RICHMOND, Va. - On a night when American Idol contestant Elliott Yamin made a scheduled appearance at the ballpark to throw out the first pitch, Richmond Braves starter Kevin Barry performed like one.
Barry limited Toledo to just three hits last night, while striking out nine Mud Hens over six innings and combined with the Richmond bullpen to shut out Toledo 3-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 12,180 at The Diamond.
The win for Richmond was only its second against Toledo in five games this season, but snapped a modest two-game Toledo (17-17) win streak.
For Barry, it was his second consecutive start in which he overpowered the Mud Hens.
The line on Barry in back-to-back starts against Toledo: 12 innings pitched, five hits allowed, zero runs and 19 strikeouts.
"He's beat us with a fastball two games in a row,'' said Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish. "He beat us up there [in Toledo] throwing fastballs and we come down here and he beats us again with the fastball, throwing at around 91 [mph].
"He didn't mix in much of anything else. He didn't need to, I guess.''
A single in the first by Alexis Gomez, another in the second by Ryan Rayburn and another by Gomez in the third was all that Toledo could muster against Barry.
"Once you get into a groove like that, you have to have a lot of faith in your catcher,'' said Barry.
"He sees their swings and where they stand at the plate and you just try to exploit their weaknesses. They've got a great lineup. If you make a mistake they will make you pay. I've got a lot of respect for those guys.''
It was another tough road game for Mud Hens starter Colby Lewis, who came into last night's game having allowed just five earned runs in 21 innings of work but had nothing to show for his road starts except an 0-2 record and a 7.07 ERA.
Things began well enough for Lewis over the first three innings as he dueled Barry pretty much pitch-for-pitch. He allowed just one hit while striking out three. Richmond finally got to him in the fourth with back-to-back-to-back singles by Wes Timmons, Scott Thorman and Carlos Mendez to put Richmond up 1-0. Lewis induced Michael Ryan to hit into a double play to second but another run crossed the plate, giving Richmond a 2-0 lead.
Don Kelly's fielding error with the bases loaded in the fifth
allowed the third Braves run to cross home plate. Lewis was pulled after six innings and Hector Mercado pitched two innings of one-hit relief.