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Published: Sunday, 5/31/2009

Brown solid, but Hens fall

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Mud Hens catcher Dusty Ryan runs down Charlotte's Brian Myrow in the second inning Saturday night at Fifth Third Field. Mud Hens catcher Dusty Ryan runs down Charlotte's Brian Myrow in the second inning Saturday night at Fifth Third Field.
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In his last five starts for Double-A Erie, Brooks Brown received 34 runs in support to win all five.

So his promotion to Toledo has been a bit of a culture shock.

In his first two starts for the Hens, Brown's teammates scored just one run. So while Saturday night's two-run outburst may have seemed colossal in comparison, it wasn't enough for the Hens to avoid a 4-2 setback to Charlotte.

"We've got some good hitters, but unfortunately they haven't scored a lot of runs," Brown said. "But you can't take that out on the mound with you.

"My job is to throw as many zeroes on the board as I can and keep us in the ball game."

The loss was Toledo's fourth in its last six home games and 12th in its last 16 games.

The Knights drew first blood with a pair of runs in the second. Michael Restovich led off with a single, then moved to second on a one-out infield hit by Andy Phillips.

Brown then hit Brian Myrow with a pitch to load the bases. Brown was poised to avoid damage when he got Cole Armstrong to pop out, but Eider Torres blooped a single to center that scored both Restovich and Phillips.

Charlotte's other run off Brown came in the seventh thanks to a rally that began with none on and two outs. Brown walked Myrow, who came around to score on Armstrong's double into the left-field corner.

"Really, Brown could have gotten out of here not having given up a run," Toledo manager Larry Parrish said. "If we come up and get that slow-hit ball [by Phillips], they don't score in the second, and we let the ball bang around in the outfield corner on the double that scored the run in the seventh."

Brown's line included just seven hits and two walks allowed in eight innings. The right-hander now has a 3.54 ERA despite an 0-3 record.

"There are better hitters all through the lineup [in Triple-A]," Brown said. "The hitters here are a little more patient, and if you get behind you will get beat.

"I just try to get ahead and let the hitters get themselves out."

The Hens finished with nine hits in support of Brown - they had just five hits in Brown's first two starts - but Parrish said that total didn't tell the whole story.

"It was misleading because two guys got six of them," said Parrish, who noted that the Hens had more than one hit in an inning only once - in the seventh.

"We need more hits, and we need to string them together better."

One Toledo run came in the second when Dusty Ryan launched his sixth home run of the season, a majestic fly that cleared the scoreboard in left.

The other scored in the seventh when Mike Hessman doubled off the wall in left, then moved to third on a single by Will Rhymes - who joined Don Kelly of the Hens with three hits. Hessman came home on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Frazier.

The Knights finished the scoring with a run in the ninth off reliever Freddy Dolsi. Dolsi gave up a leadoff single to Restovich, who was erased when Daryl Ward hit into a double play.

But Phillips followed with a single, Myrow walked, and Armstrong singled to left to plate Phillips.

NOTES: Kelly extended his current hit streak to 11 games with his three-hit night. Hens RHP Scot Drucker celebrated his 27th birthday last night. Last night's crowd of 10,300 was the Mud Hens' seventh sellout this season.

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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