The Toledo Mud Hens have been a middle-of-the-pack team on offense and defense this year. On Wednesday, they excelled at both.
Starter Charlie Furbush struck out 11 for his second straight (and career) complete game and the Mud Hens hit three home runs in the fourth inning en route to a 6-2 victory over Syracuse in the first game of a doubleheader.
With the game tied, 1-1, Major League veteran Scott Sizemore led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to center field for Toledo. Ryan Strieby followed two batters later with a long ball to right field, while Bryan Pounds hit a two-out shot over the left-field wall for the third.
All six of the Mud Hens' runs came off former big leaguer J.D. Martin (0-2), who left the mound after 4 2/3 innings of work. The 28-year-old right-hander failed to record a strikeout in the game.
Furbush, meanwhile, scattered two runs on seven hits and a walk. He gave up Alex Valdez's RBI triple in the second and a solo home run from Jeff Frazier in the seventh.
The 25-year-old southpaw pitched the first complete game and shutout of his career in his last outing April 21. He allowed just one hit while striking out nine in a 6-0 victory over the host Indianapolis Indians.
Furbush compiled a 6.29 ERA in nine starts with Toledo last year. With the win, he improved to 2-1 with a 1.90 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings this season.
Through 20 games, the Mud Hens stood sixth in the International League with a team batting average of .256 and 10th in RBIs with 73. Toledo pitching ranked seventh in strikeouts (148) and ninth in ERA (3.95).