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Published: 7/27/2009

Bump and runs lead to another easy Hens' win

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
The Mud Hens' Brent Clevlen is safe as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre first baseman Juan Miranda leaps to make the catch on a high throw from pitcher Kei Igawa in the third inning. Clevlen had three hits including a home run. The Mud Hens' Brent Clevlen is safe as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre first baseman Juan Miranda leaps to make the catch on a high throw from pitcher Kei Igawa in the third inning. Clevlen had three hits including a home run.
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Two laughers in the same homestand gave the Mud Hens a reason to smile Sunday night.

Just three days after exploding for 18 runs in beating Syracuse, the Hens scored 10 times Sunday night in a 10-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Fifth Third Field.

"It was good for us to get some runs to support Nate [Bump], because we needed him to give us some innings," said Brent Clevlen, who had three hits. "Nate gave us good innings, and we had some good at-bats early to give us some runs."

With both Toledo and the Yankees having played back-to-back twinbills the previous two nights, both squads wanted to get extended innings from their starters Sunday. But the Hens foiled the Yankees' plan by battering starter Kei Igawa for 11 hits and nine runs in five innings.

The Mud Hens scored five times in the first inning to build an early cushion. The two biggest at-bats in the rally were by Jeff Frazier, who slammed an 0-2 pitch for a two-out, two-run single, and Clevlen, who followed by lining an 0-2 pitch well over the fence in left for his 11th home run of the season.

"It came down to us bearing down when we're behind 0-2," Frazier said. "When we weren't scoring runs, it was because we weren't having quality at-bats.

"Now when we fall behind 0-2, we're still fighting and having a quality at-bat. We're not wasting them."

Frazier pounded his seventh home run of the season for a run in the third, and Brent Dlugach lined a two-out, two-run single for two more runs in the fourth.

The barrage continued against Yankee reliever Amuari Sanit in the sixth when Mike Hessman slammed his 11th homer of the year, a line shot off the scoreboard in left.

"The fact that we had played a lot of games in the last few days could have been wearing on us,"

Frazier said. "But the way we've been swinging? Maybe not."

Toledo has been swinging hot bats in the first nine games of this homestand, hitting .325 and averaging 5.89 runs per game.

The hottest bat belongs to Frazier, who is hitting .545 with five homers, 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored in those nine games.

That was more than enough offense to support Bump, who turned 33 on Friday. He allowed just six hits and held the Yankees scoreless until the eighth to win for the third time in four starts since joining the Hens earlier this month.

The Yankees pushed runners into scoring position in the first, second and third innings. But Bump was up to that challenge, stranding four runners on base in those early innings by holding Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Bump also benefited from two double plays that snuffed potential rallies in the middle innings.

Bump's only mistake came in the eighth when, with two outs and a runner on first, Ramiro Pena slammed a homer off the buildings behind the right-field fence.

"They were in the same situation we were in, in terms of having a short bullpen," Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "You couldn't have drawn this game up any better, except for the home run Bump gave up in the eighth.

"But even with that, if you had said before the game that Bump only gives up two runs in eight innings, I would have said, 'Sign me up.'"

NOTES: LHP Dontrelle Willis threw a side session before yesterday's game. He is expected to throw another side session while the Hens are in Louisville, then pitch another simulated game when the team returns home. 1B Jeff Larish still is feeling discomfort from a wrist injury suffered before the All-Star break. Parrish gave him a rest because the Mud Hens were facing a left-handed pitcher in Igawa.



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