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Published: 7/16/2006

Scranton sinks out-of-sync Mud Hens

BY DAN HICKLING
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

MOOSIC, Pa. - Out of sync, out of whack, and out of luck.

That would be the nutshell version of the 9-2 thumping administered to the Toledo Mud Hens by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons last night before 5,978 at Lackawanna County Stadium.

Starter Chad Durbin, who had won four of his previous five decisions, didn't make it past the fifth inning and was blasted for all nine runs - five earned.

"He didn't seem to have his location," said Hens manager Larry Parrish. "That's been key for him. And when he did make a pitch, it fell in."

This one started to slip away in the early innings, as Durbin (8-5) was touched for two runs in both the second and third.

Brennan King, who torched Hens pitching on Friday for eight RBIs en route to hitting for the cycle, knocked in two of those with a pair of RBI doubles.

Still, it wasn't until the bottom of the fifth, when Scranton tallied five times, that matters were completely out of reach for the Hens.

Scranton batted around in that frame, beginning with swift leadoff man Michael Bourn, who hit a scratch single, swiped second, then scored from there on Chris Roberson's sacrifice bunt - after Durbin fielded the ball he hit Roberson with the throw to first.

It worsened from there, as Durbin allowed four more hits in the inning before departing, culminating in back-to-back run scoring doubles by Danny Sandoval and Bobby Scales, which set the margin at 9-0.

Hens hitters did manage to pound out 10 hits, most of which came after the issue was well beyond settled.

Toledo's offensive hurrah came in the sixth, the last inning worked by Red Barons starter Scott Mathieson (1-0).

Kevin Hooper led off with a single up the middle, then legged it home on Ryan Raburn's triple into the gap.

One out later, rehabbing Detroit Tigers first baseman Dmitri Young singled in Raburn.

"We've been a club that hits the ball out of the ball park a lot," said Parrish.

"But in this place, we've hit the ball to center a lot, and they haven't gone out."

One day after the rough ride he was given by Scranton, Hens hurler Humberto Sanchez was reflecting on what was the poorest outing of his month-long stay in Triple-A.

In Friday's game, Sanchez, lasted less than five innings for the first time since his June 8 promotion from Double A Erie, and gave up six of Scranton's 14 runs.

"It was just a bad game," he said. "Things went wrong. My stuff was there, my arm felt fine, my body felt fine. But I was all over the place, and couldn't locate my pitches where I wanted to.

"I played with fire for the first couple of innings."

Sanchez, the top pitching prospect in the entire Detroit system, said he intends to draw whatever lessons he can from his first bout with adversity.

"You can always learn from the good or bad," he said. "But if that's the worst that's going to happen in my career, I'll take that."

The Hens will wrap up their four-day stay here this afternoon when lefty Corey Hamman (1-2, 3.80) goes against Scranton lefty Eude Brito (8-5, 3.49).



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