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Published: Friday, 7/24/2009

Mud Hens hit 6 HRs in rout

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The Mud Hens had an inning - and a game - for the record books in last night's 18-1 victory over Syracuse.

Toledo set a variety of season and Fifth Third Field records in the contest thanks in large part to an amazing third inning. In that frame, the Hens almost batted around twice, collecting 10 runs on 10 hits - including three home runs and a double - as well as two walks, an error and a balk.

Whew.

"We got it rolling there," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "After that, it was one of those games where you felt bad for the other team - and glad you're not in that position. And worried you might get there."

Among the Fifth Third Field records the Hens set were runs in an inning and extra-base hits in a game (11). They also tied the records for home runs in a game

(six) and for hits by two teams in a contest (32).

And the season highs? Try runs in a game, hits in a game (24), extra-base hits in a game, doubles in a game (five) and home runs in a contest.

Individually, Brent Clevlen's three home runs in the contest tied the ballpark record, while Jeff Frazier had a season-high six RBIs.

"Clevlen needed that kind of game," Parrish said. "Hopefully there will be some kind of confidence carryover for him and for all of our hitters."

The Hens already led 2-0 in the third off Syracuse starter Marco Estrada, an emergency starter for Collin Balester, who was promoted to Washington. Estrada got the first out in the inning, but then came the avalanche.

Singles by Don Kelly, Carlos Guillen and Brent Dlugach loaded the bases, and a balk scored Kelly. Jeff Larish was intentionally walked, and Frazier lined a two-run single to chase Estrada.

Will Rhymes greeted reliever Dave Williams with a three-run homer, and Clevlen and Max St-Pierre followed with homers as well.

Those back-to-back-to-back homers were the first for Toledo since Chris Shelton, Mike Hessman and Ryan Raburn turned the trick at Charlotte on April 25, 2007.

Williams then was accused of throwing at Scott Sizemore and ejected, and the Chiefs were forced to use position players the rest of the way.

Syracuse infielder Marcos Yepez did yeoman's work to save the Chiefs' bullpen, covering 41/3 innings to likely set an unofficial record for longest pitching appearance by a nonpitcher.

"That happens in baseball sometimes - and luckily we were the ones hitting," said Clevlen, who nearly got hit with a shaving-cream pie after the contest. "We came out swinging the bats, and they were a little short on pitching, we had to bear down because we didn't want to give those at-bats away."

Before the night was done, every Toledo starter had at least one hit - everyone except Larish and Rhymes had at least two - and one run scored - Rhymes and St-Pierre are the only ones who didn't score twice.

Frazier and Kelly led the way with four hits, while Clevlen and Larish scored three times.

That was more than enough offense to support Hens starter Chris Lambert, who held the Chiefs scoreless until giving up a run in the eighth. The right-hander allowed just seven hits and didn't walk a batter while fanning six in eight innings, and Parrish was most pleased that Lambert nearly threw a complete game.

NOTES: Tonight's game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is a doubleheader that will start at 6 p.m. RHP Scot Drucker will start the first game, and a reliever yet to be determined will start the nightcap. LHP Dontrelle Willis threw a simulated game on Wednesday. Pitching coach A.J. Sager said Willis threw 87 pitches, and his next work would come in a bullpen session today. Rhymes played third base for the second time this season and handled six chances without error. Dlugach extended his hit streak to 12 games with his single in the third.

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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