Toledo 6, Louisville 1 (box)
The Toledo MudHens must love it when a big league pitcher gets sent down. Earlier in the year it was Max Scherzer who propelled the Hens to victories in each of his two starts, both in dominating fashion. Last night, Rick Porcello joined the Hens rotation and immediately delivered.
The Hens took an early lead when Wilkin Ramirez homered in the second inning, a two-run blast that scored Ryan Strieby ahead of him. Ramirez drove in three runs on the day while Jeff Larish knocked in a pair for the Hens.
Porcello was the story, however. (…)
After skipping the high-minors on his way to the major leagues last year, Porcello made his AAA debut and held the Bats to a lone unearned run over eight innings. Along the way, he gave up just one hit, a double to Louisville’s Juan Francisco, who would score their only run when Brent Dlugach threw away a ground ball by Ryan Hanigan.
Porcello fanned just three batters and walked only one, so he was pitching to a lot of contact. But that contact came in the form of 12 ground ball outs in the first five innings. In fact, the only fly ball he allowed through five was the double, and Francisco was the only batter to reach base against Porcello, also drawing the lone walk against the right hander.
Fun fact: The win last night gave MudHens manager (and former Tigers manager) Larry Parrish 540 career victories with Toledo, tying him for the franchise record with Cal Ermer.
Obviously Porcello was keeping his sinker down much better last night, something he’ll have to do once he returns to Detroit. There isn’t much more than a box score of the game, so I can’t tell you how well he was mixing his pitches, but the results were definitely where we’d like to see them.