Looking to grab the series-clinching victory over the Durham Bulls, the Mud Hens found themselves in a back and forth game all night on Sunday. With a key at bat from Efren Navarro in the 8th inning, Toledo was able to capture the 6-5 victory.
Matt Crouse was on the mound for the Mud Hens and had an impressive outing, lasting 6.1 innings while allowing three earned runs and striking out five batters.
Hunter Wood made his first start of the season for the Bulls and it wasn't a long one. The right-hander went just 3.1 innings and allowed four earned runs while walking three and striking out just two.
Crouse retired the Bulls in order to start off the game, but the Mud Hens did not go down quite as easily. JaCoby Jones tripled and Efren Navarro walked to put runners on the corners with just one out. Tyler Collins was able to capitalize with a double that scored Jones and made it an early 1-0 Toledo lead.
Durham evened things up in the top of the second with a bit of small ball. Patrick Leonard singled and Mike Marjama walked to put two men on with no one out. Casey Gillaspie was able to tie things up with a groundout that evened things up at 1.
It didn't take long for the Mud Hens to regain the lead, as with one out in the bottom of the second Steven Moya tripled to left field and Argenis Diaz drove him in with a single. After Matt den Dekker reached on a fielder's choice he stole second and Jones drove him in with a double to make it 3-1.
The game stood at 3-1 until the top of the fourth, as Mike Marjama led off with a single and Shane Peterson hit a home run deep to right field to tie it up at 3.
Just as they had in previous innings, the Mud Hens were able to respond right back with some offense of their own. Bryan Holaday and Moya walked and Diaz came through yet again with an RBI double to make a 4-3 Toledo lead. That chased Wood from the game and brought on Diego Castillo, who retired two batters in a row to limit the damage to one.
Crouse continued to roll through the game in the top of the fifth and sixth and faced seven batters throughout those two frames. Castillo was a worthy match, striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth.
Diaz added his third hit and second double of the game in the bottom of the sixth off of Durham reliever Brad Boxberger, but he was stranded there to end the threat without a run.
Logan Kensing came on to relieve Crouse after one out in the sixth and continued his hot streak, punctuated with a strikeout of Alec Sole to close out the seventh.
Toledo was able to threaten in the bottom of the seventh with a pair of baserunners to lead off the inning via a walk by Navarro and a walk by Navarro and a single by Michael Almanzar, but Durham reliever Ryne Stanek was able to settle in and escape the frame without a run.
Durham was able to hit right back in the bottom of the eighth against the returning Joe Jimenez. Curt Casali lead off with a single and Jake Bauers, then a walk loaded the bases. Marjama singled to knot it up, while Gillaspie broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to give the Bulls the 5-4 advantage.
Pinch hitting Jason Krizan walked to lead off the bottom of the eighth as the Mud Hens attempted to mount a comeback. He was moved up to second on a walk by Diaz while Jones reached on an intentional walk. Jones moved up to second on a stolen base and after a 12-pitch at bat, Navarro came through with a two-run single to push the Mud Hens in the lead.
Edward Mujica came on in the ninth for the save and despite a two-out double from Bauers, he sealed the deal for the Mud Hens to close out the series with Durham.
The Mud Hens head on the road on Monday night to take on the Indians in Indianapolis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.