ROCHESTER, N.Y. - On their way to a third consecutive win, the Toledo Mud Hens took a U-turn last night.
Playing against a moribund Rochester Red Wings offense that had scored just two runs in the first 20 innings of the series, the Hens seemed safe with a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh.
But Rochester put two runners on base with one out against starter Kenny Baugh, so manager Larry Parrish brought in reliever John Ennis. He turned the3-1 lead into a 5-3 loss.
Ennis gave up a run-scoring double to Rob Bowen, batting ninth in the Red Wings' lineup. Then came a two-run double from Jason Tyner, who had just six extra-base hits in 244 at-bats entering the game. Luis Maza, just two weeks up from Double-A ball, singled. Then, finally, Jason Bartlett hit a sacrifice fly.
"Baugh has pitched great," Parrish said. "We take him out because his pitch counts are up and we don't want him to lose the game. Then somebody comes in and gives up his runs.
"Ennis is not throwing bad, but he doesn't seem to have the location that he had last year.
"We were feeling pretty good about ourselves. The way [the Red Wings] have been swinging the bat, we thought that was enough."
Instead, Rochester put together five of its 10 hits to produce the four runs that dropped the Hens to 40-27.
Ennis (1-4) has lost the last two games in which he has pitched, and has allowed six earned runs in 71/3 innings over his last four appearances.
Parrish shook his head over Bowen's double in the seventh. "Sometimes a grounder gets through," he said of the ground ball between third baseman Jack Hannahan and the foul line.
Marcus Thames gave Toledo a 1-0 lead by leading off the second inning with his fourth home run in five games for the Hens this season.
Rochester (34-35) tied the game in the sixth inning against Baugh on Bowen's first double in the game and a single by Maza. It was the Red Wings' first hit with a runner in scoring position in 18 at-bats during the series.
Of Toledo's eight hits, two were doubles by second baseman Ryan Raburn, who has batted .357 (25-for-70) in his last 19 games. He also sent Red Wings center fielder Jason Tyner to the warning track for a two-out, bases-loaded fly ball that would have broken the game open in the third inning.
Curtis Granderson, who represented the potential tying run for the Hens, ended the game with his fourth strikeout, giving Travis Bowyer his league-leading 15th save.
In the series' final game today at 1:35 p.m., Toledo ace righthander Sean Douglass (9-1, 3.03 earned run average) is scheduled to start against right-hander J.D. Durbin (2-3, 3.95).
Outfielder David Espinosa, promoted from Double-A Erie, will join the Hens today.