Toledo MLN: The Two Faced Hens

This week was a tale of two teams as the Mud Hens split their games against two opponents for a 3-3 record.

Toledo (31-25) pitched well in four of the games with three wins, allowing just six earned runs off 23 hits. Two of the wins were seven-inning games as part of a double-header against Lehigh Valley (21-35). Right-hander Casey Fien (1-0) earned his first win in relief during game one of the double-header, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings with two hits allowed. Right-hander L.J. Gagnier evened his record at 2-2 in the second game with six strikeouts and only three hits allowed with one walk in five scoreless innings.

Left-hander Ryan Ketchner also evened his record at 2-2 this week, allowing just four hits and a walk in six scoreless innings with three strikeouts on Friday against Rochester (22-34). Closer Jay Sborz recorded two saves this week for 12 on the season, which ranks third in the International League.

In the other two losses, the Hens allowed 19 earned runs off 32 hits. Right-hander Alfredo Figaro (4-3) lasted just 1 2/3 innings on Wednesday, allowing eight earned runs off eight hits with two strikeouts. In facing only 13 batters, Figaro reached a triple-digit pitch count, throwing 63 strikes and 44 balls.

Right-handed pitcher Billy Buckner, recently acquired in the Dontrelle Willis trade, was roughed up in his debut on Sunday. In 4 1/3 innings, he allowed eight earned runs off 14 hits and a walk with two strikeouts. He faced 27 batters, throwing 88 strikes to 57 balls with three wild pitches.

Catcher Jeff Kunkel also made his debut for Toledo this week. He went 2-for-5 with one run on Friday. In 23 games with Erie this season, Kunkel hit .216 with 11 runs scored and eight RBI. Entering the week with a .255 batting average, the Hens improved this week, hitting 63 of 193 for a .326 average. Outfielder Ryan Strieby drastically improved, going from .197 to a .242 average. He hit 9 of 23 with a run scored and three RBI.

Second baseman Scott Sizemore was the team's biggest offensive threat, going 12-for-24 with five runs scored, three RBI and a home run. Sizemore extended his hitting streak to a team-best 13 games on Sunday. He is 23-for-53 during the streak with 10 runs, five RBI, six walks and nine strike outs.

Second baseman Danny Worth was called up to the Tigers today after going 8-for-21 with three runs and three RBI this week. Despite going 0-for-6 in Tuesday's double-header, center fielder Casper Wells also recorded eight hits this week. He was 8 -for-17 in the last four games with two runs and two RBI.


Catcher Max St. Pierre was 1-for-4 with an RBI this week before being placed on the 7-day DL with a broken finger.

First baseman Jeff Larish was active from the 7-day DL on Thursday and went 3-for-9 with three RBI in three games.

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