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Published: Sunday, 7/24/2005

Hens hit a roadblock

BY BRIAN BENNETT
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

LOUISVILLE - For more than a month, the Toledo Mud Hens have cruised into their opponents' ballparks and steamrolled them. Last night, the Louisville Bats finally put up a roadblock.

Behind strong pitching and four RBIs from William Bergolla, the Bats swept a doubleheader, 2-1 and 9-4, at Louisville Slugger Field. That ended a 12-game road winning streak for Toledo, dating to June 20.

The Mud Hens could blame the twin killing on a lack of offense. They managed just seven total hits in the two, seven-inning contests.

"We didn't do much of anything," Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "We hit some balls pretty decently, but all we could do was get them to the warning track."

That was particularly true in the opener, when the Mud Hens hit eight fly balls to the track, two of which required leaping grabs at the fence.

In the nightcap, Alexis Gomez thought he had a sure home run but watched the ball bounce off the top of the wall for a double.

"I've never seen the ball not carry in this ballpark," Parrish said. "But the past two days here haven't gone very good."

The bright spot for Toledo last night was the performance by rookie Joel Zumaya.

The 20-year-old struggled last week after being promoted from Double-A, surrendering six earned runs in just 31/3 innings against Buffalo. Last night, though, Zumaya (0-2) struck out seven and gave up just four hits in six innings, which qualified as a complete game in this seven-inning contest.

"He was just nervous the first time, and we expected that," Parrish said. "Tonight, his emotions were under control."

The right-hander touched 98 mph on the stadium radar gun several times and consistently sat around 95.

But one bad three-batter stretch spoiled Zumaya's effort.

After a single by Alex Fernandez and a double by Santiago Perez in the third inning, Bergolla stroked one past diving third baseman Donnie Kelly for a two-run double.

Bergolla had been mired in a 3-for-19 slump.

Brian Rose (5-6) pitched 51/3 strong innings to pick up the win. He had allowed 15 earned runs in his previous two starts.

The nightcap didn't start out any better for the Hens, as Louisville jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead against Andrew Good (5-3). Toledo finally had something going offensively in the third, loading the bases with two outs. Carlos Pena then delivered a single up the middle to tie the score at 2.

But Pedro Swann homered in the bottom of the third, and the Bats never trailed again.

Good lasted only 31/3 innings, his shortest outing of the year, and lost for the first time since May 30.

The series continues tonight at 6:15. Jason Grilli (7-6, 4.13 ERA) will start for Toledo against Louisville's Jeff Bruksch, who will make his Triple-A debut. Bruksch went 3-5 with a 3.84 ERA at Double-A.



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