INDIANAPOLIS — The Toledo Mud Hens got their first win of 2004 against the Indianapolis Indians yesterday, but nobody wants to put this one in the video vault.
The teams combined for six errors, two wild pitches and 17 men left on base as the Hens scratched out a 6-5 win. Starter Andy Van Hekken got his first victory of the season against a team Toledo hadn't beaten since August of 2003.
“That was [Van Hekken's] best outing,” said manager Larry Parrish.
“I kept the ball down better today,” said Van Hekken.
The 24-year old left-hander was staked to a five-run lead by the middle of the second inning. In the first the Hens scored on a pair of errors, a double and a sacrifice fly. They padded the lead in the second on a three-run homer by Nook Logan.
“He [Ben Hendrickson] got behind in the count and gave me a good pitch to hit,” said Logan. “With the wind blowing out like that anybody could've hit one out of here today.”
Toledo scored the winning run in the fourth on — what else — a pair of errors and a base hit.
Van Hekken gave up single runs in the second and third, but ran into real trouble in the fifth. With two out and a man on second Van Hekken got a popup that was overrun by third baseman Jason Smith just in front of the pitcher's mound. After a single from Chris Magruder, pitching coach Jeff Jones visited Van Hekken, who got a ground ball to second that looked to be an easy third out.
But the ball went between the legs of second baseman Warren Morris to plate one run. Jeff Liefer rounded the base and headed to second where the throw from right fielder Marcus Thames appeared to arrive in plenty of time.
Second base umpire Troy Fullwood called Liefer safe, allowing another run to score and bringing an incensed Parrish out of the dugout.
“He [Fullwood] said the tag missed him. That's almost like touching second on the double play. You don't have to try to make a great call right there. Just call the guy out and nobody says anything, not their dugout, not the fans, nobody. The guy over at first [umpire Dusty Dellinger] says [the runner] beat it. Not that he came off the bag, but that he beat it.
“If you're telling me he beat the throw, you blew the call.”
After hitting a batter, Van Hekken induced a popup from Jon Nunnally to end the inning. The Toledo relief staff then held the Indians to one run the rest of the way.
GRIFFITHS SHARP: University of Toledo graduate Jeremy Griffiths pitched five shutout innings and combined with two relievers on a two-hitter yesterday as Norfolk beat Columbus 2-1.
Griffiths (2-1) walked four and struck out two. He allowed only one hit and left after a leadoff walk in the sixth.