6:00 p.m. – The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin. ... Leading off and playing CF is Justin Henry, followed by Ryan Raburn at 2B, Don Kelly at 3B, John Lindsey at DH, Danny Dorn at 1B, Ben Guez in RF, Danny Worth at SS, Jerad Head in LF, Bryan Holaday at C and LHP Andy Oliver as the starting pitcher. Louisville lineup is next ...
6:06 p.m. – The Louisville lineup of manager David Bell ... Leading off and playing CF is Denis Phipps, followed by Didi Gregorius at 2B, Devin Mesoraco at C, Neftali Soto at 1B, Henry Rodriguez at SS, Felix Perez in RF, Chris Valaika at DH, Mike Costanzo at 3B, Cody Puckett in LF and RHP Chad Reineke as the starting pitcher.
6:16 p.m. – The news of the day is that LHP Drew Smyly was promoted to Detroit and will start for the Tigers tonight. Detroit sent RHP Luke Putkonen to the Mud Hens to make room for Smyly on the 25-man roster. Toledo will use LHP Andy Oliver to start in Smyly's place.
6:25 p.m. -- The Toledo roster as seen a little bit of change since the Mud Hens went on that 11-game road trip. The additions are IF-OF Ryan Raburn, who joined the Hens on a Major League rehab assignment Aug. 22, and LHP Duane Below, who was optioned to Toledo by the Tigers Aug. 14.
6:33 p.m. -- The loss of Thad Weber and Drew Smyly in the past few days has scrambled the Toledo rotation a bit. Obviously Andy Oliver is taking tonight's start, his first start since July 12 (he has made eight relief appearances), and tomorrow's starter remains LHP Casey Crosby. There is a day off Monday, which also helps. LHP Duane Below starts Tuesday, RHP Brooks Brown starts Wednesday and LHP Adam Wilk starts Thursday. Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said Friday's starter is yet to be determined ... the situation regarding RHP Doug Fister and Smyly obviously affects that.
6:45 p.m. -- Sorry there haven't been much consistency to the posts ... lots of up-and-down as we celebrate Veterans' Appreciation Night. So here's a salute to our veterans everywhere ... THANKS!
6:53 p.m. -- Since the Mud Hens have been on the road for their last 11 games, there aren't many links. Here's the one I have: click here to read the explanation about losing Thad Weber and adding Al Alburquerque.
6:59 p.m. -- OK, I'll talk to you on the other side of first pitch, with a quick look at Andy Oliver and more!
7:04 p.m. -- A bit of news as we get started ... LHP Daniel Schlereth has been sent to the Mud Hens to continue his rehab assignment. He is here in Toledo, but he is not going to pitch in tonight's game (I am told). Schlereth made eight appearances for Hi-A Lakeland and had a 1.13 ERA. In eight innings he allowed six hits and seven walks but only one earned run, striking out nine.
7:11 p.m. -- LHP Andy Oliver pitched around a two-out walk to retire the Bats in the first inning. Oliver threw 18 pitches, nine of which were strikes. His fastball sat consistently at 93-95 mph (three at 93, four at 94, four at 95) while his breaking ball sat at 85-87 mph (two at 85, one at 86, one at 87). No score as the Mud Hens come to bat.
7:154 p.m. -- Ryan Raburn hammered a home run to put the Mud Hens on the board. Lots of things to like about the homer ... He went the other way and hit it over the right-field fence, he hit an 0-2 pitch, and he's hot. Raburn has homered in three of his last four games and now is hitting .283 in 12 games with the Mud Hens this season with four homers and 11 RBIs. In his four games with the Hens (so far) he has gone 7-for-15 with a double and three home runs among his seven hits. He also has four runs scored and seven RBIs ... with eight innings to go. Mud Hens 1, Louisville 0.
7:34 p.m. -- The Mud Hens add a two-spot in the second, and lots of credit has to go to the Bats for the runs -- specifically, left fielder Cody Puckett. With one out Puckett dropped a fly ball by Ben Guez to put Guez on base; then Danny Worth doubled off the left-field wall, and when Puckett mishandled the ball, that allowed Guez to score. Jerad Head then hit a ground ball up the middle that eluded Didi Gregorius for a single that plated Worth. Mud Hens now lead 3-0 as we head to the third.
7:44 p.m. -- Need to spent a few minutes finishing a notebook for Sunday's paper. I'll be back here if there's big news ... and I'll be back when I'm done. Thanks for hanging with me!
8:07 p.m. -- The Mud Hens just pulled off a double steal to produce a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ben Guez led off the inning with a triple, and Danny Worth drew a walk. One out later Worth took off on the first pitch to Bryan Holaday and just beat the threw to second; Guez took off on the throw to second and JUST beat the throw to the plate. In fact, Guez used a terrific slide to beat the tag and score the run. It's Mud Hens 4, Louisville 1 as Toledo continues to bat in the bottom of the fourth.
8:25 p.m. -- OK, back in the game ... thanks for your patience. A few notes as the game keeps motoring along. Let's start with a word about Andy Oliver, shall we? Oliver covered the first four innings for the Mud Hens and allowed just one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out three, and of his 59 pitches, 32 were strikes. I promise I'll post a more thorough look at the start Sunday, OK?
8:33 p.m. -- RHP Luke Putkonen has come on in relief of Oliver, and so far he has thrown two scoreless innings. There have been a pair of well-struck doubles by Louisville, but in both cases the hits came with two outs, and there was no damage. Putkonen also got a bit of a break in the the fifth: Mike Costanzo led off with a walk, and Cody Puckett hit a line drive to shortstop that Danny Worth caught, DOUBLE CLUTCHED, and STILL doubled Costanzo off first. That out proved vital when the next batter, Denis Phipps, doubled down the left field line on a hit that would have given Costanzo at least a chance to score.
8:44 p.m. -- Luke Putkonen covers three innings for the Mud Hens and allows just two hits and two walks while fanning one. Of his 44 pitches, 25 are strikes. I'll have a few words on Putkonen tacked on to the Oliver report, OK? We've got Al Alburquerque warming up in the bullpen ... so I guess I'll have a little bit of an Al-Al report, too. Man, I'm going to be busy tonight!
8:55 p.m. -- Something worth mentioning ... Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin has made sure that Ryan Raburn has seen plenty of action in both the infield and the outfield. In this game, for example, Raburn played second base for the first seven innings (and turned a nifty double play along the way), then has moved to left field to begin the eighth. That's been the plan for the last several days. Mud Hens still leading Louisville 4-1 as we begin the eighth.
9:11 p.m. -- Also worth mentioning ... RHP Bruce Rondon is warming up in the bullpen. This will be Rondon's second appearance at Fifth Third Field, but the first appearance comes with an asterisk ... He threw one pitch behind Will Rhymes and was ejected, then suspended for five games. Hopefully we'll get to see more than one pitch from Rondon tonight. Mud Hens still batting in the bottom of the eighth, with Toledo still in front 4-1.
9:21 p.m. -- OK, pet peeve from this season ... The Mud Hens have used video from the movie, "Angels in the Outfield" all season long. You've seen the video: all of the fans start standing up and waving their arms as if they are flying, or "rallying." It has been a bad-luck charm for the Mud Hens all season: Whenever it plays on the scoreboards, it has generally spelled doom for the Hens. So the Hens played it just as Cale Iorg came to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second ... and Iorg broke the jinx with an RBI single. Of course, that came moments after I said in the press box that it was a jinx. So I was obliged to stand up and flap my wings in honor of that highly successful video. We go to the ninth with Toledo now leading Louisville 5-1.
9:29 p.m. -- Bruce Rondon finished off the Bats with a 1-2-3 ninth and the Hens have won their fifth in a row. Heading to the clubhouse, so I'm going to close the blog for tonight. Thanks for following along!