Toledo MLN: Looking to Change Their Luck

The Toledo Mud Hens entered the second half of play hoping to change their luck from a sub par first half. Often plagued by inconsistent play, the club was hoping to start things off on the right foot.

The Hens first game back was on the road in Buffalo. Toledo did start their second half off on the right foot, putting together a 6-2 victory off of a beautiful pitching performance courtesy of Brooks Brown. Brown threw 6 and 2/3 of one run baseball and struck out four, shutting down the Buffalo bats. The win was just Brown's third with the Mud Hens, since he was called up May 14th from Erie. Wilkin Ramirez provided the offense going 2-4 with a home run and two runs batted in, continuing his hot July at the dish.

Friday's rain out turned into a Saturday double header for Toledo. The Hens were swept for the day, dropping two pitcher's duels. Chris Lambert, who pitched a complete game, allowed only one run on four hits and struck out three. Unfortunately for Lambert's effort was wasted as his team struggled at the plate, only tallying two hits in game one. In fact, the Hens failed to get a runner past first base for the game.

Game two of the doubleheader was more of the same. Scot Drucker pitched five solid innings, allowing two runs on four hits, but it was all for naught. The offense could not drive in any runs once again, leaving eight runners stranded on base. The line up was 0-8 with runners in scoring position during game two, wasting another solid outing from a starter.

Toledo was able to get back to winning ways in the series finale. Eddie Bonine, who was making his first start in ten days, pitched a gem. Bonine threw eight innings, only allowing two earned runs on seven hits. Starting for the first time since his All-Star appearance, Brent Dlugach had a 3-4 afternoon with a double and a run scored. Jeff Larish also had a solid day at bat. Larish went 2-4 driving in two on his fourth homer of the season with Toledo.

Toledo returned home to Fifth Third Field on Monday and welcomed the Syracuse Chiefs to town. It was a good night for the home team as Toledo posted its third victory of the second half, downing the Chiefs by a score of 4-2. Ruddy Lugo rebounded from two dismal outings, allowing only two runs over 6 2/3 innings of work. Lugo struck out seven and only gave up five hits. The lineup garnered seven hits, highlighted by Jeff Frazier's third home run since joining Toledo. Josh Rainwater collected his second save in as many nights, to seal out the win for the Hens.

Tuesday's affair would see the Hens' modest two game win streak snapped. Toledo struck early on a two run home run courtesy of Jeff Frazier. The Hens would add two more, before starter Nate Bump ran into trouble. Bump, who only allowed one run in his first two starts, gave up four runs in the fifth inning, and allowed Syracuse to the game at four. Syracuse would score twice more in the top half of the seventh, touching Hen reliever Kris Regas for two solo home runs, taking a 6-4 lead. The Hens would get one back in their half of the eighth, but Jeff Frazier, who represented the tying run was thrown out at home to end the inning. Hens' newcomer Zach Simons, who was called up Monday from Erie, had a solid debut. Simons pitched two scoreless innings of relief allowing one run and striking out two. But Syracuse reliever, Jorge Sosa, would strike out the side in the ninth, and the Hens lost 6-5. Regas took the loss, his first since signing with Toledo on July 7th.

Hens News and Notes:

- What a difference one month has made for Wilkin Ramirez. Ramirez, who hit just .146 in June, is hitting a scorching .370 so far in the month of July. Ramirez has more RBIs this month than he has any other month this season.

- Brent Dlugach finds himself in the midst of a ten game hitting streak as well. Dlugach's third inning single extended the streak. He is hitting .405 over the current stretch. This is the shortstop's second double digit streak this season. Earlier this year he hit in fourteen straight games. Dlugach was also the Mud Hens lone representative at last week's Triple-A All Star Game. Dlugach was 0-1 in the game.

- RHP Ryan Perry was called up to Detroit from Toledo last Saturday to fill the roster spot vacated by Joel Zumaya, who was place on the disabled list. Toledo received RHP Zach Simons from Erie on Monday to fill their roster spot.

- After Tuesday's loss, Toledo finds itself in third place in the IL West. The Hens find themselves 10.5 games behind division leading Louisville.

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