The Louisville Bats did just enough at the plate and Chad Reineke was stellar on the mound as they beat the Toledo Mud Hens 3-1 Sunday night. 9,019 saw the Bats take sole possession of third place in the International League West Division for the first time since April 10.
Cody Puckett’s two-run homer with two outs in the ninth gave the Bats a 3-0 at the time and turned out to be the game-winning hit. It was the second straight night Cody Puckett had a game-winning two-out homer in the ninth.
The Bats held a 1-0 going to the ninth in large part to a stellar outing from starter Chad Reineke. The Defiance, OH native struck out a season high nine over 7-1/3 shutout innings. Reineke (4-7) relied on his bullpen to get him out of the eighth.
Reineke was lifted for Will Ohman with one out and a runner at second in the eighth. Ohman allowed a single to Matt Young, who advanced to second on a throwing error by Denis Phipps. JJ Hoover then came in for the Bats. After Didi Gregorius threw out Danny Dorn at the plate for the second out of the inning, Hoover blew away Cale Iorg with a 95 mph fastball to end the Mud Hens threat, keeping the 1-0 lead intact.
Hoover pitched the ninth and gave up a run on sacrifice fly by Argenis Diaz. Hoover was credited with his eighth save of the season.
Gregorius, who extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first inning single, led off the fourth with a solo homer to give the Bats an early 1-0 lead. It was Gregorius’ sixth mutli-hit game during his hitting streak in which he is hitting .400 with four homers and seven RBIs.
The Gregorius homer was the lone run Mud Hens starter Casey Crosby surrendered over eight innings of work.
The win marked just the third time all season the Bats (43-67) have won three games in a row. It was their second straight win against the Mud Hens.
The teams continue their four game series Monday night at 7:00. Brett Tomko (0-6, 3.41 ERA) will be on the mound for the Bats looking for his first win of the season. The Mud Hens will counter with Brooks Brown (3-3, 4.79 ERA).