Humberto Sanchez article
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Humberto Sanchez train keeps rolling along.
Sanchez dominated once again in his third career Triple-A start, allowing just two hits and combining with two relievers to give Toledo a 3-0 win over the Rochester Red Wings before 9,717 at Frontier Field on a steamy Sunday afternoon.
Sanchez didn't give up a run for his second consecutive start, and his ERA dropped to a minuscule 0.47.
"He's been pretty good so far," manager Larry Parrish said. "He's a big guy that has got pretty good stuff. It was a tough day to pitch with the heat and the wind blowing out to left field."
The burly right-hander's dominance against the International League's top-hitting club didn't escape Red Wings manager Stan Cliburn.
"This guy's going to be good," the Rochester skipper said. "You'll hear from this guy. He has size, and a good angle on his pitches. He almost has a half-like, double-hitch motion in his delivery that will add to his fastball."
Sanchez throws two types of breaking balls, along with a sinker and a fastball. The deadly repertoire gave Rochester batters fits all afternoon.
"I'm just in a groove now," Sanchez said. "I was able to get ahead of the hitters, and was just being aggressive. I have four pitches that I can throw strikes with, so it makes it pretty confusing for the hitters."
The Mud Hens' pitchers are in a groove as well, as the staff has combined to allow just 19 earned runs over the last 111 innings, good for a 1.54 ERA. On Sunday, Chris Spurling pitched 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief, then gave way to closer Lee Gardner, who slammed the door shut with a perfect 1-2-3 ninth.
The win was Toledo's eighth in its last nine games.
"We've played pretty well lately," Sanchez said. "The pitchers are pitching well, and the hitters are hitting well. When you get good pitching and good defense and offense, you're going to win a lot of games."
Sanchez's bid for a no-hitter was broken up by Glenn Williams' two-out single in the fifth inning. In the seventh, Sanchez hit leadoff hitter Kevin West and allowed a Garrett Jones single two batters later before being lifted in favor of Spurling. Spurling induced Luis Maza into an inning-ending double-play, ending the lone Rochester threat of the game.
Toledo scored two runs in the fifth inning off Rochester starter Jason Miller. Mike Hessman led off with his team-leading 14th home run, and Nook Logan's groundout plated Don Kelly.
In the eighth, David Espinosa hit his third homer of the year.
The four-game series continues tonight at 7.
Right-hander Colby Lewis (3-5, 2.99 ERA) will pitch for Toledo; the Red Wings will counter with righty J.D. Durbin (4-2, 2.27).
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