The Toledo Mud Hens got revenge on the Columbus Clippers, scoring 13 runs and holding Columbus to five runs on six hits in the finale of the teams’ six-game series Monday.
The Clippers fell to 8-4, while the Mud Hens improved to 4-8.
“They have good players, and they got the better of us today,” Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh said after the loss. “Give them credit: They put good swings on the ball today.”
Clippers first baseman Wes Hodges batted in two of his team’s five runs when he doubled to center field in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was the last two runs Toledo’s Andrew Oliver gave up on the day.
Hodges said Oliver, who was credited with the win and moves to 2-0 on the season, had an array of pitches that he threw to Columbus batters.
“He did a good job just mixing it,” Hodges said. “He has a good fastball, and he threw strikes today.”
Columbus starting pitcher Corey Kluber gave up six runs on six hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
Toledo first baseman Ryan Strieby sent a two-run home run over the left-field bleachers in the top of the fifth inning to give Toledo a 6-2 lead.
But the Clippers battled back when right fielder Chad Huffman sent a double to center field, scoring two runs and bringing the Clippers within two runs heading into the sixth inning.
Right-handed pitcher Joe Martinez came in for Kluber after the Strieby homer, and earned four quick outs before the seventh inning, when the Clippers were still well in contention, trailing just 6-4.
That didn’t continue into the seventh inning.
Martinez allowed a solo home run to Toledo left fielder Andy Dirks to start the inning, giving the Mud Hens a 7-4 lead.
Three batters and just one out later, Toledo center fielder Clete Thomas delivered a three-run home run to right field to break the game open and give the Mud Hens a 10-4 lead with just one out.
Sarbaugh said that inning was detrimental for his club.
“We felt like we were still in the game going into the seventh,” he said, “but Clete Thomas’ home run was the big blow.”
Martinez got out of the inning without allowing another run, but got no run support in the bottom of the seventh, when Columbus’ first three batters were retired.
Toledo earned three more runs off right-handed pitcher Jess Todd in the eighth inning to give the Mud Hens a 13-4 lead.
Columbus shortstop Luis Valbuena hit a ground ball that scored center fielder Bubba Bell in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough, as the designated Cord Phelps struck out to end the game with a final score of 13-5.
Columbus will begin a four-game series with the Louisville Bats on Tuesday.
The Bats sit in first place in the division with a 9-2 record.
Sarbaugh said today’s loss is just a bump in the road and that the team can’t get hung up on the nine-run loss.
“It’s one of those days,” he said, “and we’ve got to come back ready (Tuesday).”