'It was fun - now that it's over and we've won,' said Mud Hens starter Jason Grilli, who shut out Richmond on five hits over 72/3 innings. 'I was just trying to be relentless,' he said.
Richmond's Seth Greisinger, who spent parts of four different seasons with the Mud Hens, didn't allow a hit to his former team until the seventh inning last night.
But that was one hit too many.
Dewayne Wise collected Toledo's first hit when he singled to right with two outs, and his single scored Gookie Dawkins with the game's first run in a 2-0 Mud Hens' victory
"It was fun - now that it's over and we've won," said Mud Hens starter Jason Grilli, who threw 72/3 shutout innings to claim the victory. "You have to tip your hat to Greisinger; he was doing the job all night. I was just trying to be relentless as well."
The two worst offenses in the International League were scoreless until the bottom of the seventh. Dawkins worked Greisinger for a walk, then stole second despite a pitchout. Wise fell behind 1-2 before he lined a single to right; Wise was caught in a rundown, but Dawkins scored before the out was recorded.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Wise said. "He threw a slider and left it up, and I was able to get the head of the bat on it."
The Hens added a run in the eighth thanks to a bizarre injury to Richmond's James Jurries. Mike Hessman led off with a single, then was sacrificed to second by Don Kelly.
Brandon Harper followed with a slow roller toward third base; Andy Marte's throw to first was too late to retire Harper. But Harper, trying to avoid contact, inadvertantly clipped Jurries with an elbow.
Jurries fell to the ground, unconcious, and Hessman scored. Jurries was taken to a local hospital with a concussion.
His condition was unavailable.
Those runs would be more than enough for Grilli and the Toledo bullpen. Grilli shut the Braves out on five hits and two walks and was able to pitch out of trouble whenever it surfaced.
Richmond had a pair of runners on base in the first before Grilli got Marte to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice. But Grilli's wildness put him in a deeper hole in the fourth.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out. Scott Pratt smacked a line drive that Hens center fielder Curtis Granderson caught. Marte strayed too far off second, and Granderson's throw easily beat him to the base for a double play.
"The only times [Grilli] showed signs of being in trouble came when he was trying to get it there at 150 [miles per hour]," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "He would get to rushing, but he was able to settle down."
Richmond also came close to scoring in a two-out, eighth-inning rally. Esix Snead beat out a bunt that chased Grilli, and reliever Vic Darensbourg walked pinch-hitter Bill McCarthy, pushing Snead to second. John Ennis got John Barnes to line out to right to quash the threat.
"It's been kind of a joke between Ennis and I - the first half of the season, it seems every mistake we make, we pay dearly for," Grilli said. "Those line drives that usually fall in and wreak havoc, didn't. So now I'm thinking every line drive I give up is going to be right at someone."
NOTES: Last night's crowd of 10,300 was the 14th sellout this season. It also pushed the Mud Hens' season attendance total to 308,192, ninth on the city's all-time baseball attendance list. Kevin Hooper's eighth-inning single extended his hitting streak to nine games.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6481.