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Published: Monday, 8/10/2009

Mud Hens back on track

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The Mud Hens dialed long distance three more times Sunday night at Fifth Third Field, accounting for most of their offense in an 8-4 victory over Gwinnett.

Scott Sizemore and Dusty Ryan each smacked two-run homers, and Brent Clevan added a three-run shot to back the pitching of starter Eddie Bonine as Toledo (57-58) won for the ninth time in its last 10 games and took three of four from the Braves.

The Hens long-ball output extended their streak to 12 games with at least one home run.

Toledo has homered in 22 of its last 23 games with 38 round-trippers in that span and ranks second in the International League with 110.

Jeremy Bonderman, making the third appearance of his rehab stint at the Triple-A level, had good control but was hit hard for the second straight outing.

After yielding three hits and all three Gwinnett runs in the ninth inning of Toledo s 10-3 win here on Thursday, the Tigers right-hander allowed six of the Braves 12 hits and two of their four runs in 12/3 innings last night.

Bonderman threw 25 of his 31 pitches for strikes but gave up a double and five singles before Hens manager Parrish pulled him with two outs in the ninth.

I m throwing everything I got at em, Bonderman said. I made some good pitches and some not so good pitches. It s only my fourth inning, and I m just trying to get into a rhythm and get back on track.

It s been a couple years since I ve thrown any [large] amount of innings, so it s going to take me a little bit, I think.

He was throwing strikes, but obviously he was catching too much plate, Parrish said. He s just here building up strength, and he needs a few more outings here.

Casey Fien needed just one pitch to earn his 10th save of the season, retiring Chris Burke on a fly to right with Braves runners on first and third.

Gwinnett (64-51) had snapped a season-best eight-game Toledo win streak with a 9-5 win here Saturday night.

But Sizemore staked Bonine (3-5) to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Wilkin Ramirez led off with a single. Sizemore launched his sixth home run of the season, a 410-foot shot to center.

Toledo benefited from a call by the umpiring crew in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead on Ryan s two-run homer to left.

After Brent Dlugach walked to lead off the inning, Ryan lined a deep two-out shot toward the wall.

Videotape replay showed the ball actually traveling through a gap above the top of the billboard padding and below the bottom of the metal railing atop the wall.

The ball then bounded up from the concrete walkway, off the brick wall at the base of the scoreboard, and back out onto the field. The three umpires briefly discussed the play before sending Ryan around from second.

This is one of the toughest ballparks for [calling] home runs, Parrish said. I don t know why they put that big of a gap there, but it s big enough for a ball to go underneath the wire and over the padding.

And, the foul poles aren t tall enough here. So, it makes it very tough on umpires to call home runs. We ve had em go the other way.

What should have been a ground-rule double with no run scoring became a two-run homer, and Braves manager Dave Brundage was subsequently ejected by third base umpire Rob Healey for arguing the call.

I actually thought it was a home run because I saw it bounce off that brick [wall] and come back, Ryan said. But apparently it went under the fence. We were just aggressive and we put good swings on it when we had good pitches to hit.

Clevlan stroked his 13th home run of the season, a three-run shot to right-center in the sixth to make it 7-2 against Gwinnett starter John Halama, and Mike Hessman tripled and scored on a fielder s choice play for Toledo s final run in the seventh.

Bonine allowed seven hits and two earned runs, striking out five and walking none in seven innings.

NOTE: The Hens have today off before beginning a seven-game road trip with a doubleheader tomorrow night at Syracuse. After four games against the Chiefs, Toledo plays three games at Louisville and returns home for a two-game series at Fifth Third Field against Columbus.

Right-hander Nate Bump (5-0) is expected to start the first game Tuesday.

Contact Steve Junga at:sjunga@theblade.comor 419-724-6461.



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