COLUMBUS — The red-hot hitting of Hernan Perez and Jordan Lennerton, combined with another strong start by Kyle Ryan, led the Mud Hens to a 6-2 victory over Columbus on Wednesday.
Perez and Lennerton both had three hits to lead the Toledo offense, while Ryan gave up just five hits and one run in seven strong innings to give the Hens their second win in as many nights.
Toledo moved to within six games of the Clippers in the International League West Division standings, but the Hens have only 12 games left.
Mike Hessman got the Mud Hens rolling in the second inning with an opposite-field home run to right, his 26th this season and his second homer in as many nights.
Lennerton belted a two-out home run in the third, an opposite-field shot to left. Lennerton also has hit homers on back-to-back days and has three homers in his last four contests.
The Hens added a run in the seventh when Tyler Collins walked with one out, moved to second on a single by Perez, then came home on a single by Lennerton.
Meanwhile, Ryan held the Clippers scoreless until the bottom of that inning when Carlos Moncrief doubled with two outs, then came home on a double by pinch-hitter Audy Ciriaco.
Columbus cut its deficit to one run when Luke Carlin hammered a home run off reliever Melvin Mercedes in the eighth, but a three-run Hens rally in the ninth inning put the game out of reach.
Danny Worth worked Clippers reliever Austin Adams for a leadoff walk to start the rally, and he moved to third on a ground-rule double by Collins. Perez then tripled to deep center to score both baserunners, and Perez trotted home on a single by Lennerton.