Buffalo scored four runs in the first inning off of Toledo’s Drew VerHagen (3-6, 4.04 ERA) to lead the host Bisons past the Mud Hens, 5-2, on Thursday afternoon.
Toledo had just five hits, but one of those might have come as a bit of relief to one Mud Hens hitter. First baseman Jordan Lennerton salvaged the loss with his second home run of the season in a 1-for-2 effort at the plate. The solo blast came in sixth inning off Buffalo starter Deck McGuire.
Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera went 2 for 4 for the Mud Hens, with a double and a run scored.
VerHagen was tagged for four runs on six hits in five innings of work. He settled in after the rocky first inning, but totaled 101 pitches. He struck out four and walked three. Pat McCoy and Chad Smith went the final three innings for Toledo, combining to allow one run on four hits.
“It's really nice to put up a four-spot, that guy [VerHagen] looked like he pitched pretty good,” Bisons manager Gary Allenson said. “I think he had 30 pitches in the first inning. Obviously, the first hit to drive in a run, [Matt] Tuiasosopo's, was the big one.”
McGuire (2-0, 2.29) scattered three hits over seven innings for the Bison, while striking out 10 and walking one. Bobby Korecky got his sixth save.
Toledo slugger and former Bison, Mike Hessman, is tied with former Bison great Ollie Carnegie for the International League home run record with 258. Hessman was in the lineup after a three-game absence, but was unable to reach the milestone — going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk. Both strikeouts were courtesy of McGuire, who didn't shy away from coming after Hessman.
“We kept the ball in on him and [tried] to throw a lot of strikes,” McGuire said.
The Hens and Bisons (28-29) wrap up their four-game series today at 7:05 p.m.