Here is pre-game and in-game information from the Mud Hens' game vs. Pawtucket at Fifth Third Field on Monday, June 23. Make sure to press “refresh” for updates throughout the contest.
Pawtucket Red Sox (46-29) at Toledo Mud Hens (32-46)
First pitch: 12 p.m.
Radio: 1230 AM, WCWA. Click here to listen on the Internet.Gameday: Click here to follow the contest pitch-by-pitch.
PAWTUCKET: Leading off and playing CF is Jackie Bradley Jr., followed by Drew Sutton at 1B, Alex Hassan in LF, Bryce Brentz in RF, Brandon Snyder at 3B, Xander Bogaerts at SS, Jonathan Diaz at 3B, Jeremy Hazelbaker at DH, Dan Butler at C and RHP Clayton Mortensen as the starting pitcher.
MUD HENS: Leading off and playing SS is Argenis Diaz, followed by Alex Avila at DH, Nick Castellanos in LF, Danny Dorn at 1B, Mike Cervenak at 3B, Ben Guez in RF, Ramon Cabrera at C, Brandon Douglas at 2B, Kevin Russo in CF and LHP Ramon Garcia as the starting pitcher.
Kevin Russo led off with a single, then was forced at second base on a fielder's choice by Argenis Diaz. Alex Avila was retired for the fifth time today, but this was his best at-bat of the day: He took a pitch, then smacked a line drive to center that was caught. Avila finished the day 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Nick Castellanos singled to right, sending Diaz to third. Danny Dorn singled to left-center for a single that scored Diaz and allowed Castellanos to reach third, but a line drive to center by Mike Cervenak was caught for the game's final out. Thanks for following along ... heading to clubhouse, and I'll add post-game notes in a little bit.
Jose Ortega looks like a new pitcher in the ninth. He retired Pawtucket on just 10 pitches, eight of which were strikes. Nothing out of the infield for Ortega, who looked like he did earlier in the season here in Toledo. We move to the bottom of the ninth ...
The Mud Hens got on the leadoff man on base with a walk -- the 16th in the game -- but a double play stopped the threat before it began. Pawtucket leads 5-3 as we move to the ninth.
Remember the wildness the Mud Hens took advantage of to score in the third? They gave it back in the eighth inning as Pawtucket scored one run on ZERO hits. That's right, 0 hits -- nada, zip, zilch, bupkus. Jess Todd walked the first batter he faced and was replaced by Matt Hoffman. Hoffman struck out the left-handed hitter he faced, then got wild -- he walked the next two hitters he faced, including a lefty, to load the bases. Hoffman's total was 13 pitches, only three of which were strikes (Yes, he walked the last two hitters on four straight pitches each). Then Jose Ortega walked Drew Sutton to force home the run. Things could have been worse, but Ortega then got a double play to end the threat. Pawtucket now leads 5-3.
Alex Avila led off the inning and struck out (ball-ball-called-foul third strike taken, a good fastball inside). ... Then the Mud Hens got a walk to Nick Castellanos, but that is all. Pawtucket leads 4-3 as we move to the eighth.
Jess Todd found trouble to start the inning by giving up a walk and a single to put runners on first and second with no one out. But Todd got the next three outs to keep the runners in place -- and off the scoreboard. As we move to the seventh-inning stretch, the Mud Hens still trail 4-3.
The Mud Hens get a leadoff walk to Ramon Cabrera and sacrifice him to second ... but back-to-back strikeouts strand him there. Still Pawtucket 4-3 as we move to the seventh.
The tie game didn't last long ... With one out Pawtucket's Xander Bogaerts lined a single to center on the final pitch of the day from Ramon Garcia. Jess Todd came on and got a groundout -- but Bogaerts was moving on the pitch and reached second. That play was big, because the next batter, Jeremy Hazelbaker, was able to ground a single to right that allowed Bogaerts to score. A walk-wild pitch put runners on first and third with two outs, but Todd got a strikeout to end the inning. But Pawtucket again has taken the lead, now 4-3.
The Mud Hens manage to tie the game ... but first a look at the third at-bat of the day for Alex Avila. And it won't take long, because Avila grounded out to first base on the first pitch he saw, a 92 mph fastball. With two outs Danny Dorn drew a walk, and Mike Cervenak lined a ball to the wall in right that allowed Dorn to score from first base. We're tied 3-3 as we move to the sixth.
Another quick inning for Ramon Garcia, who used just 12 pitches to dispose of the Red Sox in order. Garcia has thrown just 73 pitches, 50 for strikes, through five innings.
Pawtucket's Terry Doyle came on in relief of Hernandez and retired the Mud Hens in 1-2-3 order -- on just eight pitches, no less. The Red Sox still lead 3-2 as we move to the fifth.
Nice shut-down inning by Ramon Garcia in the fourth. He gave up a one-out bloop single but retired the Red Sox on just 10 pitches. Also a nice diving catch by Kevin Russo in centerfield to end the inning.
The Mud Hens get back into the game with some help from the PawSox, especially pitcher Chris Hernandez. Hernandez walked the leadoff man, Kevin Russo, and gave up a single to Argenis Diaz. In his second at-bat, Alex Avila hit the first pitch to centerfield for a flyout, then Nick Castellanos hit a grounder to third base that allowed Pawtucket to get the force at second, but a wild throw to first by Jonathan Diaz allowed Russo to score and Castellanos to reach base. From there, Hernandez struggled with his command ... he walked Danny Dorn -- actually a good at-bat by Dorn, who fouled off four two-strike pitches to earn the walk on nine pitches, then walked Mike Cervenak (four pitches) and Ben Guez (five pitches) to force home the second run. Hernandez got the final out, but Pawtucket's lead has been trimmed to 3-2 as we move to the fourth.
The Mud Hens pulled an unusual double play to avoid trouble. Starter Ramon Garcia gave up a crazy double by Alex Hassan -- he cued the ball down the first-base line, and it managed to stay fair -- and a single to center by Bryce Brentz put runners on first and third with no one out. Brandon Snyder hit a grounder to third, and Mike Cervenak threw home. Eventually the Hens erased both baserunners, getting two outs on a 5-6-5-2 double play -- with the lone runner at first. That's one way to stop a rally, isn't it? Garcia got the third out, so the score remains 3-0 Pawtucket as the Hens come to bat in the bottom of the inning.
The Red Sox did make the expected pitching change, bringing Chris Hernandez into the contest. The Mud Hens got a two-out walk to Ramon Cabrera, but that was it. Pawtucket leads 3-0 as we move to the third.
Pawtucket breaks out on top with three runs, all of them coming home on a bases-loaded double by Dan Butler. While Butler's hit was the biggest hit in the inning, there were several others that cost the Mud Hens the three runs. The first hitter of the frame, Brandon Snyder, hit a grounder into the hole at shorstop that Argenis Diaz was able to grab on the backhand but not control. It was a hit, but Diaz came close to turning it into an out that would have helped pitcher Ramon Garcia. Xander Bogaerts then walked on a CLOSE 3-2 pitch to put runners on first and second, and the runners were sacrificed to second and third. The final break against the Hens came when Garcia got ahead of the next batter, Jeremy Hazelbaker, with two quick strikes ... then hit him with a pitch. Not only did it load the bases, it wasted an 0-2 count, a possible strikeout and a good chance at an out. Those are the little things that often add up to big rallies.
Alex Avila struck out in his first at-bat today ... saw a steady diet of breaking balls. Called strike, ball, called strike and swinging strike for the strikeout. Nick Castellanos blooped a single to right, but that was it for the Hens in the first. No score as we move to the second.
The Red Sox get a leadoff single by Jackie Bradley Jr., who eventually got to third with only one out. But Mud Hens starter Ramon Garcia got a big strikeout and then a groundout to keep Pawtucket off the scoreboard.
- A few quick notes before this noon start ... If you look at the Mud Hens lineup, you will see that Jordan Lennerton and Danny Worth are not in the Toledo lineup. In both cases it's nothing more than a day off.
- The good news is that Alex Avila is again in the Toledo lineup as the DH, batting second. He was 0-for-3 with a walk Sunday in his first day with the Hens. Click here to read Sunday's game story, which features Avila talking about his time with the Mud Hens.
- A bit of good news from Jordan Lennerton: He announced his engagement on Twitter early this morning. Congratulations to Lennerton and his new fiance.
- A note from the Pawtucket clubhouse ... the Red Sox have made a change in starting pitchers. RHP Clayton Mortensen will start for Pawtucket; he is on a rehab assignment, and he will pitch just one inning for the PawSox. Today's scheduled starter, LHP Chris Hernandez is expected to pick up the game in the second inning.
- Finally, here are a few links from Sunday’s game. Don't forget the link to the game story above. Click here to read the in-game blog from Sunday's game. And click here to view Amy Voigt’s photo gallery from the game.
- Also, here's a story worth reading by The Blade's David Briggs about how the Tigers farm system has affected the Mud Hens. Click here to read that story.
- If you are looking for something else to do before the game starts ... Click here to vote for the Triple-A All-Star teams (both International League and Pacific Coast League).