MEMPHIS - First, Shane Loux had a conversation with pitching coach Jeff Jones before he left Toledo, and Jones told the Mud Hens right-hander that he might not throw in the Triple-A All-Star Game.
Then, Loux arrived in Memphis to have all-star manager Marc Bombard from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tell him that he might be the starter.
Finally, Bombard let him know that since he had started Sunday and is slated to go again tomorrow, he wouldn't be throwing.
So, was Loux disappointed that he didn't pitch in the International League's 13-9 win last night over the Pacific Coast League in front of 15,214 fans at the Memphis Redbirds' AutoZone Park?
A little bit, but not enough to be down about it.
“This is a great honor to be here,” Loux said. But it really comes down to me needing to help my team first and foremost.”
Toledo will host the 2006 All-Star Game when it will be played at Fifth Third Field.
Former University of Toledo player Jeremy Griffiths, a right-hander now pitching for the Norfolk Tides, allowed a hit and a walk and threw a wild pitch in his only inning of work.
But Griffiths was one of the few pitchers on the night from either side not to give up a run.
Griffiths was happy to have been selected for a number of reasons and didn't think about his experience in terms of success or failure on the field.
“It's great for your own stature to be here, I suppose," Griffiths said. “Regardless of how I pitched, though, it's been awesome.”
Loux agreed wholeheartedly.
“I've had an incredible time here,” Loux said. “You'll never forget having the experience, so I'm glad to have been here for it.”
The IL finally prevailed in a slugfest that saw the teams combine for the most runs in the 16-year history of the event.
The second of the IL's three consecutive three-run innings in the middle of the game put it ahead for good, as the Charlotte's Ross Gload and the Richmond's Johnny Estrada delivered run-scoring hits and the Buffalo's Alex Escobar added a sacrifice fly.
Estrada took home overall most valuable player honors and IL honors as well, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and falling just a triple short of hitting for the cycle. Pawtucket's Anton French had three hits and scored three times.
Oklahoma's Jason Jones, who hit a three-run homer in the sixth, was named the PCL's MVP.
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