In Game 1 of a three-game weekend series against the Durham Bulls, the Toledo Mud Hens lost by a final of 5-3. Brendan Ryan and Bryan Holaday both hit home runs in the loss.
Drew VerHagen finished with 7.0 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, and did not walk a batter, while striking out six. For Durham, Blake Snell pitched the first 6.0 innings, also allowing three runs on seven hits, but struck out nine and allowed two big flies.
Back-to-back doubles against VerHagen in the first inning put Durham on the board first. Willy Adames brought home Wilson Ramos to put the Bulls up early 1-0.
After a pair of scoreless innings to start the game, the Hens tied it up with Brendan Ryan hit his second home run of the season off the scoreboard in left field.
Toledo put two more runs on the board in the fourth thanks to a Bryan Holaday home run. With two outs, Michael Almanzar smacked his second hit of the game and Holaday followed with a two-run home run to left. After four, Toledo led 3-1.
The Hens put two men on in the fifth but stranded both. Durham tied the game up in the top of the sixth on a pair of runs against VerHagen. Johnny Field started the scoring with a one-out solo home run to left that brought the Bulls within a run. Ramos followed with a single to left and Jake Bauers brought him around to score with a double down the line to left. Heading into the bottom of the sixth, the game was tied at 3-3.
VerHagen allowed a lead-off single in the seventh and after a flyout he induced a 4-6-3 double play to escape trouble and end his outing on a high note.
The Hens threatened in the bottom of the seventh as Ryan walked to lead-off the inning. Omar Inante tried to bunt him over to second, but popped it up to record the first out. JaCoby Jones singled to put men on first and second, but the next two batters were retired to keep the score knotted at 3-3.
Blaine Hardy faced just one batter in the top of the eighth and allowed a double to Kean Wong. Bruce Rondon came on and the first batter he faced put the Bulls ahead. Field doubled into the left field corner to put Durham up 4-3. Willy Adames made it three straight doubles to start the inning as he hit one off of the left field wall to extend the lead to two. Rondon settled in to retire the next three to limit the damage at two.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Hens were retired in order as they were unable to cut into the two-run deficit.
Logan Kensing allowed a two-out walk in the top of the ninth but stranded him. Neil Wagner struck out two and retired the Hens in order in the bottom of the ninth to claim his third save of the season and gave the Bulls a 5-3 win.
Game 2 of the series against Durham will start at 7:05 on Saturday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.