By Josh Cook
It was a quick and costly loss for the Louisville Bats on Tuesday night.
A pair of pitchers limited Louisville to only four hits as the host Toledo Mud Hens beat the Bats 4-1 in just two hours and six minutes at Fifth Third Field.
The loss dropped Louisville (76-61) a half-game behind Columbus (77-61), which beat Indianapolis 5-2 Tuesday, in the International League West with six games remaining in the regular season. But the good news for the Bats is that they lead Buffalo and Syracuse (both 72-65) by four games in the IL wildcard race.
Louisville won seven of its first eight games at Fifth Third Field this season, but the Mud Hens (66-71) scored single runs in the third, fourth, seventh and eighth and got a strong start from Thad Weber.
Danny Dorn got the Bats on the board first when he led off the second inning with a solo home run to left field. It was his 12th round-tripper of the season, but it was also the only mistake Weber (1-1) made all night. The right-hander limited Louisville to only three hits over eight innings while walking one and striking out four.
Dave Sappelt tripled with one out in the third, but he was quickly erased when Zack Cozart lined to Toledo third baseman Shawn Roof, who converted the unassisted double play.
Reliever Robbie Weinhardt allowed one Bats' hit - a leadoff double by Eric Eymann - in the ninth on his way to earning his first save of the season.
In the bottom of that inning Christopher White singled off Louisville starter Matt Maloney with one out, stole second, then scored on Scott Sizemore's single.
Enerio Del Rosario replaced Maloney to start the fourth inning. Maloney gave up four hits and the one earned run while striking out three over three.
Jeff Frazier, the older brother of Bat Todd Frazier, greeted Del Rosario with a solo homer to left field. His 25th long ball of the season proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Yonder Alonso led off the seventh with a single to left field and tried to stretch it to a double, but Jeff Frazier threw him out at second.
Michael Bertram led off the bottom of the inning with his second homer of the season to make it 3-1. Del Rosario (4-4) left after two more batters. He allowed two earned runs on three hits while walking one over 3 1/3 innings.
In the eighth Mud Hen Maxwell Leon singled with one out off Louisville reliever Philippe Valiquette, then scored on Robinson Diaz's two-out double to left.
The Bats and Hens close out their split five-game series at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fifth Third Field. Louisville will then travel to Indianapolis for three games before returning to Louisville Slugger Field for a pair of games against the Indians.