LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Bats won their third straight Saturday against the Mud Hens, 6-4. Jason Donald and reliever Chad Reineke led Louisville to the victory. Donald went 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Reineke entered the game in the fifth and gave the Bats four scoreless innings. He struck out four, did not allow a hit, and recorded his first win on the season. Mike Hessman added two more RBI's to bring his season's total to six.
Pitcher Greg Reynolds made his Bats debut on the mound in front of 8,225 people. The 6'7", 225-pound righty went four innings and gave up four hits, three runs, walked four but got the no decision. Toledo started lefty Casey Crosby, the Detroit Tigers' No. 8 ranked prospect. Crosby threw three innings and surrendered six runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out four while picking up the loss. Justin Freeman pitched the ninth inning for the Bats and got his first save of his Triple-A career.
For the second straight game, the Bats took a first inning lead against the Mud Hens. Donald hit his third double in as many games before advancing to third base on a Henry Rodriguez single. Hessman would then score Donald on a sacrifice fly to give Louisville a 1-0 lead after one.
In the top of the second, Reynolds retired the first two batters before giving up two walks and a single to load the bases. Brad Davis would take advantage of the walks with a bases loaded, two-run single to put the Mud Hens ahead of the Bats for the first time in the series. Shortstop Emmanuel Burriss got Reynolds out of the jam with a nice defensive play on a ground ball up the middle to retire the speedy Quintin Berry.
Kristopher Negron led off the bottom of the third with a single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch by Crosby and then stole third base. Negron scored on another wild pitch, tying the game at two. With Burriss on second, Donald hit his second double of the game to score Burriss and take the lead back for the Bats, 3-2.
Louisville's defense would have some troubles in the top of the fourth, committing two errors. Danny Worth reached first on an error by Henry Rodriguez. Worth then advanced from first to third when Hessman couldn't handle a pickoff attempt from Reynolds. Reynolds got back-to-back ground balls, with the second one leading to a double play to end the inning.
The Bats increased their lead in the bottom of the fourth off a Konrad Schmidt RBI double, scoring Felix Perez from first. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the Mud Hens brought in RHP Evan Reed to relieve Crosby. Reed struck out Burriss, but then surrendered a run on a wild pitch. With two outs, Hessman drew a bases loaded walk to push the lead to four.
Toledo threatened in the top of the fifth with a leadoff single by Gustavo Nunez, followed by a Nick Castellanos double. Chad Reineke came in to relieve Reynolds and recorded two strikeouts to help the Bats out of the jam. The Mud Hens would only get one run, stranding two runners on base.
The ninth inning once again proved tough for Louisville. Freeman came in for the save with a 6-3 lead and gave up a leadoff homerun to Ben Guez. In the first three games of the season, the Bats have allowed Toledo to score six runs in the ninth inning. With one run on and two out, Castellanos grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game and send the Bats to a 3-0 record.
The final game of the series will be tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. The Bats will send Bats RHP Pedro Villarreal to the mound against LHP Duane Below for Toledo. A win for Louisville on Sunday will give the Bats their first series sweep since the four-game sweep at Pawtucket last June. The last time the Bats started the season 3-0 was 2005 when they won their first three against Ottawa. The first 3,000 fans through the gates on Sunday will receive a free 2013 team calendar and a team autograph session on the field is scheduled for 12:50-1:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.