Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Mud Hens

3 Hens to be All-Star starters



Three Mud Hens were named to the starting lineup for the International League team that will play in the Triple-A All-Star game.

Outfielders Timo Perez and Ryan Raburn will be joined in the starting lineup by third baseman Mike Hessman in the contest, which will be played July 11 at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

The game will start at 7:35 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.

No other IL team had more than two starters selected. Rochester, with four, is the only team that had more players chosen.

"This is a great compliment for all three of us," Raburn said. "Hopefully we all go out there, represent the team well, and then come back and keep playing the way we're playing."

The starters were chosen by a vote that included IL managers and general managers, selected media, and on-line fan voting. The reserves were chosen by the league office.

Hessman leads all of minor-league baseball with 76 RBIs and ranks second in the minors with 23 home runs. Hessman is batting .268 and also leads the IL with a .589 slugging percentage and 45 extra-base hits.

"Especially after my last two years here, I'm excited because I'm finally doing all of the things I'm capable of doing here," Hessman said. "I have to give all of the credit to the organization and to the coaching staff here for standing by me."

Raburn, who earned his second straight starting berth in the Triple-A All-Star game, is hitting .302 with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs. He ranks second in the IL in RBIs and third in homers and leads the league with 55 runs scored.

Last season Raburn hit a home run in the game, which was played at Fifth Third Field.

"Last year I was a little nervous because it was my first time," Raburn admitted. "But it's going to be just as much fun this year. I'll be starting this year, which will be a little different. But I'll go out and enjoy it as much as I can."

Perez is batting .312 with nine homers, 39 RBIs and 53 runs scored. He leads the league in hits (92), doubles (27) and is second in runs scored (53).

Perez said he was happy to be selected for the first time.

"I've never played in an all-star game because I have never played a whole year at one level," he said. "I've been working hard all year, and I think I have some good numbers. But the best part is the team is playing well and hitting well, and we're winning."

Also, Sandusky native Brian Bixler, from Indianapolis, was selected to start at shortstop.

- John Wagner

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