ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Toledo Mud Hens already had shown they could overcome big leads. Last night, they showed they could close the deal.
Four days after overcoming a five-run deficit in Pawtucket, only to lose the game, the Hens found themselves behind the Rochester Red Wings 5-0 with one out in the ninth inning.
Four singles, a bases-loaded hit batsman and a missed double play later, the game was tied. And with two out in the 12th, Danny Klassen drilled the first pitch from losing pitcher Jeromy Palki over the bullpen to give Toledo a 6-5 victory.
``Any time you can win one in the 12th, especially on a night like tonight when it's cold and rainy, and the first game in a new town, it's a big win,'' Klassen said after hitting his fifth homer this season.
It was Klassen who started the string of hits. With one out and a runner at first base, he singled to left. A single by Cody Ross loaded the bases, then Rochester closer Todd Erdos hit Hiram Bocachica with a pitch, forcing in the first run.
Wendell Magee singled for two more runs. A.J. Hinch's single pulled the Hens within one at 5-4, and sent Magee to third base. The newest Mud Hen, Kevin Jordan, then hit a ball back to Erdos. The pitcher turned to get a forceout at second base, but Jordan beat the relay throw as Magee ran home to tie the game.
``Klassen's home run was big,'' Toledo manager Larry Parrish said, ``especially with two outs. The curve is a pitch that he's had trouble swinging at. We've been working with him, to the point of throwing him some during batting practice. It was a get-over curveball to get ahead in the count.''
The Red Wings scored all their runs in the sixth, when Hen starter Tyler Walker gave up four hits - one on a ground ball he couldn't handle - plus a balk and an intentional walk.
The four-game series continues tonight (7:05 p.m.) with Toledo's Shane Loux (8-2, 2.71 earned-run average) scheduled to oppose Rochester righthander Matt Carnes (0-0, 3.09). Parrish said newly signed first baseman/outfielder Patrick Lennon, who wasn't added to the roster soon enough to be eligible for last night's game, would be in the lineup.