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Published: Tuesday, 8/28/2007

Hens' Tata tires after hot start

BY C.L. BROWN
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

LOUISVILLE - A night after celebrating its division-clinching win, Toledo left pitcher Jordan Tata at the party too long.

Tata was nearly perfect through six innings - allowing just one hit and one earned run - until Louisville used three hits in the seventh to claim a 3-2 win before 8,209 at Louisville Slugger Field.

"I might have been dragging in the later innings a little bit," Tata said. "But you've got to press through that and keep making pitches. I gave too many guys free passes and that's what cost us the game."

Toledo led 2-1 when Tata faced Chris Dickerson with two outs and a runner on second in the seventh inning. Dickerson, in the lineup for the first time since suffering heat exhaustion on Aug. 22, struck out looking in his first two at-bats.

"With Jordan, I out-think myself," said Dickerson, who was 1-for-3 and drew a walk. "We've been playing against each other for probably three or four years now. I go up there thinking that he knows me and I know him and it becomes a thinking match up there and you can't do that at the plate."

Dickerson got the better of Tata, sending a double to the gap in left center and tying the game at 2.

Tata fell behind Paul Janish 3-1 before walking him to bring Joey Votto to the plate. Votto, a southpaw, leads the Bats in homers and RBIs. And he delivered the game-winning single to right field that scored Dickerson.

Toledo reliever Jose Capellan was warming up in the bullpen, but manager Mike Rojas said he thought Tata could work his way out of the inning.

"It was his game to win or lose," Rojas said. "It was just a couple of bloop hits that got him in trouble. He made some quality pitches."

Though Tata dropped to 4-4, the Mud Hens had to accept blame offensively. Five times leadoff batters reached base, but they only scored in one inning.

Three times the Mud Hens had batters lead off with doubles, three times they fizzled.

An Omar Infante double was wasted when he tried to score on a single by Mike Hessman, but Anderson Machado's throw beat him home.

Mud Hens right-hander Virgil Vasquez was named International League pitcher of the week yesterday, the third time this season he has won the award.

Vasquez is the first IL player to win the award three times in one season since 2003.

Last week Vasquez beat Indianapolis twice. He threw a complete-game two-hit shutout Aug. 21 before giving up just one run on five hits in seven innings Aug. 26.



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