LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Toledo Mud Hens scored seven runs in the eighth inning to pull away from the Bats in the season opener at Louisville Slugger Field Thursday night. Andrew Oliver went six innings and struck out six for the Mud Hens en route to a no decision.
In front of 12,680 fans the Bats battled back to tie the game at two in the sixth inning and again tied the score at four in the seventh, but failed to match the seven runs scored by the Mud Hens in the eighth.
Veteran Timo Perez started the scoring for the Mud Hens with a two-run home run to right field in the top of the fifth off of Bats starter Scott Carroll. In the top of the seventh he struck again, chasing reliever Jerry Gil with a two-out double.
Perez led the way for the Mud Hens, going 3-for 5 with two runs scored and three batted in.
Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the top of the Bats order put together a two-out two run rally to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth as Dave Sappelt and Zack Cozart came in to score on Todd Frazier's bases loaded single.
After the Hens regained their two-run lead, the Bats came right back in the seventh. Mesoraco blasted a 425-foot homerun out of the park to left field and one out later Dorn pulled the ball 376 feet to right to tie the game at 4-4.
In the top of the eighth the Mud Hens offense exploded for seven runs off of Bats relievers Daniel Ray Herrera, Carlos Fisher and Joe Krebs. Doubles by Mud Hens third baseman Danny Worth and shortstop Cale Iorg started the scoring and first baseman Ryan Strieby capped the inning with a three-run homerun to left center field. The Mud Hens sent ten to the plate and scored seven on five hits in the frame to take an 11-4 lead.
The Bats rallied for two in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles by Jeremy Hermida and Dorn, to finish off the scoring at 11-6.
Herrera (0-1, 40.50), who gave up a two-run shot to Andy Dirks in the seventh, took the loss for the Bats. He allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Fu-Te Ni (1-0, 13.50) recorded the win for Toledo after allowing two earned runs in 1.1 innings of work. He struck out two.
Scott Carroll, who made his AAA debut tonight, went 5.2 innings and finished with three strikeouts in the no-decision..
Devin Mesoraco and Danny Dorn led the way offensively for the Bats as each went 2-for-4 with a home run for the Bats.
Lousiville will look to bounce back in the second game of the opening series Friday night. RHP Matt Klinker takes the mound for the Bats and will face RHP Thad Weber for the Mud Hens. The first pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.