Fans that went to Fifth Third Field on July 11, got to see plenty of exciting things.
First, the Mud Hens played a doubleheader against Indianapolis, so there were two games instead of one. There were fireworks afterward, which always is a treat. There also was a home-plate collision in both games, and a disputed home run in the nightcap.
But fans just missed seeing something else: A game end when one team batted out of order.
The lineup that the visiting Indians submitted for the second game placed catcher Hector Gimenez batting fifth, and DH Tagg Bozied hitting sixth. But everywhere else - on lineups posted in both clubhouses as well as lineups supplied in the press box - Bozied was listed as the fifth hitter, and Gimenez sixth.
All the Mud Hens had to do was notify the umpires when either one batted out of order, and the umpires would immediately call them out.
Well, actually, the first thing the Hens had to do was catch the mistake, and that took four innings in the seven-inning contest.
"I didn't check [the lineup] when [Eddie] Bonine brought it back [from the umpires meeting]," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish admitted. "But when Gimenez made the last out [in the fourth], I looked at it and said, 'Whoa!'
"So we just waited until we thought we could use it."
Unfortunately, that meant Toledo had lost a chance to take away a home run hit by Gimenez in the second. But the pair would bat in the seventh; as soon as one of them got on base, Parrish planned to spring his trap, which became important when Hens starter Scot Drucker gave up a leadoff double to Steve Pearce.
"After the double, I was thinking, 'Well, at least we got one out this inning,' " Parrish said.
"Then we got Bozied out, and I thought, 'Now we've got two outs this inning.' Then Gimenez made an out, and I thought, 'Man, we didn't get to use it.' "
After those two outs, things got a little hairy. Jonel Pacheco doubled home Pearce to make the score 7-2, and Drucker walked Shelby Ford. Reliever Kris Regas came in to face Chris Barnwell, and Parrish started doing some figuring in the dugout.
"I couldn't intentionally walk guys to reach them, because then they would ask themselves, 'Why are they doing this?' and figure it out," he said. "So we decided that, when we reached a point where a guy hitting the ball out of the ballpark could beat us, we could load the bases with 'unintentional' walks to get to Bozied, then use it [to get him out] and the score would be 7-6.
"We couldn't lose, and that was a neat feeling."
Instead, Regas struck out Barnwell to end the game.
MORE HONORS: Baseball America named Mud Hens 2B Scott Sizemore to its mid-season minor league all-star team.
Sizemore was named the top second baseman in the minors by the publication based on his performance for both the Hens and Double-A Erie.
Sizemore began the season with the SeaWolves and batted .307 in 59 games with nine home runs, 33 RBIs, and 39 runs scored.
He was promoted to Toledo on June 15 and has hit .280 with a pair of homers, 10 RBIs, and 11 runs in his first 22 games with the Hens.
Sizemore also was selected to play in the Futures Game in St. Louis July 12.
TWO FOR ONE: Because of a pair of rained-out games in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in June, the Mud Hens have had back-to-back doubleheaders added to the schedule this weekend.
On Friday night the Mud Hens and Yankees will play twice at Fifth Third Field, with the start time of the first game changed to 6 p.m.
Since the first game is a make-up for one of the rained-out games in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees will be the home team for that seven-inning contest, while Toledo is the home team in the nightcap.
Saturday will see the Mud Hens and Yankees again play a twinbill at Fifth Third Field, with the first game that night set to start at 5:30. Again, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be the home team in the opener, and Toledo will get last bats in the second.