Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018
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Mud Hens

Ciriaco brothers battle on diamond

  • Hens-Audy-Ciriaco-plays-against-brother-Pedro

    The Mud Hens’ Audy Ciriaco makes a play at shortstop for the Mud Hens. It was the first time in his life that he and his brother, Pedro, have played against each other.

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  • Pedro-Ciriaco-plays-against-his-younger-brother-Audy

    Indianapolis’ Pedro Ciriaco, the older of the two brothers, has played for both the Triple-A Indians and its major league club, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both he and his brother Audy play shortstop.

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Hens-Audy-Ciriaco-plays-against-brother-Pedro

The Mud Hens’ Audy Ciriaco makes a play at shortstop for the Mud Hens. It was the first time in his life that he and his brother, Pedro, have played against each other.

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Brothers Audy and Pedro Ciriaco experienced a first at Fifth Third Field Sunday night.

“This is the first time I’ve ever played against him,” Audy Ciriaco said of his brother. “We always played on the same team growing up — until he moved up and played with the older guys.

“I’ve always wanted to play against him, to see what he does and how he looks.”

Pedro and his Indianapolis teammates earned bragging rights in the Ciriaco family Sunday night by scoring five times in the tenth inning to claim an 8-3 victory over the Mud Hens.

The setback guarantees that Toledo can finish no better that .500 this season, and the Hens’ 38th home loss ties this year’s club with last year’s team for the most home losses in a season since the Mud Hens moved to Fifth Third Field in 2002. Toledo still has three home games left to play.

That took none of the lustre off the night for the two shortstops, who grew up in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. The pair met on the field to talk before the game, then shared a word whenever one of the brothers reached second base.

“I like to talk to him, to see how he feels and what he’s doing,” Audy Ciriaco said. “We talk a lot, about every move we make and what’s going on.

“If we’re going good or going bad, we try to keep in touch and talk about it.”

Pedro Ciriaco, who will be 26 in September, has split time this season between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, where he batted .250 in 11 games. Audy Ciriaco, who turned 24 in June, spent most of this season with Double-A Erie, where he hit .277 in 101 games for the SeaWolves.

Pedro-Ciriaco-plays-against-his-younger-brother-Audy

Indianapolis’ Pedro Ciriaco, the older of the two brothers, has played for both the Triple-A Indians and its major league club, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both he and his brother Audy play shortstop.

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The younger Ciriaco said he likes using his older brother as a source for learning how to handle different situations in his climb up the minor-league leader.

“Whenever I feel bad or good, I try to talk to him,” Audy Ciriaco said. “He has played at the big-league level, so I like to talk to him about his experiences — what to do, what pitches to look for, things like that.”

Sunday night Pedro Ciriaco went 2-for-6, scoring twice and driving in one run, while Audy Ciriaco collected one hit in four at-bats in a game that was decided by a five-run outburst by Indianapolis in the tenth.

In that inning the Indians sent 10 batters to the plate, with a two-run double by Matt Hague and a long two-run homer by Pedro Alvarez serving as the big hits in the rally.

The five-run outburst was started by a walk, as was the Indians’ two-run rally in the sixth.

“In a tight game, execution is the key,” Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said. “And in those tight games, when you don’t execute it becomes more glaring.

“Our pitchers walked the leadoff man twice, and those innings became big innings for them. On offense, we didn’t get a bunt down in the right spot, and that hurt us.”

Toledo scored twice in the fourth on an RBI single by Scott Thorman and a fielder’s choice groundout by Jeff Salazar, and the Hens’ tied the game in the seventh on an RBI hit by Omir Santos.

In the seventh the Mud Hens allowed a first-and-third, one-out situation go without scoring again.

The Indians’ Justin Thomas, a Clay High School graduate, shut down Toledo on just one hit and one walk in 2? innings, striking out five of the ninth hitters he faced to claim the win.

“Especially late, we had some opportunities — and we just didn’t get the big hit,” Nevin said.

NOTES: Before the game Nevin said that Tigers 2B Carlos Guillen will begin a rehab assignment by playing second for the Mud Hens Monday night when they host Indianapolis, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. Guillen will DH for the Hens Tuesday in Indianapolis, then play second base on Wednesday before a probable return to Detroit Thursday, the day major league rosters expand. ... Nevin said OF Andy Dirks should be healthy enough to play Monday. Dirks has not batted in a game since the Hens returned home last Wednesday, although he has run the bases and played defense. ... The Tigers announced that RHP Jacob Turner will be called up to Detroit to start against Kansas City Sept. 1. Nevin said after the game that LHP Adam Wilk will come off the disabled list to take Turner’s scheduled start for Toledo, which will be Wednesday in Indianapolis.

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

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