For Adam Wilk, the numbers lie.
The numbers say the Mud Hens' left-hander is a 4-11 pitcher this season after he absorbed the loss in Friday's game, a 3-1 setback against Rochester at Fifth Third Field.
But a better indication of how well Wilk is pitching this season is his 2.95 ERA, which is fifth-best in the International League.
"It's not fun to look at the won-loss record, but I just have to go out and try to continue to pitch well every five days," Wilk said. "We've struggled a little bit as a team -- but we've struggled all together."
On Friday the Hens' struggles came on offense as Toledo managed just three hits and five baserunners. A lack of support is a common refrain for Wilk this year; the team scores an average of 3.21 runs in his starts and scores almost a full run more (4.18) when someone else starts.
"He was great once again," Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said of Wilk. "It's one of those seasons where he's not getting much run support.
"It's a shame he has to take a loss in this one."
Wilk held the Red Wings scoreless until the fourth, when back-to-back doubles by Matt Carson and Chris Parmelee produced a run. Then in the fifth, a double by Rene Rivera, followed by back-to-back two-out singles by Eduardo Escobar and Carson, helped Rochester scratch out a second run.
Wilk's biggest problem was with his pitch count, as the Wings forced him to throw a season-high 113 pitches to cover seven innings.
"They foul off a lot of pitches, and they fight," Wilk said of the Red Wings' hitters. "For the most part, they make you work.
"I made some mistakes in the middle innings to the middle of their order, and that hurt me a little bit."
Wilk has allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last seven starts, but the lack of offense shackled him with a 1-1 record in five July starts despite a 1.11 ERA for the month.
"Ultimately, I have to control what I can control," the 24-year-old lefty said. "I don't hit, and I understand it's a tough aspect of the game, hitting against Triple-A pitchers.
"Ultimately my job is to keep the team in the game. I can't score runs, I can't make the play in the field. I have to go out there and make pitches, get ground balls and weak contact."
Rochester starter Shairon Martis, who came into Friday's contest with a 7.88 ERA, left it with a 6.32 mark after giving up just three hits and one run in seven innings.
"We're not swinging the bats very well," Nevin admitted. "We saw the numbers [for Martis], but it looked like he had better stuff than his numbers showed.
"He threw strikes, kept us off-balance, and kept the ball away from the middle of the plate."
The only mistake Martis made came in the fifth, when Bryan Holaday slammed his second home run of the season for Toledo's lone run. But that lack of offense made Wilk a loser for the 11th time this year, the third-highest total in the IL in 2012.
"What [Wilk] is doing is not going unnoticed," Nevin said. "He made some adjustments early in the season, and what he has done is paying off now.
"It's hard to have his won-loss record, but we understand what's going on. If you look at the big picture, Adam Wilk is having a great year. And it's not being overlooked, I promise you that."
NOTES: Before the game, the Tigers recalled OF Andy Dirks from his rehab assignment with the Hens. Dirks bought a pregame spread from Smokey Bones for the Mud Hens before returning to Detroit. … Before Friday's game, Toledo sent RHP Rob Waite to Double-A Erie, and OF Jamie Johnson will join the Hens today. The move was made to balance Toledo's roster, which had 14 pitchers and just 11 position players before the move. … Friday's crowd of 9,006 was the Mud Hens' 23rd sellout this season and 10th sellout in a row at Fifth Third Field.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.