PAWTUCKET, R.I. - One more game.
That's all that remains for the Toledo Mud Hens on a road trip that's been as painful as root canal surgery without Novocaine.
The Pawtucket Red Sox jumped out to a four-run lead and defeated the Hens 6-3 last night before a crowd of 10,052 at McCoy Stadium. Granted, earlier in the evening, Toledo erupted for four runs in the 11th inning to win the completion of a suspended game 11-7. But the Hens are 2-5 on an eight-game trip that ends today with a noon contest.
"We're having one of those road trips where the starting pitching has struggled, our defense has struggled, we've run into outs," manager Larry Parrish said.
The inability of starter Humberto Sanchez and reliever Jason Karnuth to command their pitches was one thing. They combined to walk seven PawSox in seven innings - five by Sanchez in five frames, which was a major reason why he threw a hefty 101 pitches.
The inability of the Hens to avoid running into outs on the bases was another.
Five times Pawtucket gunned out a Hen, twice during an inning when Toledo loaded the bases with no outs.
Toledo grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first against knuckleballer Charlie Zink when Josh Phelps lined a single to left field. But Luke Allen uncorked a perfect throw to catcher Ken Huckaby that nailed Kevin Hooper by a foot. Zink escaped further dam-
age by retiring Ryan Raburn and David Espinosa on fly balls.
"That was one of those situations where you don't want to make the first out at home plate," Parrish said. "On that particular play, [Allen] was moving toward center field. I just couldn't believe he got off that good a throw. He threw a stinking strike. You've got to tip your hat to their guy. He made a heckuva play."
Zink put himself in a sixth-inning jam, when after Hooper reached on a bloop single, Dmitri Young and Phelps walked to load the bases. Raburn drew another walk that forced in Hooper and pulled Toledo within 5-2.
Young scored easily on Espinosa's sacrifice fly to center off reliever Tim Bausher. But Phelps made a wide turn around second and was cooked on a throw from David Murphy to first baseman Jeff Bailey.
"It wasn't like that was a high throw," Parrish said. "[Phelps] was out there in no-man's land. He didn't know what to do.
"I think it's a case of a team that's been struggling a little bit. They're trying to make something happen and they're making overly-aggressive plays."
Young also made an injudicious decision by trying to advance from first to third on a third-inning wild pitch by Zink. Huckaby's throw to Enrique Wilson arrived so far in advance that Young didn't bother to slide.
Pawtucket clipped Sanchez for one run in the first on Murphy's sacrifice fly. Then the PawSox made it 4-1 in the third on Huckaby's two-run double and an error by first-baseman Young that allowed Huckaby to race home from second.
Allen's fifth-inning single made it 5-1, and after Toledo scored twice in the sixth on Raburn's single and Espinosa's sacrifice fly, Pawtucket added a run in the bottom of the frame on Rod Calloway's single.
Dustan Mohr gained a measure of revenge against his former club by ripping the key hit in the 11th of the suspended game while Lee Gardner earned the victory by pitching three innings of one-run ball.
Tike Redman belted a leadoff double. Brad Baker retired the next two Hens, but after Espinosa walked, Mohr lined a two-run double down the left-field line.
Mike Hessman singled home Mohr and Mike Rabelo added an RBI double.
Mohr began the season with Pawtucket but was recalled by Boston on April 11 when Coco Crisp went on the disabled list. Mohr was returned to Pawtucket on May 28 and eventually exercised a clause in his contract that enabled him to become a free agent.
He signed as a minor league free agent with Detroit on June 28.