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May 24—The Toledo Mud Hens' bats came alive against the Columbus Clippers in Sunday's series finale at Fifth Third Field. Toledo knocked out three home runs, two of which were in the seventh inning, as the Mud Hens defeated the Clippers 12-5.
Aderlin Rodriguez connected on a grand slam as part of the seventh-inning outburst.
With the win, Toledo (7-10) clinched its first series win of the 2021 season. The Mud Hens took four of six games from the Clippers.
The Mud Hens struck first in the third inning. After Derek Hill reached first on a fielder's choice Isaac Paredes drove in Hill on a two-out double.
The Clippers (8-9) tied the game at 1 on a two-out double from Andres Gimenez. Columbus' shortstop drove in Ryan Lavarnway, who began the inning with a leadoff walk.
Mud Hens starter Drew Hutchison struck out nine Clippers over five innings. The right-handed pitcher gave up one run on four hits and walked two batters. After allowing a leadoff walk and double in the first, Hutchison settled in. He struck out at least two batters in each inning except the fifth.
Columbus starter Matt Koch pitched three innings and gave up one run on three hits. He struck out two and walked two.
A leadoff double from Nolan Jones in the seventh led to a four-run inning. The Clippers' third baseman was driven in by Lavarnway on a double. Connor Marabell followed with a two-run blast, his first home run of the year. Two batters later, Daniel Johnson launched a solo shot to left.
The Mud Hens responded in the bottom half with a nine-run inning of their own. After back-to-back walks to Zack Short and Daniel Pinero, Centeno drove in Short on a double to center field and was followed by a base hit from Derek Hill that drove in Pinero.
Pinero went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and Hill went 2-for-5 with one RBI.
Rodriguez delivered the go-ahead runs for the Mud Hens with the grand slam to left center for his second home run of the season.
The Mud Hens' rally didn't stop there. Toledo batted around the lineup in the inning, and Pinero scorched a three-run homer, his first of the season.
Isaac Paredes launched a two-run home run in the eighth, his first of the season. He went 2-for-5 with two extra-base hits and three RBIs.
Game MVP: Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a single and grand slam.
He said it: "Aderlin with what he did, I mean, just got the boys going a little bit and it was fun," Pinero said. "It was fun. It was definitely fun. ... It's just good to celebrate with the boys."
Make note of it: Before Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Clippers, the Mud Hens were on a three-game winning streak, their longest string of wins in the early season.
Matt Manning's Saturday start was his best performance at the Triple-A level yet. Over the course of 6 2/3 innings, Manning allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out seven, and walked one.
Victor Reyes has reached base safely in 12 straight games, but his hitting streak came to an end at 11. Reyes walked in his first at-bat of the game and went 0-for-3.
Comings and goings: Left-handed pitcher Derek Holland began a rehab assignment on Thursday with the Mud Hens. Before landing on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder strain, he allowed 13 runs over nine innings and struck out nine opponents for the Tigers.
Outfielder Daz Cameron and infielder Short were both activated off the seven-day injured list. Since being activated off the IL on Wednesday, Cameron has gone 4-for-17 with two extra base hits and two runs batted in.
Short was reinstated from the IL on Sunday. In his first appearance since he landed on the IL, he went 1-for-3 with a single and scored a run.
A look ahead: Toledo has a scheduled off day on Monday and will be back on the road for a six-game set against the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate. The first game of the Mud Hens and Bats' series is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.