Toledo MLN: Mud Hens Skid Continues

The Mud Hens are on a skid, but you can't put all the blame on the pitching staff.

Leading up to Tuesday night's 4-0 loss at Pawtucket, the Hens' staff was 13th in the International League with a 4.81 ERA. After a 6-1 start, the Hens (12-13) have spiraled downward with a 6-12 mark.

In its 12 wins, Toledo averaged 6.8 runs per game. In their 13 losses, the Mud Hens averaged 2.9 runs per game.

In 13 losses this season, Toledo batted .138 (18-for-130) with runners in scoring position. Toledo is 9-6 on the road and 3-1 in extra-inning games.

No Mud Hens pitcher has more than two wins. Ruddy Lugo (2-1) and relievers Fu-Te Ni (2-0) and Matt Rusch (2-1) lead the team in victories. The Hens do, however, continue to lead the International League in stolen bases, with 32.

MAKING CONTACT: Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez batted .310 (9-for-29) with two walks and five runs scored in his last seven games, raising his average to .284. Ramirez stole three bases on May 3, raising his season total to 10 ...

Outfielder Brent Clevlen is hitting .279 (12-for-43) in his last 12 games and is batting .284 on the season. He leads the Hens in hits (27) and doubles (8).

SERIOUS SLUMP: To say that third baseman Mike Hessman is struggling at the plate would be an understatement.

In his last six games Hessman batted .090 (2-for-22) with 12 strikeouts, two runs and four walks. Over the last 12 games Hessman has hit .095 (4-for-42), dropping his season average to .160. He leads Toledo with 16 RBI.

OTHER STRUGGLES: In their last 12 games, Ryan Roberson is hitting .129 (4-for-31) and Will Rhymes is hitting .162 (6-for-37).

NICE KNOWING YOU: The Detroit Tigers optioned infielder/outfielder Jeff Larish to Toledo in late April, and Larish belted a two-run homer on May 1 and added another homer on May 3. Larish hit .368 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in five games with the Mud Hens before being recalled to the Tigers on Tuesday. Larish batted .250 with 21 home runs and 64 RBI in 103 games with Toledo last season.

The Tigers also optioned left-hander Clay Rapada to Toledo on Tuesday and recalled outfielder Clete Thomas. Thomas saw action in 23 games with the Mud Hens and batted .236 with seven doubles, a triple, one home run, 10 RBI and seven stolen bases.

Rapada appeared in two games with Detroit after being recalled from Toledo on April 28, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief.

COMING HOME: The Mud Hens will try to right the ship with an eight-game homestand May 8-15. Toledo will host Lehigh Valley and Pawtucket before hitting the road for an eight-game swing through Charlotte, which is currently 10-15, and Gwinnett (11-15).

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