Casey Crosby and Collin Balester combined for a four-hit shutout of the Louisville Bats Friday as the Toledo Mud Hens took the first game of a three game series 8-0.
Tim Gustafson (3-3) started for the Bats (32-58) and was roughed up for six runs in just 5-1/3 innings while taking the loss.
Gustafson gave up a two-run single to Argenis Diaz and another RBI single to Justin Henry in the second to give the Mud Hens all the offense they’d need.
The Mud Hens’ biggest blow of the night came in the sixth inning. After giving up; an RBI single to Ryan Strieby to make it 4-0, Gustafson got Matt Young to ground into a force play for the first out of the inning. Josh Judy replaced Gustafson on the mound and promptly walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. On the first pitch of the next at-bat Bryan Pounds drilled a grand slam home run to left-center, making it 8-0 and crushing any hope of a comeback for the Bats.
Crosby went seven innings for the Mud Hens giving up just three hits while collecting his sixth win of the season (6-3). He has given up just one run in his last three starts.
The Mud Hens won their second straight game while the Bats have now lost nine of ten since their season lost nine-game winning streak was snapped.
Game two of the three game set is Saturday. It will be a memorable night for those who have been baseball fans in Louisville for a long time. The Bats will be don Louisville Redbirds uniforms from the 1982 season and be celebrating 30 years of baseball in the city.
Along with handing out commemorative posters to fans, the Bats will honor many former Redbirds players including Gene Roof, Toledo hitting coach Leon Durham, current Bats manager David Bell, and current Bats pitching coach Ted Power, among others. First pitch for Saturday’s game is set for 6:05, but gates open at 5:00.
Note: While there is no official word on Kristopher Negron’s injury, it doesn’t look good. Negron will be with Reds team doctors over the weekend and a complete diagnosis will be made. Follow me @kevingeary10 for all the latest updates on Negron and all things Bats.