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Published: Wednesday, 7/18/2007

Vasquez takes care of business for Mud Hens


NORFOLK - Over the last two nights the Toledo Mud Hens have discovered the visitors' dugout at Harbor Park to be quite comfortable.

From that vantage point on the third-base side, the Hens have been able to look out across the playing field at a huge scoreboard that rests beyond the right field fence.

On it has flashed the out-of-town scores. And on both nights the Hens' nearest competitors in the International League West Division - the Indianapolis Indians and the Louisville Bats - have been taking beatings.

"It's too early to be scoreboard watching," Toledo manager Mike Rojas said. "But you can't help but glance up there every now and then."

Meanwhile, the Hens have been taking care of business.

Last night it was Virgil Vasquez on the business end.

Following a 47-minute rain delay, the 25-year-old right-hander threw a shutout, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out four as the Mud Hens beat the Norfolk Tides 2-0.

"I was just trying to have a lot of fun out there," said Vasquez, who improved to 9-3 for the Hens, who are 56-41 and hold a six-game lead over Indianapolis in the West. "And I had a lot of fun watching my outfielders run down balls in the gaps tonight."

There were some anxious moments in the ninth inning.

With one out, Norfolk's Eider Torres singled off the glove of shortstop Erick Almonte. Then right fielder Henry Mateo dropped a fly ball by J.R. House and the Tides had runners at first and second.

But Mike Cervenak lined out to right and Terry Tiffee lined out to short to end it.

"Just shows that you can't dot the i's until the 27th out," Rojas said.

"There they were with their guy at the plate and a chance to win it."

Toledo's runs came early.

The Mud Hens scored in the second inning when Brent Clevlen and Chris Shelton singled to open the inning, putting runners at the corners, and Clevlen came home on a fielder's choice groundout to short by Mateo.

In the fourth inning, Mateo doubled with one out, then scored on a two-out single to left by Kevin Hooper.

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