Toledo went into Saturday leading the International League in home runs and the margin got much wider after the doubleheader. Toledo scored 15 runs in the two games on seven homers as the Mud Hens (7-10) took both games Saturday to win the series against the Columbus Clippers (5-10).
The winning pitchers for Toledo were Duane Below (2-0, 1.93 ERA) and Jhan Marinez (1-1, 6.23 ERA). Below went five innings allowing one run on five hits in game one while Marinez pitched one and one-thirds innings in relief allowing two runs on two hits in game two. Melvin Mercedes picked up the save, his second, in game two allowing just one run, a Jesus Aguilar homer, in one and two-thirds innings.
Tyler Cloyd (1-2, 7.56 ERA) and Vinnie Pestano (0-1, 2.25 ERA) were the losing pitchers in the twinbill. Cloyd gave up eight runs in five innings on nine hits, four of which were homers, for the 8-1 Clippers loss in game one. Pestano pitched an inning in relief and only allowed one run, but was on the hill when Toledo took a 6-5 lead in the fifth. Columbus lost game two 7-6.
Game one was the J.D. Martinez and Ezequiel Carrera show. The two combined to drive in all eight of Toledo's runs in the game. Martinez hit three homers on the first three pitches he saw, going 3-4 on the game with 5 RBI on two two-run homers and a solo shot. Carrera bombed a three-run dinger across the street over the right field wall at Huntington Park. Carrera was 2-4 in game one.
Game two was much of the same offensively as Carrera went 3-4 with two runs scored and Martinez hit his IL-leading 10th home run in the first inning to give the Mud Hens a 2-0 lead. Toledo also got solid production from Tyler Collins in game two as he went 2-4 with a solo homer and a 2-run double. The two games for Collins Saturday afternoon were his first two in AAA baseball.
Although the offense was seemingly non-existent for Columbus in game one Jose Ramirez and Jesus Aguilar each reached safely, Aguilar with a single in the third and Ramirez with a walk in the first and single in the seventh, to extend their season-long on base streaks. They are tied for second behind Carrera, who has played in two more games than Ramirez and Aguilar.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair. Toledo got out two a quick 2-0 lead on Martinez's fourth homer of the doubleheader and fifth of the series. Columbus drew the bases loaded on three straight walks in the bottom of the first and tied the game 2-2. Columbus scored one in the bottom of the third, but the lead was short lived as Collins tied it with his homer in the fourth. After the Clippers scored a pair in the fourth to retake the lead, Toledo scored three in the fifth and an insurance run in the sixth. The insurance run was needed as Aguilar hit a solo shot off the scoreboard in right field to lead off the seventh and make it a one-run ballgame. The Clippers then went in order to end the game.
The two teams are off Easter Sunday, but will wrap up the series Monday night, a Dime-A-Dog Night at Huntington Park. The game is scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.