The Louisville Bats had every chance in the world to win Monday night’s game against the Toledo Mud Hens. The Bats’ bullpen blew four separate one run leads late in the game to fall 10-9 in eleven innings before a Monday-record crowd of 10,700 at Fifth Third Field.
The final lead was blown by Donnie Joseph. With two outs in the eleventh and his team leading 9-8, Joseph gave up a two-run double to Argenis Diaz, capping a wild night and giving the Mud Hens the walk off victory. It’s the third time in as many games this series the winning team has won in their final at-bat.
The Mud Hens (43-68), who blew their own big lead earlier in the game, kept battling despite trailing in every inning from the seventh on.
A leadoff home run from Henry Rodriguez in the seventh inning capped the Bats’ comeback from being down 5-2 and gave them a 6-5 lead. In the eighth, though, Nick Christiani gave up a leadoff home run to Jerad Head on the first pitch of the inning to tie the game at six.
The Bats (43-68) responded by getting a two out home run from Cody Puckett in the ninth to retake the lead 7-6. It was the third straight night Puckett had homered with two outs in the ninth against the Mud Hens. The lead was all for not as Jordan Smith gave up an RBI groundout to Head to tie the game at seven.
The wildness was far from over. After an RBI sacrifice fly from Rodriguez gave the Bats an 8-7 lead in the top of the tenth, Diaz scored when Andy Dirks grounded into a fielder’s choice.
The Bats’ bullpen would get one more chance to hold a one run lead after Felix Perez, who doubled with two outs, scored on a two out single from Dioner Navarro to give the Bats a 9-8 lead.
It would again be for not, though, as the Mud Hens battled back to get two in the eleventh on Diaz’s double to win 9-8. The Bats, who lost for the sixteenth time in their opponent’s last at bat, fell to 3-10 in extra-inning games.
The Bats got two hit performances from six players, including Felix Perez. Perez has now hit safely in 32 of his last 43 games including 15 multi-hit performances. During that stretch, Perez is hitting .338 with two homers, 14 doubles, one triple, and 16 RBIs while raising his overall batting average from .227 to .288.
Didi Gregorius saw his nine game hitting streak come to a halt as he went 0-for-6.
The Bats fell back into a third place tie with the Mud Hens in the International League’s West Division. Third place will be decided Tuesday afternoon when Todd Redmond (7-7, 3.58 ERA) takes the mound for the Bats against Drew Smyly (0-1, 12.27 ERA) of the Mud Hens. Smyly was optioned to Toledo from parent club Detroit Sunday. First pitch for Tuesday’s affair is scheduled for noon.
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