TOLEDO-- Monday was redemption night for the Toledo offense. After collecting ten or more hits in seven of the last ten games, Toledo brought in a six-game losing streak and a 2-8 record in their last ten games into the night versus the Yankees.
Toledo looked to climb back from the losing streak riding the arm of proven starter RHP Chris Lambert (8-5). Lambert has had trouble finding consistency as of late, allowing 12 runs in his last 14.2 innings pitched. Taking RHP Jeff Karstens (3-4), the Hens' lineup needed to push all of the right buttons. Karstens owned Toledo in his last start, holding them to two hits in 6.2 innings of work. On the other hand, Lambert lasted 3.1 innings and allowed seven runs in his only start versus the Yankees.
Lambert simply dazzled.
The team leader in quality starts absolutely shut down his opposition when his team needed a boost the most. Lambert brilliantly attacked the strike zone and pitched to contact so effectively that he allowed only four baserunners - on three hits. He hurled nine dominant innings and allowed only one unearned run on the way to his eighth win of the season. It was his first career complete game.
He was given plenty of run support - eight runs, six of which were charged to Karstens. On injury rehab, DH Brandon Inge (1) belted a three-run blast for a 3-0 lead in the third. The Toledo offense poured it on for the rest of the game, streaming twelve hits off of Yankees' pitching. C Max St-Pierre had three RBI, including a two-run home run. Also on MLB rehab, SS Ramon Santiago went 4-4 and added two RBI.
Welcome Back: The Hens welcomed back 2B Michael Hollimon on Monday after his stint with the Detroit Tigers. The Toledo offense will surely welcome his bat back - along with his 14 home runs - in the recent skid. He went 0-3 in his return.
Toledo also greeted Brandon Inge for the first time since 2003 while on injury rehab. He is scheduled to make at least three more appearances for the Mud Hens.
Big Hitting: On the season, the Mud Hens are 28-14 (.667) in games when they have 10 or more hits. However, prioir to Monday night's win, in the last ten games, the Hens are 2-8 despite having 10+ hits in seven of the ten games. During the season-high six game losing streak, Toledo has had 10+ hits in five of the six games. Conversely, the Hens are 22-28 (.440) when they have 10 or fewer hits.
Avoiding Tragedy: This potent Toledo offense almost made it into the record books - for the wrong reason. Before Monday's win over the Yankees, Toledo had a five game home losing streak, one short of the record six set in 2004. With the win, they avoid that tainted mark.
All-Star Rocks!: CF Brent Clevlen has quite the influence on the Hens' success. After a triple in Monday night's game, Toledo's record when he reaches base is 41-24 and when he gets a hit it is 35-20; when he does not do either, the team is 4-7.