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Published: Thursday, 4/20/2006

Mud Hens get hit, tossed and thumped

BY KEITH CANNON
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

FORT MILL, S.C. - Toledo's 12-4 loss to the Charlotte Knights last night was hard to put into words.

"Very bizarre," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "Just one of those nights."

Charlotte pounded out 15 hits, the most allowed by the Mud Hens in a game this season. It was the fifth loss for Toledo (6-8) in six games against Charlotte in the young season, and there was never much doubt. By the end of three innings, the Mud Hens were behind 10-0 and had lost two players.

Designated hitter Josh Phelps was ejected at the end of the first inning for arguing a play in which Jack Hannahan was picked off first base. And second baseman Don Kelly left the game in the third after being hit in the head by a relay from right field by Ryan Ludwick.

"We had guys getting picked off that weren't running and guys falling down fielding bunts [because of a wet field]," Parrish said. "We were just out of whack."

The Knights rocked Toledo starter Colby Lewis, who entered the game with a 0.90 earned-run average, for eight runs and seven hits in two innings. Eleven players came to bat for Charlotte in the third inning, highlighted by Pedro Lopez's two-run single and Jerry Owens' three-run homer.

"We didn't pitch well all the way around, didn't make any quality pitches," Parrish said. "Colby was up in the strike zone and couldn't keep the ball down. But everybody threw like that."

Pablo Mercado, who pitched the seventh, was the only one of five Toledo pitchers who didn't give up a run.

The injury to Kelly came on the two-run single by Lopez. Ludwick's throw from right hit Kelly squarely in the back of the head.

"I believe he thought Ryan was going to throw the ball to home plate," Parrish said. "He took a pretty good hit."

Kelly was taken to a Charlotte hospital for observation and his status is day-to-day.

The Mud Hens pecked away at the lead in the second half of the game as Mike Hessman hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and Ryan Rabun drove in a pair of runs with a solo homer in the seventh and a bases-loaded walk in the eighth.

NOTES: The Hens and the Knights play here again tonight at 7:15, matching left-handers Lance Davis (0-1, 4.09 ERA) of the Hens and Stephen Randolph (1-0, 2.45) for the Knights.



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