Bats comeback bid in ninth falls short

Sal Romano throws his second straight quality start as the Bats take a 2-0 loss to Toledo.

By Shawn Chambers / Louisville Bats | April 11, 2017 9:55 PM ET

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Louisville Bats (2-4) dropped their second-consecutive contest to the Toledo Mud Hens (4-2) Tuesday evening, 2-0, in game-two of a three game slate at Louisville Slugger Field.

In just his second start in Triple-A, right-hander Sal Romano allowed a single in the first inning and hit a batter in the second before retiring the next 11 Mud Hen batters.

"I was able to mix up every single one of my pitches," Romano said of his outing. "I fell away from my change up last game, and today I was able to get hitters off my fastball."

After putting runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Romano was able to get out of the jam courtesy of a double-play ball to end the inning. After seven shutout innings, Romano finished the game allowing four hits, no runs, and a Triple-A career-high five strikeouts on just 80 pitches.

With six hits, the Bats put runners in scoring position on three occasions through seven innings but were unable to plate a run of Toledo starter right-hander Warwick Saupold who went six shutout innings.

"(We are) just not getting it done right now," manager Delino DeShileds said of the team's struggles at the plate. "After the first series, I thought we were in a pretty good grove with the bats, but it seems like we have cooled off quite a bit."

Four straight Mud Hen batters reached on singles with two out in the top of the eighth, including a John Hicks single that plated two runs, putting Toledo up 2-0 after at the midway point of the eighth inning.

In the bottom half of the eighth, the Bats threatened with three straight reaching via a double, a single, and a walk to load the bases with one out. A flyout by Sebastian Elizalde and strikeout from Brandon Dixon would end the inning with Louisville still trailing, 2-0. 

Edward Mujica came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Mud Hens, but the Bats did not go down easy. Singles by Tony Renda and Chad Wallach with one out and a walk to Tyler Goeddell with two down were not enough to get Louisville on the board.

Righty Blaine Hardy (2-0, 3.00) picked up the win for Toledo after one and one-third innings of work, while lefty Lucas Luetge (0-1, 9.82) takes the loss for the Bats. Mujica gets the save for Mud Hens.

Right fielder Sebastian Elizalde extended his hitting streak to six games dating back to opening night. Going 3-4 in the contest, Elizalde also picked up his fifth multi-hit game raising his batting average to .462 on the season.

The final matchup in the three-game series with Toledo and seven-game home stand concludes Wednesday evening with first pitch at 6:35 p.m. Righty Rob Wooten (1-0, 3.00) will get the start for the Bats, while right-hander Buck Farmer (NR) will take the mound for Toledo in the series finale. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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