Bats offense explodes in 9-1 win over Toledo

Jackson Stephens pitches seven strong innings in Bats win (Copyright Patrick L. Pfister 2017 All Rights Reserved)

By Logan Jones / Louisville Bats | July 6, 2017 9:51 PM ET

LOUISVILLE, KY - The Louisville Bats (34-52) avoided the series sweep with Thursday's 9-1 win over the Toledo Mud Hens (40-44) at Louisville Slugger Field.

Right-hander Jackson Stephens opened the game for the Bats, and his night ended after seven innings pitched in which he surrendered just one run off of eight hits. The run scored by Toledo came as unearned to Stephens, and he walked just two batters and struck out two.

Louisville claimed the first runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning, which was kicked off by Jesse Winker, who reached on a hit by pitch. After a Dilson Herrera single and a force out, Brandon Dixon doubled to left, bringing home a pair of runs. Phillip Ervin then extended the lead to 3-0 with an RBI single that plated Dixon.

Ervin is now in the midst of a hot streak in which he has recorded a hit in each of his last eight games and has reached base in 23 of his last 26. In the three-game series against the Mud Hens, Ervin collected six RBI.

With runners on first and second for Toledo in the top of the third, a passed ball was able to score Brendan Ryan from second, bringing the score to 3-1.

Sebastian Elizalde led off the fourth inning with a career-high sixth triple of his 2017 campaign. The following three batters went down in order, and the inning ended with Elizalde stranded on third.

In the fifth inning, Elizalde knocked in two runs, extending the Bats lead to 5-1. The two runs were unearned to Mud Hens starter Drew VerHagen since Ervin reached on an error.

Adrian Nieto opened the sixth inning with his first double as a Louisville Bat. Eric Jagielo then singled to right, scoring Nieto and bringing the Bats to a 6-1 edge. In the next inning, Darnell Sweeney tacked on another with a leadoff solo home run to right.

Louisville's offense stayed hot in the eighth inning when the Bats picked up three hits and two more runs, bringing the final score to 9-1.

The Louisville Bats will host the Charlotte Knights for a three-game set beginning on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field. Taking the hill for the Bats will be RHP Tyler Mahle (0-2, 2.08 ERA), and RHP Carson Fulmer (6-5, 5.31 ERA) will start for the Knights.

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

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