Bailey baffles Mud Hens

4/27/2009
BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The Mud Hens hoped that Saturday's lethargic offensive effort was the bottom of the barrel, and that the bats would wake up for yesterday's game with Louisville.

No such luck.

The only "bat" that woke up yesterday was Bats starting pitcher Homer Bailey, who finished with 15 strikeouts to set several records in Louisville's 10-3 win over Toledo.

The loss was the Hens' second straight and sixth in the last seven games.

So what's next for the Mud Hens: Bat burning? Voodoo dolls?

"I don't know. It's definitely been a rough week," Toledo manager Larry Parrish said. "We haven't done anything very well.


"We were on a good streak [to start the season], and now we're on a bad streak. We're looking for something to turn us around. Maybe we have to go sacrifice a chicken or something like that."

The Hens had no answer for Bailey, who did more than smash his previous single-game strikeout high of 11. The right-hander set a new Fifth Third Field record for strikeouts by a pitcher and tied the Louisville franchise record originally set by former major leaguer Ken Hill.

"Homer Bailey has enough stuff that you need to swing pretty good to beat him," Parrish said. "When you're struggling, he's not the guy you want to see."

Toledo managed just four hits against Bailey, including a third-inning home run by Dusty Ryan. At one point the 22-year-old right-hander, once considered one of the Reds' top prospects, recorded nine straight outs by strikeout.

"[Catcher Craig] Tatum and I really were on the same page, and all of my pitches were really working," Bailey said. "I was able to keep the ball down.

"And I had all the run support I need, so it was a good outcome."

Louisville teed off on Hens pitching for the second straight game, collecting 16 hits - including three home runs, two by Kevin Barker, as well as three doubles and a triple.

The Bats scratched out three runs in the second off Toledo starter Scot Drucker, then added a pair in the third when Wes Bankston walked and Barker homered.

In the fifth Louisville got back-to-back homers from Bankston and Barker, his third round-tripper in two games against the Hens. The Bats scored twice off Clay Rapada in the seventh, then added a run off Casey Fien in the eighth.

NOTES: The Mud Hens added RHP Eddie Bonine to the roster after he was demoted from Detroit Saturday. To make room for Bonine, RHP Scott Williamson was given his unconditional release. Williamson had an 11.81 ERA in three appearances for the Hens but also was tied for the team lead with two saves. Bonine will join the rotation and start today's game against Columbus at Fifth Third Field. Bonine will throw 50 to 60 pitches. Today the Mud Hens will add C Max St-Pierre to the roster to replace C Angel Flores, who was demoted to Single-A West Michigan. Flores, who joined the team Saturday when C Dane Sardinha was promoted to Detroit, made his only appearance for the Hens yesterday when he caught the ninth inning. Mike Hessman, who is in the midst of a 2-for-28 slump, was given the day off. ... The third umpire for yesterday's game was Steve Miller, the general manager for SMG, the management company for the new arena being built downtown.

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.