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Published: Tuesday, 5/4/2010

Rain delays Mud Hens; doubleheader set for Tuesday

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

It was only one at-bat in a game that was postponed by rain soon after.

But for the Mud Hens' Clete Thomas, it still felt sweet.

Thomas slugged a two-run home run off Charlotte's Lucas Harrell Monday night, accounting for the only runs scored in the two innings that were played before rains drenched Fifth Third Field.

The two teams will resume the contest starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, picking up play in the third inning -- the spot where the contest was halted after a 1:19 rain delay.

The two teams will finish the nine-inning game, then play a second contest of seven innings following a short break.

Before that point, the highlight for the Hens' was the at-bat by Thomas, who fouled off a trio of two-strike pitches before lining his first home run of the season over the fence in right.

“I was just trying to grind my way through an at-bat -- and get out of this hole I'm in,” Thomas said. “I was trying to stay relaxed and put the bat on the ball.”

The “hole” Thomas mentioned included an 0-for-14 stretch prior to the home run and a .140 batting average in his first 13 games this season. The offensive struggles of the 26-year-old outfielder, one of the final roster cuts by Detroit in spring training, prompted Toledo manager Larry Parrish to give Thomas the day off Sunday.

“It was to clear my mind, to relax,” Thomas said of the day off. “I tried to let everything go and come back with a fresh start in this game.

“[The home run] gives me some confidence. It was only one at-bat, so I need to stay consistent, take the same consistent approach in every at-bat.”

Parrish liked what he saw of Thomas in Monday's plate appearance.

“It looked like he was battling up there,” Parrish said. “He fouled a bunch of balls off. It wasn't an at-bat that you thought might finish with a homer.

“All of a sudden - Boom!”



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