Hens end successful May homestand with lossWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The way the Mud Hens were playing, they were due for an off game.
Entering the day winning four of their five games in May, Toledo fell at Fifth Third Field in an 8-1 loss to Columbus on May 6. The Mud Hens recorded just five hits in the game and never led.
“We didn’t swing the bats well today and that’s no secret,” Toledo head coach Phil Nevin said. “It was one of those games where you really didn’t feel like you were in it. This team has played extremely hard for a month and throughout the course of the season you might have a stinker or two and that was today. You are never happy with those but you correct it and it won’t happen again.”
Toledo has exploded out of the gate in 2012 with the second best record in International League play at 18-11. The Mud Hens also have a two-game lead over Columbus, the two-time defending IL Champions, in the IL West.
“We have played well for a month, close to 30 games, and we have played well the entire time,” Nevin said. “You hate to sit there and say that you will have games like this but it happens. You don’t have to like it but you understand what it’s all about. We didn’t have everything today and we will go on the road tomorrow and fully anticipate us getting back to playing good ball.”
Their turnaround from last year’s squad, which finished the season at 67-77, has been highlighted by their play against the defending champions. The Clippers won 14 of 22 games against Toledo last season but the Mud Hens have turned the tables in 2012, winning six of eight against Columbus.
“That’s a good team over there,” Nevin said. “If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that we would be 6-2 at this point against that team, I would say we must be playing pretty good because that is a really good team.”
In Sunday’s finale, Toledo entered the fifth tied with the Clippers at one before Columbus scored seven runs in the next four innings to pull away 8-1. The game was sealed after a seventh-inning grand slam by Chad Huffman.
The Mud Hens will now hit the road for the next eight days as they look to improve on their 8-2 record on the season away from Fifth Third Field. They will take on Charlotte (15-15) and Gwinnett (19-10) each in a four game series before returning home for four more against Scranton Wilkes-Barre beginning at 6:30 p.m. May 15.