Toledo takes first place with a victory over Columbus, 8-3
Toledo-The Toledo Mud Hens poured it on starter Corey Kluber Sunday afternoon, as they defeated the Clippers 8-3, moving them into first place in the International League West division.
A familiar face got the ball rolling for the Mud Hens in the bottom of the second inning, when Jerad Head doubled into left field against his former teammates. Audy Ciriaco then followed it up with a two-run blast, and Toledo never looked back.
In the bottom of the third, Toledo second baseman Justin Henry, brother of Tribe prospect Jordan Henry, led off the inning with a double, then moved to third on a wild pitch. He would score on a Brad Eldred single, to make the score 3-0.
The Kluber barrage would continue in the fourth inning, when Head led off the inning with another single. Ciriaco would follow by getting on base on a Lonnie Chisenhall error, and both Ciriaco and Head would advance on a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Holaday. After Henry walked to load the bases, Head would score on a sac fly, and Ciriaco and Henry would score on a Ryan Strieby single, making the score 6-0.
The Clippers would strike back, with a little bit of help from Mud Hens starter, Shawn Teufel. Teufel would walk Beau Mills and Andy LaRoche to start the inning, then walk Ezequiel Carrera after a Matt Pagnozzi line-out. Cord Phelps would hit a sac fly to score the Clippers first run, but Chisenhall would end the inning by popping out.
Russ Canzler would single to lead off the sixth inning, as the Clippers tried to claw their way back into the game. Beau Mills would hit a two-out double to score Canzler, and make the score 6-2.
Hector Ambriz came in the game to replace Kluber in the sixth inning, and promptly gave up a one-out walk to Eric Patterson. Brad Eldred would hit a two-out triple, scoring Patterson and making the score 7-2, but the inning would end after the Mud Hens left the bases loaded when Head grounded out.
In the eighth, Chad Huffman hit a one-out double, then scored when Mills had another big two-out hit, with a run scoring single, but the Mud Hens would counter in the eight when Patterson walked to lead-off the inning, and Strieby would double, giving them runners on second and third, without an out. A sac fly by Eldred would end the scoring, with the Mud Hens winning by a final tally of 8-3.
Both teams will meet again in Toledo on Monday night at 6:30.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.