ROCHESTER, N.Y. Got milk?
Mike Hessman does.
The Toledo third baseman's three-run home run off a milk billboard atop the left-field foul pole capped a five-run eighth-inning rally that gave the Mud Hens a 6-3 comeback win over the Rochester Red Wings in Game 1 of the Governors' Cup finals at rainy Frontier Field.
Game 2 is at 7:05 tonight before the series shifts Fifth Third Field tomorrow.
Other than Hessman's solo homer in the seventh, the Hens were held in check by
Rochester starter Mike Smith, who had them swinging in the rain. Smith scattered four hits and struck 10 batters in seven innings.
But Red Wings manager Stan Cliburn gave Toledo a break.
He took Smith out with a 3-1 lead and went to his bullpen.
That's when things went sour for Rochester.
Reliever Beau Kemp hit Toledo's Ryan Raburn to open the eighth before right fielder Ryan Ludwick snapped an 0-for-21 slide that included three strikeouts against Smith by lacing a double down the left-field line. Ludwick has been playing with a strained elbow.
Kemp's wild pitch allowed Raburn to score and Kemp got Josh Phelps on a groundout with the infield drawn in, then Jack Hannahan doubled down the right field line to tie it at 3.
Mike Rabelo walked and Cliburn replaced Kemp with Bobby Korecky.
He got Dustan Mohr to fly out to center for the second out.
But after getting ahead 0-and-2 in the count against Hessman, Korecky left a breaking ball over the plate and it wasn't low enough. The 6-foot-5 Hessman went down and got it, hitting a towering shot. He had 24 homers in the regular season and now has two more in the postseason. He was 3-for-4 on the night.
Left-hander Lance Davis pitched two scoreless innings before giving way to Toledo closer Lee Gardner, who gave up a single and walk in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate but got a fly out and strikeout to end the game. It was Toledo's sixth win in nine games against Rochester this year.
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