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Published: Friday, 8/22/2008

Hens' hopes to win West over

BY JIM HODGES
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

NORFOLK, Va. - Harbor Park is generally a place where fly balls go to die, so it figured to be a haven for Mud Hens pitcher Yorman Bazardo.

The wind generally blows in from the Elizabeth River, which flows just beyond the right field wall.

But Bazardo's month-long tale of woe continued in the third inning last night when the wind shifted, blowing out to right and taking a three-run homer by Norfolk's Tike Redman with it in a 7-1 win over the Hens.

Bazardo has given up 18 homers in 23 games. The Tides have only 23 home runs at Harbor Park all season, and Redman has only three homers anywhere.

Then again, it wasn't that the home run needed all that much help from the breeze in sailing about 385 feet.

"He hit it well," offered Hens manager Larry Parrish. "That was no cheapie."

The Tides added three more runs in the fourth inning and one in the eighth in breaking the Hens' modest winning streak at two games and extending

Bazardo's losing streak to six.

He last won on July 20.

"He was inconsistent tonight," pitching coach A.J. Sager said. "And he got a fastball up over the plate to Redman."

That inconsistency was reflected early when Eider Torres hit Bazardo's first pitch for a triple. Hens right fielder Timo Perez then threw out Torres at the plate to complete a double play after a fly ball.

Then Bazardo gave up hits to Oscar Salazar and Mike Constanzo, then walked Luis Terrero to load the bases before retiring Redmon on a ground ball to first baseman Jeff Larish.

"He was like Houdini out there, getting out of that first inning," Parrish said. "I thought it was our night, particularly when we came back and scored."

That was in the third inning when Perez singled home Freddy Guzman. But by game's end, the five Norfolk pitchers had struck out 11 Hens, Brent Clevlen three times. That's the way it's gone lately for Toledo, which is 7-13 for August and has played itself completely out of the IL West race which was clinched last night by Louisville, which beat Durham and which is 17-3 for August.



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