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Published: Tuesday, 9/12/2006

Pitching carries Mud Hens during playoffs

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Colby Lewis will start tonight for the Mud Hens in Rochester. The Toledo staff has posted a 2.15 ERA so far during the playoffs. Colby Lewis will start tonight for the Mud Hens in Rochester. The Toledo staff has posted a 2.15 ERA so far during the playoffs.
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The team of streaks is on a hot one right now.

The Mud Hens' run has propelled them all the way into the Governors' Cup finals for the second consecutive year.

Toledo faces Rochester in a five-game series, and in Game 1 tonight at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y., it's as much of a mystery to Hens manager Larry Parrish as anyone else what will happen.

"This club's like Forrest Gump," Parrish said. "It's a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get."

One thing the Hens have had in the postseason so far is good pitching - a team ERA of 2.15. And Toledo's bullpen hasn't given up a run in 21 playoff innings.

The Mud Hens are looking to win their third Governors' Cup. The most recent time an IL team won back-to-back International League titles was in 2002-03, when Durham won twice.

The winner of the series will play in the "Bricktown Showdown," a game against the Pacific Coast League champion, on Sept. 19 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

"This is great,'' Rochester manager Stan Cliburn told the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle, "but we're only halfway there."

Manager Larry Parrish doesn't know what to expect from his Mud Hens from game to game. Manager Larry Parrish doesn't know what to expect from his Mud Hens from game to game.
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Cliburn is trying to become the first Wings manager to win the Cup in his rookie season.

Right-hander Colby Lewis (6-7, 3.96 ERA) will start for the Hens tonight. In the Hens' one-game playoff against Indianapolis a week ago, Lewis gave up just four hits and no runs in seven innings to get the win.

For Rochester, right-hander Mike Smith (11-5, 3.88) will start Game 1. The rest of the Red Wings' rotation will be determined today.

Chad Durbin and Eulogio De La Cruz will be the starters for Toledo in Games 2 and 3, respectively.

Game 2 is tomorrow, and the series comes to Fifth Third Field on Thursday for Game 3. Games 4 and 5, if necessary, will be Friday and Saturday.

Both teams won their first playoff series 3-1, with the series concluding on Saturday. The Hens arrived in Rochester yesterday after spending Sunday night in Harrisburg, Pa., and went through a workout.

Toledo beat Charlotte despite hitting just .184 in the playoffs. Two major contributors during the year are struggling in the postseason - Ryan Ludwick is 1-for-21 in the playoffs and



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