For the second time in a week, the Mud Hens pitchers collected more than a dozen strikeouts in one game. After their 15-strikeout effort against the Norfolk Tides, Toledo combined for 15 strikeouts in this evening's game.
While the pitching had no problem punching out opposing batters, their bats were quite outside of a two-run double by Efren Navarro in the third inning. With just those two runs, the Mud Hens fell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre by a score of 4-2.
William Cuevas was on the mound for the Mud Hens and had one of his best outings of the day. In 5.1 innings pitched, the right-hander allowed three earned runs but struck out 10 batters - a mark that tied a career-high.
Chance Adams was his opponent for the Railriders and was just as good despite not having as many punchouts. The 22-year old pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs with four punchouts.
Cuevas had the strikeout working for him early and often, starting the game off with two K's in the first inning. Adams was able to work equally as quickly, though he faced some stiff opposition from Navarro and surrendered a walk to him after a 14-pitch at bat.
The Railriders were able to get on the board in the second inning with a long home run to left field off of the bat of Clint Frazier, but it wouldn't be long before the Mud Hens responded.
They were dropped 1-2-3 in the second, but a lead off single from Argenis Diaz got them started in the third. A fielder's choice and a caught stealing cleared the bases with two outs, but Alex Presley was able to reach on a hit by pitch and JaCoby Jones followed it up with a single. With two men on and two out, Efren Navarro lined one off of the wall for a double that gave the Mud Hens a 2-1 lead.
Clint Frazier was able to strike again in the top of the fourth with a double, but Cuevas was able to work around it and hold the Toledo lead at 1.
A single by Omar Infante was the entirety of the Mud Hens offense in the bottom half of the inning, while Cuevas added two more strikeouts in the top of the fifth to bring his game total to nine.
Matt den Dekker walked with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but was caught stealing for the second time in the game and Adams was able to get out of it without allowing a run.
After his 10th strikeout in the game in the top of the sixth, things began to unravel a bit for the starter Cuevas. A double to Dustin Fowler and a hit by pitch put runners on first and second with one out, then a single by Ji-Man Choi tied it at two. Jeff Ferrell came on after a walk loaded the bases and he allowed a single by Mason Williams to put the Railriders up 3-2, but got a strikeout and a flyout to limit the damage.
The Mud Hens were set down in the top of the seventh despite a Navarro single, but the Railriders were able to add to their lead in their side of the frame. Tyler Wade singled and then stole second and Gleyber Torres drove him in with a single to make it 4-2.
Infante collected another hit in the 7th to hold his average on the season over .300, but the Mud Hens were not able to push him across the plate. Luckily for them however, Daniel Stumpf shut the Railriders down and faced the minimum amount of batters in the eighth.
Railriders reliever Ben Heller rolled through the bottom of the eighth with two strikeouts after walking Matt den Dekker, while Stumpf continued his dominance in the top of the ninth with two strikeouts to give the Mud Hens one final opportunity.
Scranton closer Ernesto Frieri came on in the bottom of the ninth and closed Toledo out to seal the game at 4-2.
The Mud Hens continue their series with the Railriders on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and after the game there will be fireworks once again!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.