Mud Hens break up no-hitter in ninthWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Not much went right for the Mud Hens on June 7, but all things considered, it could have been worse.
Charlotte starter Terry Doyle took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before the Mud Hens broke it up in a 6-1 loss at Fifth Third Field. Toledo avoided being no-hit for the first time since 1977.
“He wasn’t overpowering, but he threw a lot of strikes,” Toledo Head Coach Phil Nevin said. “He threw every pitch for a strike; his ball had a lot of movement, and he was able to spot everything.”
Mud Hens third baseman Audy Ciriaco played the role of spoiler taking a 1-2 pitch with no outs in the ninth deep over the head of the Knights left fielder. The hit led to the later departure of Doyle, who allowed just one hit over 8.1 innings, striking out nine and walking three.
“You never want to be involved in a no-hitter, when you are involved on the other side,” Ciriaco said. “We are just playing to try to win games, and we didn’t [tonight], but we didn’t get the no-hitter against us.”
With the loss, Toledo’s struggles have continued, losing its last five games and having scored just one run in each of its last four contests. The Mud Hens have one more home game remaining in their eight-game homestand on June 8, looking to salvage a 3-5 record.
“We have talked about our hitting, and we are just in a little bit of a funk right now,” Nevin said. “Offensively, you look for signs like good swings and things like that, but [Doyle] pitched a good game. He was hot coming in and it was tough watching those first few innings, but we didn’t get no-hit.”
Doyle wasn’t the only pitcher who threw a good game on the night. Mud Hens starter Andy Oliver (3-5) was the tough-luck loser, throwing 7.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with six strikeouts. The major damage came in the fourth inning when Knights second baseman Drew Garcia hit a three-run home run to grab an early three run lead.
“Oliver had a good game,” Nevin said. “He had a couple guys on base and made a bad pitch to [Garcia]. He left the changeup up, and he got the bat on it to the short part of the field and that was it. Oliver threw the ball good, and I liked what I saw. It was one of his better nights, and we can build from that.”
The game also featured Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson, who was making his first rehab start since going on the DL on May 24 with an abdominal strain. Jackson went 0-4 at the leadoff spot for the Mud Hens, striking out twice.
Jackson will go again for the Mud Hens, who look to avoid losing six straight at home on June 8 at 7 p.m. against Charlotte.