Toledo MLN: Hens Resurgence

While it wasn't as strong of a week as the Mud Hens have had recently, they still put up another winning week at 4-3 to stretch their July record to 16-7. In a continuation from last week, the Mud Hens finished a four game sweep of Norfolk, while taking another from the Tides Tuesday night. The Mud Hens dropped three of four games to the Durham Bulls in their other series last week.

The continued success in July, even if it was only mild this week, has the Mud Hens sitting at 48-57 overall, sitting only six games behind third place Indianapolis in the International League West standings.

Big league assistance

The Mud hens received strong contributions this week from recently demoted members of the big league club.

While he only played in one game this week, Brandon Inge was instrumental in Toledo's 7-4 win over Norfolk Tuesday night. Inge, designated for assignment by the Tigers last week, was 3-for-4 in the game with a home run and four RBI. He hit a go-ahead three run shot in the seventh inning that put the Mud Hens back ahead for good.

In addition, Ryan Perry came back to Toledo, making three appearances this week. He had two separate outings where he threw two innings and did not allow a run, but also had one outing where he allowed three runs without recording an out.

It's not Perry's first go-around with Toledo this season. He pitched with the Mud Hens in May and June while rehabbing an eye injury. In 15 appearances with the Mud Hens this season, he has a 2.70 ERA and a .94 WHIP. He has a 4.4-1 strikeout to walk ration, and batters are only hitting .205 off of him.

In addition to that, he has also pitched in with three wins and five saves.

More strong pitching

While a better offensive performance has been key for the Mud Hens' recent success, the efforts of the team's starting pitchers has gone a long way in keeping the Mud Hens in games.

Every day this week, the Mud Hens starter kept the team in the game, despite them having lost Duane Below and his nine wins and 3.13 ERA to a big league promotion.

Adam Wilk (10 combined innings, five runs, two earned), Brayan Villarreal (11 2/3 combined innings, seven runs), Andrew Oliver (six innings, four runs), Thad Weber (6 1/3 innings, four runs, three earned) and Fu-Te Ni (six innings, two runs) all pitched well. Despite that, only Villarreal, in his first start, and Wilk, in his second start, picked up wins this week.

In addition to the starters, the bullpen also had a good week, except for one game where they gave up five runs in an inning and 2/3.

Leading the way for the Mud Hens was Brendan Wise and Daniel Schlereth. Wise pitched 3 2/3 innings this week, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, recording six strikeouts. He lowered his season ERA to 1.44.

Schlereth has been lights out since being demoted by the Tigers. This week he pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks, while striking out four. For the season, he has a .77 ERA in eight appearances.

Power display

In addition to the home run from Inge, the Mud Hens received homers from Clete Thomas (9), Ben Guez (3), Ryan Strieby (16), Timo Perez (6), two from Casper Wells (2) and Jeff Kunkel, who hit his first career Triple-A homer in Monday's win over Durham.

The eight home runs this week has pushed the Mud Hens up to ninth in the IL in homers with 88, 17 behind Louisville and Columbus, who are tied for the league lead with 105.

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