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The pitching highlight of last night's Mud Hens' game was supposed to be the final rehabilitation appearance of Tigers flame-thrower Joel Zumaya.
But the pitching stars of the night were Columbus starter Jason Bergman and the Clippers bullpen, which limited the Hens to just four hits in a 6-0 victory.
The loss snapped the Hens' three-game winning streak and marked the first time the Hens were shut out since Roger Clemens blanked them on two hits over six innings in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 28.
Last night Bergman, who was making his fourth start on a rehab assignment with the Clippers, was equally effective. The right-handed Bergman, who has spent most of the season with Washington before suffering a left hamstring injury in late July, handcuffed the Hens on four hits over six innings.
Henry Mateo doubled with one out in the first but never left second, and Andres Torres doubled with two gone in the third but was stranded.
In the fourth the Hens had their best chance to score against Bergman. Two-out singles by Chris Shelton and Mike Hessman, then a walk by Brent Clevlen, loaded the bases for Erick Almonte, who popped out to end the threat.
Jesus Colome struck out two in a scoreless seventh, while Hector Carrasco retired the Hens in order in the eighth. Arnie Munoz then set down the Hens without incident in the ninth as the Clippers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Bergman and the three relievers retired the last 16 Mud Hens who came to the plate starting with Almonte's popout to end fourth.
"Bergman and their bullpen did a great job," Hens manager Mike Rojas said. "We didn't get anything going with the bats, so my hat's off to them."
Meanwhile Toledo starter Dennis Tankersley labored through his 52/3 innings, surrendering 10 hits and three walks and allowing baserunners in every inning he pitched.
Columbus scored a run in the first when, with one out, Bernie Castro singled, then stole second before moving to third on a single by Kory Casto.
Columbus added a pair of runs in the third thanks to some breaks that went against the Hens. Casto and Nunez opened the inning with back-to-back doubles to plate one run, but the hit by Nunez appeared to be a foul down the first-base line.
Castro scored on a sacrifice fly by Abraham Nunez.
Tankersley got back-to-back strikeouts, then appeared to strike out George Lombard on a pitch that was called a ball. Lombard walked on the next pitch and the following batter, Juan Brito, lined a single to left that scored Nunez.
Zumaya allowed a run in the seventh by walking Castro, throwing wildly to first to move Castro to second, then giving up a run-scoring double to Casto.
In the eighth Zumaya allowed a leadoff single to Juan Brito, his fourth hit of the night, and reliever Eulogio De La Cruz surrendered an RBI double to Manny Alexander.
The Clippers closed their scoring with a ninth-inning run off De La Cruz. Nunez led off with a double to right, then moved to third on a groundout by Larry Broadway before coming home on a sacrifice fly by Brent Abernathy.
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