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May 5—It was a home run bash at Fifth Third Field in the Mud Hens season opener. Toledo opened its 2021 schedule against the Nashville Sounds with an 8-6 win.
Matt Manning made the start for the Mud Hens in his Triple-A debut. The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher finished the game with a final line of five innings, five runs (three home runs), six strikeouts, and one walk.
The Mud Hens' five-run sixth inning sealed the victory. Toledo didn't have a lead until Christin Stewart hit a three-run homer to put the Mud Hens ahead 7-5.
Relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez allowed two hits and struck out two in two innings. Jason Foley struck out the side in the eighth and, after Joe Jimenez allowed a first-pitch home run, he retired the next three batters to get the save.
What happened: Nashville began the slugfest in the top of the third when the Sounds' Dustin Peterson hit a three-run homer to right field off Manning.
After Manning struck out Mario Feliciano in the second inning, the Milwaukee Brewers' No. 5 prospect got his revenge, launching a solo shot to right field.
The Mud Hens didn't get their first hit until the fourth inning when they scored three runs. Nomar Mazara hit a solo home run to dead center field. Later in the inning, Nunez turned on an 0-2 pitch and sent it over the left-field wall. After a triple from Kody Clemens, he scored on a passed ball.
Right fielder Stewart hit the go-ahead three-run homer in a four-run bottom of the sixth.
Game MVP: Stewart was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and a single.
He said it: "I'll tell you what, for not that many fans in the stands, it was loud," Mud Hens manager Tom Prince said. "I mean, they were getting after it pretty good. I think the players were excited. I was excited. It was good to get the first one out of the way."
Make a note of it: Mazara will be in Toledo for the next few games on a rehab assignment. Before landing on the injured-list, the designated hitter had a .237 batting average and a .275 on-base percentage. Mud Hens outfielder Daz Cameron will begin the season on the injured list with a fractured right wrist.
Pitchers Andrew Moore and Joey Wentz and outfielder Danny Woodrow are also on the injured-list.
A look ahead: The Mud Hens continue their six-game opening series Wednesday against the Sounds. The first pitch is at 6:35 p.m.
First Published May 4, 2021, 10:14pm