NORFOLK, Va. — An eighth-inning bout of wildness cost the Mud Hens in a 2-1 loss Monday to Norfolk.
Toledo’s Daniel Schlereth hit Xavier Paul with a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to force home the go-ahead run and snap the Hens’ five-game winning streak.
Schlereth walked David Freitas and gave up a bunt single to Julio Borbon to start the eighth. After a sacrifice by Quintin Berry, the Hens intentionally walked Christian Walker, but Schlereth hit Paul on a 1-2 pitch to allow pinch-runner Ivan De Jesus to score.
Melvin Mercedes relieved Schlereth with the bases loaded and one out and got the final two outs of the inning without allowing a run to score, but the damage was done.
The Hens scored a run in the first as Ezequiel Carrera opened the game with a single, stole second base, took third on a flyout by Hernan Perez and scored on a balk by Norfolk starter Tyler Wilson.
But Toledo had just three other hits in the contest, one of which was a single by Tyler Collins in the fourth.
The Hens threatened to tie the game in the top of the ninth when Collins singled with one out, then moved to second on a single by Mike Hessman. But Norfolk’s Evan Meek struck out Jordan Lennerton and Manny Pina to claim his seventh save of the season.
Norfolk’s Wilson allowed just two hits in seven innings, striking out eight.
Mud Hens starter Jose Ortega, who was pressed into making just the second start of his pro career because Detroit called up Drew VerHagen to start Saturday for the Tigers, kept the Tides off the board until the fourth. In that inning Ortega got the first two outs before Buck Britton homered to right.
After Ortega walked the first two batters in the fifth, Evan Reed came out of the bullpen and quickly got three outs to end the jam. Reed then followed with two more scoreless innings, striking out two in his three hitless, scoreless innings.
But the eighth-inning run pushed the Mud Hens back to the .500 level at 52-52.