Chiefs use late rally to down Hens in series-opener

By Jeremy O'Brien / Toledo Mud Hens | April 18, 2017 9:20 PM ET

The Toledo Mud Hens dropped their first of a six-game road trip Tuesday evening to the Syracuse Chiefs, 3-2. A back-and-forth affair was ultimately decided by a wide throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the eighth. 

The Toledo Mud Hens dropped their first of a six-game road trip Tuesday evening to the Syracuse Chiefs, 3-2. A back-and-forth affair was ultimately decided by a wide throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the eighth.

Hens catcher Bryan Holaday was responsible for the game's early highlights, throwing out each of two runners daring to steal bases. His first caught-stealing came during the Chiefs' first go at the plate when he gunned down Rafael Bautista following his leadoff single. Removing Bautista from the base paths was well-timed, as Syracuse first baseman Clint Robinson would homer one batter later to get the Chiefs on the board. Holaday also removed Adrian Sanchez in the third to complete a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out that ended the inning.

The Hens manufactured their first run in the fourth. Jim Adduci singled up the middle and proceeded to swipe his second base of the season. Efren Navarro moved him over with a ground ball to second and Michael Almanzar brought him in with a sacrifice fly to center.

After the solo shot in the first, Toledo starter Buck Farmer coasted, allowing just three hits going into the fifth. It was then, however, that the Chiefs were able to string together enough to take the lead. Corban Joseph's single was followed by an Irving Falu double to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Farmer initially appeared as if he would wiggle out of trouble again, striking out Sanchez and getting Bautista to ground weakly to third where Almanzar would throw Joseph out at home. With his pitch count nearing triple digits, Farmer was removed in favor of Blaine Hardy, but Hardy's first pitch got away from him and went to the backstop, allowing Falu to sneak across the plate and give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

The Hens were right there to answer back, though, beginning with an Adduci double down the left field line to lead off the sixth. Similar to the fourth inning's storyline, Navarro moved Adduci over to third on a groundout before Almanzar brought Adduci in on a single.

The Hens bullpen was put to work again, with five relief arms seeing the mound. After Hardy recorded one out in the sixth, Dustin Molleken came on to face back-to-back righties Brandon Synder and Matt Skole, striking them both out to get the Hens back to the plate. After relieving Molleken and throwing a clean seventh, Logan Kensing gave up a double to Sanchez to start the eighth. Bautista bunted to move him over, but Holaday threw wide of first to allow him to come all the way around and score, giving the Chiefs a late 3-2 lead. Lefty Daniel Stumpf was given an inning as well, striking out all three batters he faced.

Syracuse closer Rafael Martin entered in the ninth looking for his first save of the season, which he got when he set James Loney, Sanchez, and Holaday down in order to seal a series-opener win.

Tuesday evening's game marked the first of three games at Syracuse, with Wednesday's middle game set to begin at 1 p.m. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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