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Sunday, July 13, 2014
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Published: Monday, 7/16/2001

Mud Hens tie in 9th, lose in 13th

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

There was no deja vu at Skeldon Stadium yesterday.

The Mud Hens, who rallied from a five-run deficit to win on Saturday night, weren't able to overcome a four-run deficit yesterday in a 7-4 loss to the Richmond Braves.

Toledo came close, though, as Brian Rios homered with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.

But the Braves scored three times in the 13th inning to hand the Hens just their second loss in the last six games.

What did Hens manager Bruce Fields think when Rios hit his clutch home run? “I thought we were going to win the game,” he said. “I really felt we were going to score the run we needed to win.”

But the Hens did not score again and Richmond got three runs off reliever Matt Perisho in the 13th to claim their fourth win in six games at Skeldon this season.

Toledo fell to 2-5 in extra-inning games.

In the 13th Perisho gave up an infield hit to Mike Robertson and Marcus Giles, sitting on a 2-1 pitch, drilled an opposite-field home run.

“I was looking to drive the ball the other way,” Giles said. “I knew he (Perisho) has a good change, especially when he keeps it down. He just got it up that time.

“The way the ball flies in this ballpark and with the wind today, you know you've got a chance (for a home run).”

Giles' round-tripper was the last of three the Braves, who are last in International League homers, hit yesterday. Chan Perry and Travis Wilson each homered in the second inning as Richmond jumped to an early 4-0 lead.

The Hens used a few long balls of their own to get back into the game. Chris Wakeland homered in the fifth, Kurt Bierek had an RBI single in the sixth and Giomar Guevara homered in the eighth to set up Rios' ninth-inning heroics.

And the Hen pitching staff did its part, shutting out the Braves on just seven hits for 10 innings after the second.

“Every pitcher who came in did a nice job for us,” Fields said. “I'm not unhappy at all with the pitching.”

The only thing that make Fields unhappy was a botched rally in the bottom of the 12th. Wakeland led off with a walk but Rios was unable to sacrifice Wakeland to second and struck out. “I probably should have let Rios swing with a man on base,” Fields said.

Braves manager Carlos Tosca agreed. “Rios has hit well against us,” Tosca said. “I was kind of glad they tried to bunt.”

Wakeland was caught stealing and, after Rich Becker reached on a two-base error, Trace Coquillette grounded out to end the threat.

Tonight the Hens begin a four-game road trip with a game at Durham. Toledo's Mark Johnson (7-8) will face a pitcher to be determined by the Bulls in a game starting at 7 p.m.

NOTES: One of the Tigers' top pitching prospects, Nate Cornejo, joined the Hens yesterday. Cornejo, who was 12-3 with a 2.68 ERA in 19 starts at Double-A Erie, will be activated today and probably will start Thursday in Norfolk ... Fields said other moves are expected on the road trip as the Hens will have just 21 of a possible 23 roster spots filled after they add Cornejo ... The Braves finished with 14 hits yesterday. Richmond had at least 14 hits in all six games it played in Toledo this season ... Catcher Carlos Mendez threw out four Braves attempting to steal ... The Hens finished with a .268 batting average for the homestand.



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