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Published: 7/9/2008

Mud Hens laugh off imperfections, beat Scranton

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Brent Clevlen is fooled into diving back into second base by a fake pickoff attempt, but Hens hitters were seldom fooled by Scranton pitches. Brent Clevlen is fooled into diving back into second base by a fake pickoff attempt, but Hens hitters were seldom fooled by Scranton pitches.
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Zach Miner went four innings for the Mud Hens last night.
Zach Miner went four innings for the Mud Hens last night.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

The Mud Hens stranded 13 base-runners last night. Toledo manager Larry Parrish didn't mind.

The Hens also didn't hit any home runs. No problem for Parrish.

And his starting pitcher didn't get to the fifth, while his bullpen gave up two runs in the ninth. Parrish just laughed.

Of course, it's easy to chuckle when your team claims a laugher like the Mud Hens did last night in a 10-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Fifth Third Field.

"We stranded 13 runners?" Parrish said. "For us, this was a laugher. We had to use a bunch of pitchers, but they just kept getting outs. And our offense kept adding runs.

"This was a game where I didn't have to do a lot of thinking, and that was good."

The game was scoreless until the fourth, when the Mud Hens broke through with a pair of runs off Yankees starter Ian Kennedy.

Brent Clevlen led off with a double off the right-field fence, and Michael Hollimon doubled down the right-field line to score the first run. Max Leon sacrificed Hollimon to third, and he came home on a two-out single by Brandon Inge.

The Hens broke the game open with a six-run fourth inning that included seven hits, including three with two outs, off two Scranton/Wilkes-Barre relievers. Freddy Guzman's two-out, two-run single was the big hit in the inning, which marked the third time this season the Hens had scored six times in one inning.

Even better were the single runs in the seventh and eighth to expand the team's cushion.

"When one guy left runners on, the next guy seemed to get a hit," Parrish said. "Before [during the team's six-game losing streak] it was out-out, and we left them out there."

Toledo finished with 17 hits as every batter in the lineup had at least one. Hollimon had three hits, scored twice and had a pair of RBIs to lead the way.

"It's all about sustaining rallies," Hollimon said. "Perhaps early in the game we were a little too anxious to get big hits. But later in the game we settled down, stuck to our plan, and were successful."

That was more than enough offense for the Mud Hens pitching staff.

Zach Miner, making his first start since May 22 of last season, threw four scoreless innings, and relievers Ian Ostlund and Jeremy Johnson each added two shutout innings.

By the time Brian Rogers allowed a two-run homer to Ben Broussard in the ninth, the game was out of reach.

"It was four innings, but it was four innings without any runs [allowed]," Parrish said of Miner's start. "Then Ian Ostlund came in with two solid innings, and by then we had scored a lot of runs."

NOTES: Erick Almonte was in the Mud Hens' original lineup but was scratched. He was suffering from dizziness after having a tooth pulled earlier in the day. Fernando Seguignol remains day-to-day after suffering a bruised heel Sunday. He did not play last night. Leon reached base on catcher's interference for the second time in three days.

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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