The Mud Hens improved their August record to 10-2 - their best start to a month this season - with a 6-3 win over the Bisons in the series-opener.
Toledo starter Artie Lewicki tossed 5.2 innings and struck out seven while walking three. He got off to quite the start after giving up four runs in his Triple-A debut last week at Columbus by striking out four of the first six Buffalo hitters he faced Thursday. The righty, now two starts into his Triple-A career, has brought his earned run average down to a respectable 3.86.
The Hens got on the board first with two in the fourth, Omar Infante getting things started with a leadoff double. Buffalo starter Luis Santos, who would be handed his tenth loss of the season Thursday, got two outs before grooving one that Tyler Collins ripped to the wall in center to bring in Infante and make it 1-0. Collins coming through was hardly a surprise, as he is now 12-for-24 with 15 runs batted in with two outs and a runner in scoring position. He could barely step off second before he found himself rounding third to score on the ensuing single by JaCoby Jones.
Buffalo was quick to answer. With one down, Bisons designated hitter Michael Saunders doubled down the left field line and, one out later, was brought in on a single by Rowdy Tellez to make it 2-1. Tellez, the 13th-ranked prospect in Toronto's organization, reached base in all five at-bats.
In the fifth, another leadoff double by Infante led to more scoring for Toledo. With Infante on second, Efren Navarro took a pitch opposite field down the left field line for a double that made it 3-1. Navarro has now hit in 23 of his last 25 games dating back to July 17. The streak has allowed him to raise his average from .257 to .282.
More run support came in the sixth, this time off the bat of Bryan Holaday. The catcher, after watching Jason Krizan walk with two outs, belted his ninth homer of the season to make it 5-1. Holaday drove in his third in the eighth by singling in Jones to make it 6-1.
Despite scoring two more in the ninth off the typically-lockdown Jeff Ferrell, Buffalo was unable to pull themselves out of the rut and were halted at three scores in the ballgame.
Now winners of three straight, the Hens will play game two of the series with the Bisons on Friday beginning at 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.