Mud Hens outfielder Steven Moya slides safely into home plate on a single by Argenis Diaz during Sunday's win over the Durham Bulls at Fifth Third Field. BLADE/JETTA FRASER
Efren Navarro hung around for what seemed like an eternity.
The Mud Hens' first baseman fouled off pitch after pitch in a critical eighth-inning at-bat, watched a disputed 2-2 offering go just wide for a ball, and stood idly by as the umpire made two ejections while he was in the batter's box.
Navarro made it worth the wait. He came through with a clutch hit to swing the game in Toledo's favor, scoring a two-out, two-run single that pushed the Mud Hens to a 6-5 victory against visiting Durham on Sunday at Fifth Third Field.
With the Bulls ahead 5-4, Durham catcher Curt Casali and manager Jared Sandberg were ejected in the middle of Navarro's at-bat. Bulls reliever Adam Kolarek's 2-2 pitch to Navarro was a borderline pitch that home plate umpite Scott Costello deemed to be outside. Casali argued and was tossed; Sandberg came to home plate to protest and was sent to the clubhouse as well.
“I have to go back and look at it again, but I thought it was out, and I wasn't going to swing,” Navarro said. “Apparently [Costello] was calling that pitch throughout the whole game, so as far as their end, they wanted that pitch. From my end, I thought it was a ball.”
Toledo starter Matt Crouse earned a no-decision. He finished with a line of 6.1 innings, seven hits, two walks, three strikeouts, and three runs for the Mud Hens. Edward Mujica pitched around a two-out double to earn the save, his fifth.
Navarro, who also walked twice, helped Toledo finish the effort with a series win against first-place Durham.