The Toledo Mud Hens hit five home runs and held off a pair of Durham comebacks to spoil Bulls' manager Charlie Montoyo's return to the dugout with a 9-7 Thursday night at the DBAP. Montoyo left the team when his son underwent heart surgery on April 15, and the Bulls went 7-5 in his absence under hitting coach and interim manager Dave Myers.
Toledo came to town with an International League low seven home runs on the season, but with Thursday's outburst, the Mud Hens have hit 10 round trippers in three games in Durham.
First baseman Jordan Lennerton opened the second inning with a homer to left off of Bulls starter and losing pitcher Chris Archer (3-1, 5.04). It was the first long ball Archer has allowed this season, but there were more to come. Toledo plated two more in the inning on four straight hits by the bottom of the order.
In the third inning, the Mud Hens extended their lead to 5-0 with back-to-back solo shots by John Lindsay, his second of the series, and Danny Dorn.
The Bulls bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Mike Fontenot scored two with a double to left, and Wil Myers followed with a two-run home run on a rocket shot to right, his second of the year.
Toledo added an unearned run in the fifth, when second baseman Tim Beckham threw the ball away while trying to complete an inning-ending double play. Reliever Jim Paduch replaced Archer in the sixth, and Bryan Holaday hit his first pitch over the wall in center. Toledo added another run to go up 8-4.
Durham rallied again in the bottom of the sixth. Vince Belnome hit a two-run homer to right. Beckham then doubled and scored on a Jason Bourgeois single to trim the Toledo lead to one.
Lennerton hit his second homer of the night in the seventh inning to give Toledo a 9-7 lead. Reliever Jose Ortega saved the win for starter Pat Misch (1-3, 6.00).
Durham will attempt to clinch a 3-1 series win in the homestand finale on Friday night. LHP Alex Torres (1-0, 1.69) faces Toledo's LHP Casey Crosby (1-3, 4.58) in a battle of southpaws at 7:05pm.