The Toledo Mud Hens gave their fans something to go home happy about last night as they wrapped up their final home game of the season against the Columbus Clippers. Trailing 4-0 in the ninth, the Clippers were starting to put together a rally. Matt LaPorta hit a solo home run to lead off the frame. Then Jeremy Hermida doubled and Chin-Hsiu Chen singled to put runners at first and third with no outs and the tying run stepping to the plate.
Down in the count 0-1, Ryan Rohlinger lifted a fly ball to left field. The routine out was made by left fielder Gustavo Nunez, who threw home to attempt to get Hermida at the plate. Catcher Bryan Holaday snagged the throw, dove to apply the tag to Hermida, then ran halfway towards second base as Chen was caught between bases. Second baseman Danny Worth collected Holaday’s throw, then quickly fired to first baseman Jordan Lennerton, who applied the tag on Chen for the third and final out of the game — a 7-2-4-5 triple play. The Mud Hens won 4-1 in their final game at home.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.