If he was paranoid, Larry Parrish might think his team doesn't want him to set the record for wins by a Toledo manager.
Parrish is still stuck at 540 wins in Toledo as his team lost for the fifth straight night, suffering a 7-3 setback to Gwinnett in front of 9,430 fans at Fifth Third Field.
“I really don't think about that [record],” said Parrish, who remains tied with Cal Ermer for the most wins by a manager in franchise history. “I am concerned about how we're playing.
“We're not doing anything really well. We're not pitching well, and offensively we've got some guys here who have enough games under their belts to hit better than they are hitting. It's time for some of our guys to be what they're supposed to be.”
Things seemed stacked in favor of Parrish setting the record Tuesday night as Rick Porcello drew the start and Ryan Perry was scheduled to pitch in relief.
The Mud Hens' last win came June 24 at Louisville when Porcello, who was demoted June 21 by Detroit, threw eight innings of one-hit shutout ball in his Triple-A debut.
But the Braves scored a run in the first inning when Matt Young and Wes Timmons led off with singles, and Young came home on Freddie Freeman's double-play groundout.
Porcello allowed at least one baserunner in the next three innings before Gwinnett broke through for four runs in the fifth.
Josh Anderson led off by lining a single off the glove of shortstop Brent Dlugach, moved to third when J.C. Boscan singled off the left-field wall, then scored on a single by Young.
Porcello foiled a sacrifice attempt by Timmons, throwing Boscan out at third, but Freeman followed with a two-run double into the left-center gap. Then, with two outs, Diory Hernandez singled home Freeman.
Porcello finished with 10 hits and three walks allowed in six innings, surrendering five earned runs and striking out just three.
“I made a string of bad pitches, and that has been a reoccurring theme for me,” Porcello said. “Instead of limiting [the damage] to one or two runs, they scored four or five. That's something that I'm down here to work on.”
Perry continued his rehab assignment with Toledo by throwing 12/3 innings in relief of Porcello. He gave up an unearned run in the seventh, on an RBI double to deep centerfield by Hernandez. Then Perry, who is rehabbing from right bicep tendonitis, gave up another walk in the eighth while retiring a pair of batters.
Of the 36 pitches Perry threw last night, only 16 were strikes.
“I'm trying to get a feel for all of my pitches,” Perry said. “I wasn't getting ahead of hitters, and that was my problem.”
Gwinnett added a run in the ninth when Freeman slammed his eighth home run of the season off Hens reliever Josh Rainwater.
Meanwhile the Toledo offense struggled to take advantage of its scoring opportunities against the Braves, going 1-for-11 when batting with runners in scoring position.
The Hens scored a run in the first when Will Rhymes led off with a triple, then came home on a one-out sacrifice fly by Jeff Frazier.
The Mud Hens added two runs in the third. Jon Weber and Jeff Kunkel both singled, and Rhymes beat out a bunt down the third-base line.
Casper Wells struck out, and Frazier hit a grounder to third base that Timmons picked up; he stepped on third, but his throw to first short-hopped Freeman, allowing Weber to score and Rhymes to move to third.
Rhymes came home when Gwinnett starter Ryne Reynoso balked.