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Late-game rally isn't enough for Toledo to get the win

Mud Hens lose their six-game series with the Cubs
April 7, 2024

Following a late-game loss on Saturday, the Toledo Mud Hens would look to beat the Iowa Cubs and split the series. The game and the series would come to a close with Toledo falling short of a late comeback in a 9-6 loss. Things were looking good for Toledo to

Following a late-game loss on Saturday, the Toledo Mud Hens would look to beat the Iowa Cubs and split the series. The game and the series would come to a close with Toledo falling short of a late comeback in a 9-6 loss.

Things were looking good for Toledo to open the game. Wenceel Peréz got things started with a double off the wall. Jace Jung would bring him in with an RBI single to right field, giving Toledo the early 1-0 lead.

Toledo stayed on top early as Bryan Sammons and the defense kept Iowa off the scoreboard through the first two innings. In the third inning, Buddy Kennedy would hit the Hens second double of the day. Justyn-Henry Malloy brought Kennedy in off of a sacrifice fly to center field, expanding Toledo’s lead to 2-0.

Iowa would get their day started in the bottom of the third when an RBI single from Alexander Canario brought in Chase Strumpf to make it a 2-1 game through three innings.

Opening the fourth inning, the Cubs would sit their top prospect in Pete Crow-Armstrong and bring out Darius Hill to replace him. Sammons would join Crow-Armstrong in the dugout as Edwin Escobar took his place on the mound.

In the bottom of the fourth, Bryce Windham gave Iowa the lead with a ground ball-single that found its way to center field. BJ Murray Jr. and Luis Vazquez would cross home plate to take the 3-2 lead over Toledo. Windham would then expand Iowa’s lead when Strumpf hit an RBI double deep to center field. This would end Sammons’ day on the mound as Toledo elected to bring out Brendan White to take over.

With White on the mound things did not get any better for the Hens. Iowa would quickly fill the bases and score off of three straight walks. With Iowa leading 7-2, White would be sent back to the dugout and Wilmer Flores would come in to try and get out of the inning. Flores would get Toledo out of the inning, but not before Vazquez hit a sacrifice fly ball to center that brought in Canario.

Down by six, the Hens would look to begin their rally with a single from Kennedy. Nothing would come of it though, as Peréz hit into a double play that would take the game into the bottom of the fifth.

To open the sixth, Iowa would make a change on the mound bringing out Matthew Thompson for his Triple-A debut. He would be battling the weather in his debut as it started pouring rain once he took the mound. With two outs, Toledo would load the bases and Thompson’s debut would come to a close. Hoping to escape the jam, Iowa would bring out Cam Sanders.

Justice Bigbie hit a single for two runs, cutting the Cubs lead to four. Anthony Benboom would pinch hit for Dillion Dingler and draw a walk, loading the bases for Kennedy. Kennedy couldn’t come through for the Hens though, as he hit a ground ball right to Sanders for the easy out.

To close the sixth, Toledo brought out Sean Guenther to take over for Flores on the mound. Guenther would close the inning after seeing four batters keeping it an 8-4 game.

Momentum stayed on the side of the Hens as they continued their rally in the seventh inning. Peréz would get on base with a single to center field, and Jung would bring him in with an RBI double that went deep into center field. Keston Hiura made it a 8-6 game with an RBI single to left that allowed Jung to score.

Toledo would have to make some changes as Eddys Leonard had to leave the game with an apparent injury. Ryan Vilade would take his place in the lineup and Jung would take over at second base.

Iowa then expanded their lead with a solo home run by Strumpf making it a still close 9-6 game. Guenther and the Hens would escape the inning without allowing any more damage to be done.

To open the eighth, Sanders resumed his reign on the mound, but following two walks he would be replaced by Colton Brewer. Brewer would come into a difficult situation to try and get a save. Toledo had runners on first and second with Peréz up to bat. Brewer took care of Peréz bringing up Malloy. Malloy would draw a walk to load the bases for Jung, but he would strikeout swinging.

Looking to keep the lead in sight, Toledo brought out Devin Sweet to try and keep the Hens in the game. He would get some help from Vilade with a diving save and then get Owen Cassie himself to end the inning.

Toledo went into the ninth with an opportunity to stun the Cubs while still down 9-6. Vilade was walked by Brewer and would work his way to third base. Bigbie would come up to the plate with two outs, but he would hit a ground ball to third baseman Matt Mervis to end the game.

The Mud Hens will be back in Toledo Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. to begin their six-game series with the Indianapolis Indians.


Jace Jung 3-4, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R

Wenceel Peréz 2-5, 2 H, 2 R

Devin Sweet 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K