offense overcame a great pitching performance from the Mud Hens starter, Jose Alvarez.
Hamilton started the Bats off on the right foot with a looping double down the left field line. A perfect bunt single from Kristopher Negron advanced Hamilton to third. Hamilton scored the game's first run, tagging from third on a Felix Perez sac fly.
Galarraga (4-3, 2.70) cruised through his first two innings, allowing no hits and striking out three. Kevin Russo broke up the no hitter and the shutout with one swing in the third. Russo's first home run of the season tied the game at one.
Galarraga and Alvarez (5-4, 2.42) traded shutout innings until the sixth when the Mud Hens took advantage of an error. Nick Castellanos reached on a fielder's choice with two outs. Danny Dorn sent a shallow fly ball into center. Hamilton made a diving effort but couldn't make the play. As Hamilton tried to get the ball in, he slipped and fell, allowing Castellanos to score and give Toledo the 2-1 lead. It was Hamilton's fourth error of the season.
Hamilton redeemed himself in the top of the eighth with an inside-the-park two-run home run. Emmanuel Burriss led off the inning with a single, the first Louisville base runner since the first inning. Hamilton lined a ball into center with two outs. Ben Guez dove for the ball, but it got past him and Hamilton was able to come all the way around to give Louisville a 3-2 lead. It was Hamilton's fifth of his career.
The last inside-the-park home run for Louisville came in 2011 off the bat of Negron. Oddly enough, that home run also came at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.
Following the home run, Negron doubled to knock Alvarez out of the game. The starter went 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Alvarez struck out nine Bats, but picked up the loss.
Galarraga started the eighth but was relieved after a two-out single by Jordan Lennerton. Jose Diaz retired Castellanos to end the inning. Galarraga threw 7.2 innings and allowed one earned run on five hits. He walked three and struck out eight while recording the win.
Curtis Partch pitched the ninth and struck out the first two batters he faced. Toledo was able to get the tying run on base but Mike Hessman snagged a line drive out of the air to end the game and get Partch his second save of the year.
Louisville returns home for an eight game home stand tomorrow night. RHP Greg Reynolds (5-0, 2.92) will look to continue his strong 2013 season against the Norfolk Tides (34-24) at 7:05. Norfolk has yet to name a starter. Come out to Louisville Slugger Field and take advantage of $1 Hot Dogs & $1 Pepsi Night.