LOUISVILLE, Ky. - After dropping the first two games, the Louisville Bats (35-50) closed out a three-game series with the Toledo Mud Hens (49-39) in winning fashion by picking up a 6-1 win Sunday afternoon at Louisville Slugger Field.
Right-handed starting pitcher Keury Mella (1-0, 0.00) who was making his first appearance for Louisville since starting the finale of the 2016 season against Indianapolis, had a solid outing in his 2018 Bats debut tossing five innings and giving up just one unearned run on four hits while striking out four batters on 84 pitches, 55 strikes.
The Bats took the lead in the second inning when Nick Longhi doubled and then was scored on a slow-rolling ground ball by Blake Trahan that found a gap between the Mud Hens' first and second basemen. Louisville added two more runs to its lead on a bases-loaded two-RBI single up the middle Phillip Ervin that scored Trahan and Stuart Turner.
Ervin, who has now registered back-to-back multi-hit games, extended his hitting streak to five games and finished 2-for-4 with the two RBI. Longhi also went 2-for-4 in the game.
Toledo countered the Louisville three-run second by scoring a run of its own in the third. Kody Eaves tripled off the wall in right-center field and then scored when the Bats' second baseman Brandon Dixon was unable to handle a sharply hit ground ball by the next Mud Hens' batter Jason Krizan.
Gabriel Guerrero wasted no getting the run back for Louisville as he led off the bottom half of the third by crushing his sixth home run over the right-field fence. Guerrero finished the game 2-for-4
The Bats' bullpen held Toledo scoreless the rest of the way after Mella's exit. Homer Bailey (1-2, 6.35) climbed the hill in relief of Mella in the sixth inning and worked two scoreless frames giving up just two hits while walking two batters. Bailey's appearance was his fourth appearance of 2018 on rehab assignment for the Cincinnati Reds and his first out of the bullpen at any level since doing so in a rehab assignment with Louisville on August 10, 2010 at Toledo.
Bailey was relieved in the eighth by Domingo Tapia (3-4, 3.92) who succeeded a walk but came away with his fourth hold of the season.
In home half of the eighth innings the Bats added two insurance runs on a two-RBI single by Turner. Turner turned in his first three hit performance of the 2018 campaign after going 3-for-4 in the win.
Jimmy Herget (1-2, 3.38) tossed a hitless ninth inning to seal the Louisville win.
The Bats will have three days off as the International League goes into the All-Star Break from July 9-11 before returning to action at Louisville Slugger Field on Thursday, July 12, for the first of a four-game series against the Columbus Clippers. Left-handed pitcher Cody Reed (2-7, 4.68) is the probable starter for Louisville while the Clippers have yet to announce a probable starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.