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Published: Friday, 7/28/2006

Pawtucket deals Mud Hens another loss

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Hens second baseman Kevin Hooper turns a double play against Pawtucket last night at Fifth Third Field. Play was stopped shortly after 10 p.m. when thunder and lightning occurred. Hens second baseman Kevin Hooper turns a double play against Pawtucket last night at Fifth Third Field. Play was stopped shortly after 10 p.m. when thunder and lightning occurred.
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Facing another bullpen start, Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said before last night's game, "Right about now is when we need some rainouts."

Parrish came close to getting his wish with a 35-minute rain delay to start the game at Fifth Third Field against Pawtucket. But all he and the Hens got was another loss, their seventh in the last nine games.

The Red Sox won 3-0 in a rain-shortened game. Play was stopped at 10:11 p.m. because of rain and lightning in the bottom of the ninth. As play in the Hens' ninth was about to begin, there was a nearby lightning strike and the Red Sox ran off the field. At 10:50 the game was called.

Right fielder Adam Stern drove in all three of Pawtucket's runs, one in the first inning with a leadoff homer and two in the seventh with a bloop single.

Pawtucket started right-hander Jason Johnson, who in the last two years spent time in the starting rotation for both Cleveland and Detroit. The Hens faced Johnson on July 17 and got six runs in five innings.

"I thought he threw better [in Pawtucket] than he did here," Parrish said. "I thought his fastball was better then, but his command was better here.

"We didn't mount a whole lot, so obviously he had to be doing something right."

Last night Johnson was nearly unhittable. He gave up two singles in seven innings and had four strikeouts.

"That's about as dominating a performance as you're going to see at this level," Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson said.

Johnson (2-0) didn't give up a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning, a single to Josh Phelps. He then retired nine consecutive batters before giving up a single in the seventh to Jack Hannahan.

"He had his stuff, and he was ahead of every hitter," Hens catcher Mike Rabelo said. "I was lucky enough to draw a walk. He had three pitches, and both sides of the plate. Any time anybody can do that, it's going to be a tough night."

Lefty Bobby Seay came out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season for the Hens.

Seay (0-2) took the loss but gave up just two hits and one run through four innings. Recent call-up Anthony Claggett pitched a scoreless fifth as the Hens used five relief pitchers.

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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