Mud Hens end four-game losing streak

VerHagen goes seven innings in the win at Norfolk

By Zach Libby / Toledo Mud Hens | June 14, 2019 1:50 PM

NORFOLK, Va. - The Toledo Mud Hens picked up their first win in six days following Friday's 7-2 win over the Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park. 

It's the third win on the road for Toledo against Norfolk and seventh against International League South Division opponents this season.  

Toledo starter Drew VerHagen lasted seven innings and surrendered one run on six hits for the win. The 2012 Detroit Tigers fourth-round draft pick gets his second Triple-A win in 2019 since making his return to the Mud Hens on May 17. 

Zac Reininger and Jose Cisnero each registered a strikeout in one inning pitched, respectively, while the former gave up just his second earned run in 18 appearances with Toledo this year. 

Spot starter Matt Wotherspoon worked three innings for Norfolk, allowing three runs on two hits. The 27-year-old right-hander also walked two and struck out four. 

2011 Atlanta Braves first-round draft pick Sean Gilmartin threw three innings in relief without an earned run. Luis Gonzalez entered the seventh and last two innings with Jay Flaa closing out the ninth. Gilmartin and Gonzalez pooled in five hits. 

Three of the seven Norfolk batters in the first inning would notch a single off VerHagen. With runners at first and second, Ryan Mountcastle drove the ball to right field to score Cedric Mullins for the early lead. 

The Mud Hens responded with Kody Eaves and Jake Rogers combining for three runs. Eaves' fly ball nearly went over the right field but had the distance for Willi Castro and Mikie Mahtook to round the bases. Rogers grabbed his 16th RBI of the season after sending a liner over the second baseman. 

After five consecutive scoreless innnings, the Tides cut the deficit with Reininger on the mound in the eighth. Mountcastle garnered his second RBI of the night on a double to right field. The 22-year-old has 44 on the season through 57 games. 

Mahtook would extend his team-leading home run total (9) with a solo shot to left-center in the ninth. The native of Lafayette, Louisiana, is also second among active Mud Hens hitters in runs scored (31), stolen bases (8) and third in RBIs (24).

Daz Cameron and Jacob Robson later collected back-to-back triples for three runs later in the inning. All four runs came off Flaa. 

With the win, Toledo puts an end to a four-game losing streak after being swept by the Durham Bulls to begin the road trip. 

The Mud Hens, who entered Friday with the third-highest team batting average (.270) in the league, are now 14-18 away from home this year and 24-2 when leading after the eighth inning. 

What's Next:

Kyle Funkhouser (0-3, 7.64 ERA) is probable to start Saturday in the second of a three-game series against the Tides.

Opening pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (EST). 

Live coverage is available on MiLB.TV and Fox Sports 1230 WCWA-AM.  

#RoadToDetroit Report (rankings according to MLB.com 2019 Prospect Watch):

5. OF Daz Cameron: 1-for-5, Run, Triple, 2 RBIs

6. RHP Beau Burrows : DNP (IL)

7. IF Willi Castro: 0-for-3, 2 Walks, Run

10. RHP Kyle Funkhouser: DNP

12. C Jake Rogers: 1-for-3, Walk, Run, RBI

16. OF Jacob Robson: 2-for-5, Run, Triple, RBI

18. RHP Bryan Garcia : DNP

19. OF Danny Woodrow : 2-for-4, Run

22. RHP John Schreiber : DNP

25. LHP Gregory Soto : DNP

26. RHP Sandy Baez : DNP (IL)

27. LHP Matt Hall : DNP

28. IF/OF Dustin Peterson : 1-for-5

Hens Notes:

 Funkhouser re-joined the Mud Hens after more than a month-long stint on the injured list with Victor Reyes being sent to Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday to join the Tigers as the 26th man. Reyes returned to Toledo on Friday. 

 Willi Castro is fourth in the latest Triple-A All-Star Game Online Balloting update at shortstop. Castro is the team leader in batting (.316), RBIs (28), runs scored (41) and stolen bases (10). 

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

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