Toledo MLN: Hens Trying to Find Win Streak

Hessman is showing signs of life at the plate

The Mud Hens are still struggling to put together a winning streak, but Mike Hessman is starting to find his swing.

That's good news in Toledo, where the Mud Hens have lost seven of their last 10 games to fall to 14-18 on the season.

On May 9, the 6-5 third baseman was batting just .155. Hessman, however, went 3-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI in a 5-3 Mother's Day loss to Lehigh Valley.

With a 2-for-4 performance at the plate in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Pawtucket at Fifth Third Field, Hessman raised his average to .184 (21-for-114). He hit a solo homer in the ninth inning and also hit his eighth double of the season. In his last four games, Hessman is 6-for-14 with four walks, five doubles, two runs scored and only two strikeouts (he leads the Hens with 49).

"That's a big key for us," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said of Hessman's bat. "If we get Hess those kind of at-bats, it's going to take the pressure off everybody else. He's just sort of let the ball come to him a little bit. He's just been forcing it.

"In baseball terminology we call it (being) spring-loaded up there - just jumping at the ball and ripping everything. We're just trying to get him to back off and sort of let the ball come to him a little bit. The last couple days he's stayed in the middle of the ball park much better, so that's very encouraging."

STILL HURTING: Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez continues to have problems with a thumb injury.

Ramirez had an MRI on his injured thumb on Monday, but the results weren't immediately available. His status remains day-to-day. Ramirez went 0-for-3 and hit into a double play on May 9 before he left the game against Lehigh Valley in the eighth inning.

"That thumb swelled up again," Parrish said. "His thumb is taking a beating. It looked like it was swollen like it was earlier this year." Ramirez is batting .283 and leads Toledo in runs (19) and stolen bases (13).

WELCOME ABOARD: Outfielder Jeff Frazier was promoted to Toledo from Double-A Erie, where he hit .322 with one home run and 13 RBI. In his first four games with the Mud Hens, Frazier is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with one homer, one walk, three runs scored and three RBI. On May 11, in a 9-2 win over Lehigh Valley, Frazier hit his first Triple-A homer, a two-run shot to left field.

DOT, DOT, DOT: Right-hander Ron Chiavacci earned his first save of the season May 11 in a 9-2 win over Lehigh Valley.

Chiavacci (1-2) pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Scott Drucker and gave up one hit with two strikeouts. He has started four games and appeared in relief in three games and has a 5.13 ERA in 26 1/3 innings ...

On May 8, Parrish passed Fred Haney for fourth all-time in games managed with the Hens, with 862 ...

The Mud Hens host Pawtucket today through Friday before embarking on a nine-day, eight-game road trip through Charlotte (12-20) and Gwinnett (15-17).

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