Arena Sportsnet

Tides Sunk by Mud Hens

DJ Stewart hit his team-leading 10th home run, but the Toledo Mud Hens used a big first inning to cruise to a 7-2 win over the Tides Friday night at Harbor Park.

The Hens wasted little time in jumping out to a lead, as Toledo sent 13 men to the plate in a seven-run first frame. Christin Stewart got the Hens on the board with a two-run homer, and Toledo then took advantage of six first inning walks – five from Tides starter Jimmy Yacabonis (3-4) – and a two-run single from Harold Castro to jump out to a 7-0 lead.

Yacabonis, who had entered Friday night’s contest with a 2.04 ERA over his last 10 starts, lasted just two-thirds of an inning before he was pulled in favor of Michael Kelly. Yacabonis walked a season-high five batters while yielding a season-high seven runs, throwing 16 of his 41 pitches for strikes.

Stewart got the Tides on the board in the first inning with an opposite-field two-run homer as he became the first Norfolk player to reach the 10-homer mark this season. The blast came off of left-hander Matt Hall (1-0) and was Stewart’s second home run against a southpaw this season. The Florida State product also drew a walk later in the contest to give him 46 walks this season, 3rd-most in the International League.

Kelly and Matthew Grimes – both called up from Bowie earlier Friday – followed Yacabonis out of the bullpen and kept the Hens off the board for the final eight innings. The duo combined to allow six hits over 8.1 innings of relief, striking out three. Grimes worked 3.2 shutout innings in his Triple-A debut, throwing 35 of his 52 pitches for strikes.

Hall earned the win after allowing two runs on three hits over six innings of work. He walked three and struck out seven, throwing 57 of his 89 pitches for strikes. Three relievers followed Hall’s effort with an inning of scoreless relief apiece to help wrap up the win in the opener of the three-game set.

The two teams will continue their three-game set on Saturday night at Harbor Park, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Josh Rogers – acquired from the New York Yankees in exchange for Zach Britton – will make his Tides debut and be opposed by right-hander Jacob Turner (1-3, 4.57).

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