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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 7/3/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Mud Hens fall in 12th

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Third base umpire Gerard Ascani calls Indianapolis' Jordy Mercer (19) out after Matt Hague (26) was chased back by the Hens' Max St-Pierre. Third base umpire Gerard Ascani calls Indianapolis' Jordy Mercer (19) out after Matt Hague (26) was chased back by the Hens' Max St-Pierre.
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Indianapolis scored a run in the top of the 12th inning to hand the Mud Hens a 4-3 loss at Fifth Third Field on Saturday.

The Indians scored off Toledo reliever Jose Ortega in the 12th when, with two outs and no one on base, Brian Friday, drew a walk, raced around the bases on a double to the wall in right-center off the bat of John Bowker.

Bowker had struck out in four of his five previous plate appearances in the game, but came through in his last at-bat to send the Hens to their fourth loss in the last five games.

Clay High School product Justin Thomas retired the Hens in order in the 12th to earn his third save of the year.

The Mud Hens jumped to a first-inning lead when their first batter, Will Rhymes, singled and raced to third as Timo Perez hit a fly ball down the right-field that seemed poised to hook foul, but instead hooked back towards center -- and off the glove of Miles Durham for a double.

With the infield back, Carlos Guillen hit a grounder to second that scored Rhymes and pushed Perez to third, and Perez trotted home on a single by Ryan Strieby.

Toledo added a run in the second when Cale Iorg slammed a home run, his fifth, off the base of the scoreboard in left.

But that was all the Hens managed off Indianapolis starter Justin Wilson despite collecting eight hits and three walks off the lefty in six innings. While Toledo had a runner on base in each of the first five innings -- and a runner in scoring position in the first four frames -- the Hens were just 1-for-9 when batting with runners in scoring position against Wilson.

And even that hit deserves an asterisk: Jeff Salazar singled with two outs and runners on first and second, but Guillen was thrown out at the plate by Durham in right to end that threat.

But the Indianapolis bullpen shut down the Hens, limiting Toledo to just two hits and two walks in the final six innings.

Meanwhile Mud Hens starter Thad Weber was impressive in the early innings, holding the Indians to two singles and two hit batsmen while striking out seven in the first four innings.

But Weber stumbled in the fifth when, with two outs and no one on, he gave up an infield single to Anthony Norman and a home run to Brian Friday, his third of the season.

Weber got into trouble in the sixth, but managed to limit the damage to a single run that tied the game. Matt Hague led off with a single, then moved to third when Jordy Mercer doubled.

Andy Marte hit a grounder to third and Hague tried to score; Hens third baseman Danny Worth stopped the ball and threw home, and Hague ran back to third -- to find Mercer standing there. Hens catcher Max St-Pierre tagged Hague out.

But the Mud Hens weren't as lucky when the next batter, Durham, hit a grounder to third; Worth forced Marte out at second, but Durham beat the relay to first and Hague scored.

From that point the game stayed tied until Indianapolis scored the winning run in the top of the 12th.

NOTES: Guillen left the game after the ninth inning, which is customary for players on rehab assignments. He finished the day 0-for-4 with a walk. ... Brad Thomas, the left-handed pitcher from Detroit who recently pitched for the Hens on a rehab assignment, will return to the Hens Sunday. It is not certain when Thomas, who felt discomfort Tuesday in Columbus, will pitch for the Hens. ... Saturday's crowd of 9,258 was the Mud Hens 11th sellout this season. The Hens have sold out the last two games in a row and six times in the last nine home dates.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com or 419-724-6481.



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