TOLEDO, OH - The IronPigs doubled the Mud Hens hit total, and scored in six of nine innings - including a three-run fifth - on their way to a 9-5 victory in the series opener against Toledo.
The Mud Hens were ahead 5-4 entering the fifth inning, when Lehigh Valley put together a three-run rally to take the lead for good. The first four IronPigs in the inning reached base, with SS Freddy Galvis drawing a lead-off walk off of Toledo starter LHP Kyle Lobstein, before the Pigs tallied three consecutive hits off of reliever RHP Chad Smith.
DH Russ Canzler's twenty-fifth double of the season scored Galvis to tie the game at five, before OF Leandro Castro drove in 3B Maikel Franco - who had singled - with a single of his own to give Lehigh Valley the lead for good. 1B Jim Murphy would later beat-out an attempt at a double-play, allowing Canzler to score to complete the three-run inning.
Maikel Franco would add two more insurance runs over his next two at-bats, first with a solo-homerun in the sixth - his tenth of the season - to give the Pigs an 8-5 lead, before adding another on a two-out RBI single that drove in Galvis, who had doubled in front of him.
2B Cesar Hernandez started the Lehigh Valley 16-hit attack with a triple to lead-off the first inning, scoring a batter later on Galvis's first of three hits. Two batters later, Castro used a two-out single to score Galvis - his first of four runs scored - to give the Pigs the early 2-0 lead.
Toledo answered with one run in the bottom of the inning, as OF Tyler Collins doubled off of Lehigh Valley starter RHP Jo-Jo Reyes to lead-off the bottom of the inning, later scoring on a DH Mike Hessman ground out.
Galvis's second homerun in as many games then extended Lehigh Valley's lead to 3-1 in the top of the third inning.
The Mud Hens would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third, scoring three unearned runs off of Reyes. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Reyes allowed a walk and then hit a batter, before a fielding error loaded the bases. Back-to-back singles would then result in three runs, giving Toledo a 4-3 advantage.
The two teams exchanged runs in the fourth inning, with Murphy scoring on a Hernandez single to tie the game before Hessman scored on a OF Ben Guez single to give the Mud Hens back their one-run advantage entering the IronPigs crucial three-run fifth inning.
The IronPigs were able to hold their lead thanks to six strong innings from their bullpen. RHP Ethan Martin allowed only one unearned run over three innings pitched, before giving way to RHP Hector Neris who extending his scoreless innings streak to 15.0 with two scoreless innings that included four strikeouts. RHP Luis Garcia got the call in a non-save situation in the ninth inning, hurling a perfect inning to close out the Mud Hens in this series opener.
These two teams play game two of this four-game set at 7:00 p.m. Friday night, as the IronPigs look to even the season series at three wins apiece with two games left to play.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.