Each Mud Hen who entered the Promedica Health System All-Star Game last night at Fifth Third Field topped the performance of the last.
Hens right fielder Ryan
Ludwick, elected as an International League starter, started it off by hitting a single in the fourth inning.
In the fifth, righty starter Chad Durbin came into the game to pitch. He threw a scoreless inning, allowing one hit.
Toledo closer Lee Gardner pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
And in the bottom of the inning, left fielder Ryan Raburn used his only at-bat to drive a pitch out of the ballpark onto Monroe Street.
"It would have been tough for us to draw it up any better for the fans here in Toledo," International League manager Larry Parrish said.
The IL beat the Pacific Coast League squad 6-0, allowing just two hits.
Gardner kidded Durbin because Durbin gave up the PCL's first hit, a double off the left field wall by Justin Leone from Portland. Nelson Cruz's fly ball off Gardner went to the center field wall, but Jason Tyner caught it for the third out.
"I could have pulled a Durbin, and given up a hit and broken up a perfect game, but that's not what we're here for - we want to get guys out," Gardner said jokingly.
Durbin said he was acting out of IL team unity.
"I was trying to be a good teammate," Durbin said. "If I hadn't given up a hit, Julio Manon would have given up the only hit and that would have been tough."
In Ludwick's first at-bat, he struck out looking in the second inning with two runners on and one out.
He was up again in the fourth and worked the count full on pitcher Ben Hendrickson, then singled into right-center.
Raburn, who began playing in the field in the sixth inning, hit his home run off former Hen Matt Roney from Sacramento. It was the second of back-to-back homers for the IL.
"I tried to think about what happened when I got back to the dugout, but I couldn't even tell you," Raburn said. "It was just a great feeling. To be able to hit a home run in my first All-Star Game is a blessing and a great honor."
Durbin said the All-Star experience was a positive one for him.
"All these guys are great players," Durbin said. "When you play against them you don't like them, but when you get in the same clubhouse it's a great experience."
Gardner was pleasantly surprised at the fan turnout, which was a sold-out standing room-only crowd of 11,300.
"With the rain going on [yesterday], I was pretty scared about whether everybody was still going to come, but these fans are just awesome," Gardner said. "That means a lot to the players."
"I think all four of us had a great time," Ludwick said.
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