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Published: Friday, 7/25/2008

Red Wings, rain douse Mud Hens


ROCHESTER, N.Y. - It seemed simple enough.

With rain falling lightly in the top of the fifth inning yesterday, Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish signaled to Dane Sardinha to lay down a bunt to move Erick Almonte to second.

Parrish was trying to break a 1-1 scoreless tie and put Toledo ahead in case rain washed out the game.

No cigar. The plan failed.

Sardinha put down a sacrifice bunt OK. But, Derek Wathan lined into an inning-ending double play, and Rochester answered with five runs in the bottom of the fifth as the rain intensified. By the time the inning was over, the Red Wings were ahead 6-1 and Frontier Field looked like a pond.

"The whole infield was completely unplayable," Hens third baseman Mike Hessman said. "It was a mess."

The umpires called for the tarp, but after a 66-minute rain delay, the game was called, giving Rochester the win and its third straight victory over Toledo.

"We were told the rain was coming, and once it came the odds were that it would be here for a long time," crew chief Adam Dowdy said later. "The idea was we would play for as long as we could."

It was the last meeting between the Mud Hens and the Wings, but Dowdy said had no intention of keeping the teams around all day.

"By the time the rain stopped, and they got the field in shape, we were looking at starting around 7 or 7:30 [p.m.],'' he said.

Up-and-down Toledo has been on the road for its last 12 games: 3 wins, 3 losses, 3 wins, 3 losses.The Mud Hens will open a seven-game homestand at Fifth Third Field tonight against the Pawtucket Red Sox.

"It will be good to get home and get into a regular routine,'' Hessman said.

Michael Hollimon put the Mud Hens on top with a solo homer to right with two outs in the second inning.

It was the shortstop's 14th homer.

Sergio Santos tied it for Rochester with a homer to left off Chris Lambert, leading off the third. Lambert entered the game with a 0.90 ERA over his last three starts.

As the rain intensified in the bottom of the fifth inning, Alejandro Machado drilled a double to the warning track in left, then moved to third on Jeff Christy's sacrifice bunt as Sardinha tried in vain to throw Machado out.

Jason Pridie struck out, but Adam Everett - on a rehab assignment from the Minnesota Twins - laced a single into left field. Machado came home with the go-ahead run, and Christy scored on Darnell McDonald's single to center.

Garrett Jones then supplied the big blast, a three-run homer to right that pushed Rochester's lead to 6-1.

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