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Published: Friday, 4/26/2002

Pitcher plucks Hens, 9-0

SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

MOOSIC, Pa. - His performance in spring training certainly opened the eyes of Phillies manager Larry Bowa.

Opponents were marveling at how the 21-year-old kid was dominating big league hitters. But yet, as he took to the Lackawanna County Stadium mound last night, Brett Myers was toting an 0-3 record.

Everyone knew Myers was not an 0-3 pitcher. His performance against the Toledo Mud Hens certainly made that clear.

Myers tossed a complete game one-hitter and struck out 10 as the Scranton Red Barons picked up a 9-0 victory over the Hens. Myers faced 28 batters, just one over the minimum.

“He was brilliant,” Red Barons manager Marc Bombard said of Myers. “He had command of his fastball and he kept the ball down for the most part.”

The one-hitter was the fourth in Red Barons history. Pat Combs, Andy Ashby and John Burgos were the other Red Barons pitchers to toss nine inning one- hitters.

“I tried to stay within myself and get ahead of the hitters,” said Myers, who walked only two and let just one runner reach third base. “I tried to make the best quality pitch I could and get the hitter out. The offense was hitting the ball all over the place.”

A sacrifice fly by Byrd in the third off Toledo's Tim Kalita that scored P.J. Forbes was all the offense the Red Barons needed last night.

However, after getting swept by Syracuse in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon, the offense broke out of a mild funk and banged out six extra base hits, including a triple and home run by Byrd.

“We did a good job and had some big hits,” Bombard said. “We had some good situational hitting. It was nice to see us swing the bats well. We've been struggling the last three or four games. Sure, Brett will take the spotlight after pitching a game like that, but if you look up and down the lineup we had some pretty good at-bats. That was nice to see.”

Myers retired the first three hitters he faced before he walked Craig Monroe leading off the second. After striking out Eric Munson, former Red Barons catcher Matt Walbeck hit into an inning-ending double play.

Toledo's Rod Lindsey reached second on an error by Red Barons shortstop Nick Punto to start the fourth and went to third when Derek Nicholson flied out to center. But Myers fanned the next two hitters.

In the fifth, Munson reached on a clean single to right. Following the Munson hit, Myers retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, five on strikeouts.

Kalita, the 17th best prospect in the Tigers organization out of Notre Dame University, lasted six innings and gave up eight hits and five runs. He walked two and struck out six and dropped to 1-4 on the season.

Kalita gave up one run in the third, fourth and sixth innings before Byrd launched his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot to deep left-center in the seventh. Tim Adkins relieved Kalita following Byrd's home run and gave up four runs in the eighth, two of which scored on a triple to right by Byrd.

Left-hander Matt Perisho is expected to rejoin the Mud Hens after clearing waivers yesterday.

Perisho had an 8.71 ERA in five appearances with the Tigers and allowed 22 baserunners in 101/3 innings.

Perisho began the season with the Hens but did not pitch with the team before his contract was purchased by the Tigers on April 5. Detroit placed Perisho on waivers Monday after purchasing the contract of right-hander Julio Santana from Toledo.

After learning of his demotion, Perisho told the media, “There'll be no Toledo for me. [The Tiger organization] isn't the place for me, obviously.”

If Perisho had declined his assignment to the Hens, he would have become a free agent and voided a contract estimated at $150,000.



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