John Lindsey led the way with two RBIs for the Toledo Mud Hens in their 4-3 victory over the Louisville Bats Thursday night. The Mud Hens won the final two games to earn a split of the four game series. 8,323 were in attendance for the final Happy Hour of the season at Slugger Field.
Sean Gallagher (9-8) got the start for the Bats (47-73) and skated around trouble all night. Despite tying a career-high with seven walks, Gallagher managed to give up only three runs over six innings pitched, earning his tenth quality start of the season and fifth in his last seven starts.
The Mud Hens got on the board first with a leadoff, solo home run from John Lindsey in the second. The very next inning, Jerad Head hits a leadoff homer to make it 2-0 Hens.
Louisville got a big chance to get back in the game in the fourth. After back to back singles from Henry Rodriguez and Neftali Soto, Felix Perez walked to load the bases with nobody out. Chris Valaika then grounded to third; Rodriguez scored as third baseman Audy Ciriaco stepped on third and threw to first. Ciriaco’s throw was errant, allowing Valaika to reach; seeing the ball past the first baseman, Perez charged around third and tried to score but was gunned down by a strong throw from Danny Dorn. The inning ended without the Bats scoring again.
An RBI double from Lindsey in the fifth gave the Hens the run right back as they took a 3-1 lead. It was Lindsey’s 26th RBI with Toledo since joining the club June 22.
Toledo added to their lead in the seventh against reliever Will Ohman. After a single from Jamie Johnson, Ohman walked Head to put two on with nobody out. Corky Miller appeared to throw out Johnson on a double steal, but Johnson was ruled safe by third base umpire Sean Barber. Rodriguez vehemently argued the call but, surprisingly, was not tossed from the game.
The next batter, Danny Worth, hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Johnson, giving the Hens a 4-1 lead. It could’ve been much worse. Ohman intentionally walked Lindsey and gave up a single to Dorn to load the bases before being removed. Nick Christiani then came on and got Ciriaco to ground into a double play, ending the frame.
In all, Bats pitchers walked nine total Toledo batters, bringing their season total to 476, good for second most in the league. Louisville’s defense backed up the pitching, however. The Bats turned a season-high four double plays to help thwart Toledo’s offense.
The Bats took advantage of another Toledo error in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and one on, Denis Phipps reached on an error by shortstop Cale Iorg. Didi Gregorius then stepped in and ripped a two-run triple to trim the lead to 4-3.
That’s a close as the Bats got. Andy Oliver and Bruce Rondon combined to pitch the final two innings scoreless, securing the win. Rondon, the Detroit Tigers’ sixth best prospect according to Baseball America, was credited with his first career Triple-A save.
The Bats hit the road Friday for the start of an eight game road trip. The trip starts in Gwinnett where the Bats will play the Braves for four. The first game will pit Chad Reineke (5-7, 4.35 ERA) for the Bats against Jair Jurrjens (3-4, 5.18) for the Braves. Nick Masset is also expected to make his second rehab appearance with the Bats Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.