Strong pitching squandered in Mud Hens loss

By Brian Rzeppa / Toledo Mud Hens | April 20, 2017 11:53 AM ET

 

 

After being rained out in what was to be the second game of a three-game set with the Syracuse Chiefs, the Mud Hens took the field for the first half of their doubleheader on Thursday.

An earlier run from the Syracuse set Toledo back earlier and they weren't ever able to recover, despite a strong effort from the tandem of Chad Bell and Joe Jimenez. In dropping the game 1-0, the Mud Hens record dipped to 8-5.

Chad Bell took the mound for Toledo and picked up his second loss of the season despite another strong outing. He went five innings and allowed one run while striking out four.

Former Detroit Tigers first round pick Jacob Turner was on the hill for Syracuse and lasted just 1.2 innings before being removed from the game. His final line for the day was 1.2 IP with one hit, no runs and two strikeouts.

Turner continued his strong start to the season by setting the Mud Hens down in order in the top of the first and the Chiefs picked up right where they left off on Tuesday.

A leadoff single by center fielder Rafael Bautista and a walk to right fielder Brian Goodwin set the table of Syracuse, but a slick play up the middle by shortstop Argenis Diaz and a smooth turn by second baseman by Omar Infante for the double play helped ease some of the pressure, but a two-out single by Brandon Snyder ended the Mud Hens hopes of getting out of the inning without any damage and pushed the game to 1-0.

The Mud Hens made things interesting in the top of the second as after a two-out single by Efren Navarro, Turner was removed from the game in favor of reliever Dustin Antolin. Following a single by Michael Almanzar and a walk by David Lough the bases were loaded, but Antolin was able to induce a groundout to keep the score at 1-0.

Bell settled in during the bottom half of the second, retiring the Chiefs 1-2-3, highlighted by a strikeout of first baseman Joey Butler.

The Mud Hens were set down 1-2-3 in the top of the third and Chad Bell responded by facing only three batters of his own on the other side of the inning.

Toledo was able to chase another Syracuse pitcher out of the game in the top of the fourth as after a Navarro double and an Almanzar walk, Antolin was lifted for left-handed reliever Matt Grace. With two men on, Grace struck out Lough to get out of the jam.

Bell retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth and after a four-pitch walk, Pedro Severino stepped to the plate. He drilled a line drive to left field, but David Lough made a fantastic leaping grab at the wall to hold the score at 1-0.

For the third inning in a row, the Mud Hens were able to get a runner on; this time by way of an Omar Infante single, but once again he was stranded and the deficit stood at 1.

The Chiefs threatened once again in the bottom of the fifth, with two men reaching base to start off the inning and a walk to load the bases with two outs. Bell worked out trouble however, as a strikeout to Clint Robinson kept it a one-run game.

Tevor Gott took over for Syracuse in the top of the sixth and worked his way into a jam. James Loney singled with one down and Almanzar followed that up with a single of his own with two outs. Once again however, the Chiefs were able to get out of it without a scratch and it was still 1-0.

Joe Jimenez retired the Chiefs 1-2-3 with three consecutive strikeouts to give the Mud Hens one more chance at producing a run, but Austin Adams closed the door on their comeback attempt and the one run scored in the first inning was enough to call it a win.

The Mud Hens remain in Syracuse on Thursday for the second contest in their doubleheader against the Chiefs. Dustin Molleken takes the ball for Toledo. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05.

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

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