Monday, Apr 23, 2018
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Mud Hens

Mud Hens' Thames leads HR parade


Tigers manager Alan Trammell returns an autographed ball.

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The sign in the Toledo clubhouse warned of a $500 fine for players who were late for the extra work scheduled before yesterday's game, and a $100 fine to players who complained about it.

So yes, there were a few frustrations brewing in the Mud Hens' clubhouse, most of them stemming from poor play in back-to-back losses to Norfolk on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Some of those frustrations undoubtedly were released in Toledo's 10-7 thrashing of the Tides at Fifth Third Field last night.

With Tigers manager Alan Trammell watching from behind home plate, the Hens staged a home-run derby that included four long shots, including two by Marcus Thames, while Gookie Dawkins added a bases-loaded triple that was part of a five-run third that gave Toledo an 8-0 lead at that point.

"We had some big blows early in the ball game," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "We were hoping it was going to be more comfortable than that."

The 3-4-5 hitters in the Toledo lineup - Magglio Ordonez, Thames, and Carlos Pena - combined for seven hits, including all four home runs, as well as eight runs scored and seven RBIs.

"We were getting good pitches to hit, and that was the main thing," Thames said. "Bull [hitting coach Leon Durham] has been talking to us about getting our pitches but taking them. We were being umpires instead of being aggressive and going after the pitches we could hit.

"Instead of leaving it up to the umpires, we just tried to put the ball in play."

The Mud Hens jumped in front by scoring three runs with two outs in the opening inning. Ordonez singled up the middle, then moved to third on Thames' hard single off the glove of shortstop Anderson Hernandez.

Pena fell behind Norfolk starter Jose Santiago 0-2, then worked the count full before hammering the next pitch to left-center for his fourth Toledo home run this season.

After a scoreless second, Ordonez jumped-started the third by turning on a 3-1 fastball from Santiago.

He belted it off the scoreboard behind the left-field fence for his first home run since joining Toledo Monday.

Thames tried to do Ordonez one better, slamming the next pitch well over the fence in left for back-to-back homers. Pena and Don Kelly drew walks sandwiched around a single by Ryan Raburn, and Dawkins unloaded them with his triple into the right-center gap.

In the fourth Ordonez and Thames created a little more two-out lightning when Ordonez drew a walk from reliever Tim LaVigne and Thames launched a majestic homer to left-center, his second of the day and eighth in 17 games with the Hens.

That offense was more than enough for lefty Wil Ledezma (2-2), who shut out the Tides on just three hits until the seventh, when a bases-loaded triple by Anderson Hernandez scored Norfolk's three runs.

"He's working on looking down at the ground to keep his head turned, and not pulling off and flying open," Parrish said. "The first part of the game, he was much better, and his breaking ball was better."

Things got a little nervous in the Toledo dugout when the Tides scored three runs in the eighth off Rob Henkel, but John Ennis blunted that rally, overcoming a throwing error and notching a strikeout and a groundout.

Contact John Wagner at:

or 419-724-6481.

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