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Published: Thursday, 4/28/2005

Bynum gets a second chance

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

LOUISVILLE - Mike Bynum was lucky to survive the first inning of his start yesterday against Louisville.

But the Mud Hens offense gave him a second chance, and the left-hander made the most of it in Toledo's 10-4 victory over the Bats.

Bynum allowed three runs on five hits in the first, and two of the three outs came when outfielders threw out overly aggressive Louisville baserunners. But after the first Bynum (1-1) allowed just three hits in six shutout innings as the Hens won their second straight.

"The first inning I wasn't very aggressive at all. I was kind of guiding the ball," Bynum said. "I told myself after that inning to let it go, be more aggressive and attack the hitters."

Toledo had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on Mike Hessman's two-run double, but in the bottom of the frame Bynum allowed the first three Bats to load the bases. Louisville's Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder back to the mound, but Bynum threw to first instead of home, allowing Luis Lopez to score.

Dane Sardinha then singled into the left-field corner to bring home two runs, but Sardinha was thrown out at second by Byron Gettis. Steven Smitherman followed with a double off the right-field wall, but was thrown out at the plate by Curtis Granderson after Alex Pelaez singled to center.

"I was trying to shut them down after our first inning because I didn't want to let them back in the game, but I did," Bynum said. "But the team was able to fight back and get me more runs in the second and I was able to hold the lead after that."

Gettis re-tied the game by leading off the second with a long home run to left-center off Bats starter Jeriome Robertson (1-2), snapping a 1-for-13 skid. Two outs later Granderson tripled, then came home on a single by Ramon Martinez.

"That [second-inning rally] set the tempo for the game," said Hens manager Larry Parrish. "We had the momentum, then they got it, and we turned it right back into our favor."

The Hens got two runs in the fifth on three hits and a walk, then pulled away with a three-run sixth that was fueled by four walks and featured a two-run double down the right-field line by Brandon Harper.

Harper added an RBI triple in the eighth to close the Toledo scoring, while Encarnacion homered to straight-away center off reliever Mark Woodyard for the Bats' other run.

The Mud Hens had 14 hits, with Granderson getting four, including a double and a triple. The top three batters in the lineup - Granderson, Martinez and Chris Shelton - combined for eight hits and nine runs scored, while fourth and fifth hitters Hessman and Harper had seven RBIs between them.

The 24 runs and 32 hits the Hens have produced at Slugger Field are a far cry from the two runs on nine hits Toledo had in losing twice in Indianapolis.

"I think everyone was trying to do a little too much," Hessman said. "I think everyone was trying to pick up everyone else. These last two days we tried to just relax and do our thing."

Hessman has five hits, four runs and five RBIs in two games here after starting the season with just five hits, four runs and a single RBI in his first 15 games.

NOTES: Home-plate umpire Mike Fichter left yesterday's game in the top of the fifth inning after complaining of dizziness. First-base ump Brian Hale called balls and strikes after Fichter left. Martinez is expected to play shortstop today, with the parent Tigers expected to make a decision about his status before the weekend. In two games Martinez is 8-for-11. The six-hit performance by Martinez Tuesday is a modern-day Mud Hens record. The only other Toledo pro to have six hits in a game was Bob Gilks, twice, in 1894 and 1895 for the Toledo White Stockings.

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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