The hot-and-cold Mud Hen offense ran into a hot pitcher on a cold, rainy night at Fifth Third Field.
Rochester's Kevin Mulvey threw a complete-game, seven-hit shutout in the Red Wings' 4-0 victory last night. The right-hander limited Toledo to just two doubles and five singles and got the Hens to hit into four double plays.
"The sinker was working, and fortunately they were hitting the ball right at people," said Mulvey, who improved to 3-3. "[Catcher] Drew [Butera] called a great game, and the defense was terrific.
"For the infielders, that was especially impressive because every time they got the ball it was soaking wet, and they made only one error."
Toledo got just two runners to third, and both were stranded there as the Hens were 1-for-6 when batting with runners in scoring position.
"[Mulvey] had a little sink to the ball, and whenever we got a hit he seemed to get a ground ball and a double play," Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "The ball never went to the hole - it always went right to the fielder."
Mulvey also was efficient early, never throwing two balls to a batter until reaching a 2-1 count with Mike Hessman to lead off the seventh. He threw just 101 pitches --74 of which were strikes - to claim Rochester's first complete game of the season.
Toledo, which was shut out for the fifth time this season, needed to be perfect on defense to stay close to the Red Wings - and weren't able to do that.
A Mud Hen misplay cost Toledo a pair of runs in the sixth. Rochester's Jason Pridie and Dustin Martin led off with singles against Hens starter Brooks Brown, and Justin Huber followed with a single to left.
That would have loaded the bases, but Wilkin Ramirez overran the ball to allow the runners to move up a base, giving Pridie the chance to score.
Brown did his best to limit the damage. After issuing an intentional walk to David Winfree to load the bases, he struck out Trevor Plouffe for one out. Tommy Watkins lifted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Martin, and Brown got Matt Macri to line out softly to third to end the threat.
The Red Wings added insurance runs in both the eighth and ninth. In the eighth Rochester took advantage of another Toledo error as Brent Dlugach's throw to first to complete a double play got past Jeff Larish to allow a run to score.
In the ninth the Wings scored on three straight singles. The last one was by Martin on a slow roll between first and second; Larish tipped the ball away from Will Rhymes, who seemed prepared to pick up the ball and make the out.
"We needed to stay clean, and instead we had a couple bobbles," Parrish said. "On the play by Dlugach, he got a low feed from the pitcher [Matt Rusch], and instead of taking the out he was aggressive and tried to turn two.
"On the hit by Martin in the ninth, it looked like the second baseman would get it, but you don't know that. It was one of those games where, if we were a little cleaned, it would have been a much tighter game."
Brown fell to 0-5, but in his five starts here the Hens have scored just four runs.
NOTES: RHP Ryan Perry, who was demoted from Detroit to the Hens on Monday, was not with the team for yesterday's game. Parrish declined comment on Perry's status. By rule, Perry would not be able to rejoin the Tigers unless they placed another player on the disabled list, but Detroit has announced no such move. OF Don Kelly left the game in the bottom of the fourth inning after learning he was being promoted to Detroit. Kelly, a Pittsburgh native, will join the Tigers in his hometown tomorrow for Detroit's series against the Pirates. OF Clete Thomas will be sent to Toledo to replace Kelly. Mike Hessman pinch-hit for Kelly, then replaced him in right field. It marked the first time Hessman has played that position for the Hens. The Hens made several roster changes when they were on the road. When 1B Jeff Larish was added to the roster June 8, OF Jason Tyner was given his unconditional release. And RHP Eddie Bonine has been on the temporary inactive list since June 4. Last night former Hen Riccardo Ingram served as the Rochester manager. The team's regular manager, Stan Cliburn, left the team to be with his ailing mother and is expected to return to the Wings tonight.
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