TOLEDO, Ohio – CF Cedric Mullins hit the very first pitch of the game for his first home run of the season and Norfolk had another stellar starting pitching performance as the Tides won for the third time in a row, downing Toledo Mud Hens, 7-2 in front of 9,386 at Fifth Third Field.
Tides (32-26) starting pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis (3-1) matched what his teammate did the previous night by throwing five scoreless innings, scattering three hits, walking one and striking out three. He was rescued out of a jam in the bottom of the third by an outstanding defensive play from some of his fellow players on the field.
A. J. Ladwig (5-2) took the loss for the Mud Hens (37-23). He also pitched five innings but gave up six runs on nine hits.
After Mullins’ lead-off homer to start the game, Norfolk helped themselves by exploding for five runs in the top of the third, highlighted by 2B Steve Wilkerson’s three-run home run. Also, of Norfolk’s 11 hits, five of them went for extra bases (two doubles, a triple and two home runs).
Yacabonis’ only trouble came in the bottom of the third. He walked 1B Edwin Espinal but then got C Jarrod Saltalamacchia to ground into a double play. SS Pete Kozma singled to center. CF Mike Gerber than doubled to right field. With Kozma being sent to home, RF Mike Yastrzemski fired a laser to Wilkerson, who made an excellent throw to C Andrew Susac, to gun down Kozma and keep Toledo scoreless at the time.
The Mud Hens were able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh of Tides reliver Joely Rodriguez. RF Jim Adduci started off by singling to left field. DH Chad Huffman followed with a single of his own to right field with Adduci stopping at second.
2B Jason Krizan grounded out to second, but successfully moving the runners up a base, to third and second, respectively. Espinal then singled to center, bringing in Adduci for Toledo’s first run of the game while Huffman was held up at third.
Rodriguez then threw a wild pitch on a 0-1 while Saltalamacchia was at the plate, bringing Huffman from third. Rodriguez was able to get the next two batters out to minimize the damage, as the Mud Hens pulled to withing 6-2 of Norfolk.
Yastrzemski hit a two-out single RBI, bringing 1B Garabez Rosa, who had doubled right before, for the Tides’ seventh run of the game.
Norfolk goes for the three-game road sweep tomorrow afternoon as Tim Melville (5-3, 4.47 ERA) takes the mound against Toledo’s Josh Turley (5-2, 4.70 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 pm.