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Published: Tuesday, 5/22/2001

Hens' Maroth tough in helping Toledo beat Red Barons, 3-1

BY RANDY SHEMANSKI
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

MOOSIC, Pa. - It wouldn't be considered an outburst, but the Toledo Mud Hens finally got what they were looking for from their offense.

The Mud Hens put together five consecutive hits in a three-run fifth inning and beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, 3-1, at Lackawanna County Stadium last night. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak.

Designated hitter Kurt Airoso started the big inning with a one-out triple to right-center field. After three consecutive singles by Brian Rios, Giomar Guevara and Wendell Magee Jr. gave the Mud Hens a 2-0 lead, center fielder Jermaine Allensworth capped the uprising with an RBI-double.

“We finally got some consecutive hits,” Toledo manager Bruce Fields said. “That's the key to any inning if you're going to score. We were able to squeak out three runs and it was enough.”

Left-hander Mike Maroth was the lucky recipient of the three runs and he used them wisely. Maroth gave up just one run on four hits in six innings, evening his record at 3-3. He gave up just five base-runners, only two of which advanced past first base.

“I knew I had to keep them off balance,” Maroth said. “I wanted to try to get ahead and I was able to keep them off balance. It's hard for them to feel comfortable in the batter's box if you keep them off balance.”

Maroth's only mistake came in the bottom of the fifth when he gaveup a leadoff home run to Jason Michaels. Maroth escaped any further trouble before turning the game over to relievers Rich DeLucia and Kevin Tollar, who combined to strike out eight in three scoreless innings. Tollar pitched the final 1 1/3, striking out four to earn his second save.

“Mike was outstanding tonight,” Fields said of Maroth. “He kept them off balance with his off-speed pitches. We hadn't played that well in the last four or five games, but he hung in there and gave us six strong innings.”

Mud Hens pitcher Mark Johnson was named the International League's pitcher of the week, the league office announced yesterday.

The 26-year-old right-hander earned the award by tossing a five-hit complete-game shutout against Ottawa last Thursday.

In that game Johnson struck out five and walked only one, evening his season record to 4-4 and lowering his ERA to 3.69.

Ironically, another Mark Johnson was named the IL's hitter of the week as Mark P. Johnson of Norfolk won the award. The two are not related.

Mark J. Johnson, the Toledo pitcher, is the second Hen to win IL pitcher of the week honors; lefty Adam Pettyjohn won the award on April 30.



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