TOLEDO, Ohio — The Indianapolis Indians and Toledo Mud Hens split Saturday night’s doubleheader as the Tribe used two longballs and a four-run fifth to win game one 7-3, while Toledo starter Scot Drucker allowed just two runs to give the Mud Hens the 7-2 victory in the nightcap at Fifth Third Field.
With the split the Indians move to 41-48 on the season and 20-25 on the road, while the Mud Hens move to 40-48 overall and 21-22 at home with the win. The twin bill split keeps the season series at 7-6 in favor of Indianapolis with the two teams set to finish their current four-game series tomorrow.
The Indians scored in each of the first three innings in game one before rallying for four runs in the fifth. After going 3-for-3 in Friday night’s contest, Tribe DH Brian Myrow started game one right where he left off as the left handed slugger blasted a solo home run to right field. Myrow entered the contest hitting .471 (16-for-34) with seven runs, three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and 10 walks in 11 games against the Mud Hens this season.
After Myrow’s blast put the Indians on the scoreboard first C Erik Kratz blasted his own solo longball in the very next inning. The All-Star backstop’s fifth homer of the season would give the Tribe a 2-0 lead, but the Mud Hens would answer in the bottom half with their first score of the contest.
Toledo CF Don Kelly led off the second inning with a single and then put himself into scoring position with his 15th stolen base of the season. Kelly was then moved to third on RF Brent Clevlen’s single and came plateward on a sacrifice fly by 1B Ryan Roberson to pull Toledo to within one.
However, the Tribe struck back with their third straight inning with a score as SS Brian Bixler led off the frame with a double to left. After a sacrifice bunt by CF Lastings Milledge Bixler came plateward on a sacrifice fly by Myrow.
Toledo would go on to add single scores in both the fourth and the fifth, but it would not be enough as the Indians rallied for four runs in the top half off the fifth frame.
After the Mud Hens pulled to within one with another Kelly score the Tribe answered back as Bixler again led off an inning reaching base. The shortstop was hit by a pitch and was followed on base by Milledge who hit a single in the very next at-bat.
Myrow then reached base on a walk to load the bases for the Indians’ cleanup hitter, 1B Steve Pearce. With no outs and the bases juiced Pearce came through with a clutch double that scored all three base runners. Pearce then scored the fourth run of the frame as the next hitter LF Larry Broadway slapped a single to right field.
The four-run inning would be more than enough for Tribe starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen and reliever Denny Bautista to shut the door on Toledo for the game one victory.
McCutchen (6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO), who entered Saturday tied for seventh in the International League with seven wins, picked up his team leading eighth victory in game one. The right hander has now won four straight starts as he allowed three runs and struck out three to move to 8-5 on the year.
Bautista (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 SO) then replaced McCutchen to close the game for the Indians allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out two in a scoreless seventh.
Along with the dominant pitching the Indians received some standout offensive performances as Milledge (2-for-3, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 SAC) and Kratz (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI) both collected multi-hit performances, while Myrow (1-for-1, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SF) and Pearce (1-for-1, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB) were successful in every single plate appearance and both recorded multiple walks and RBI.
Kelly (2-for-3, 2 R) went on to tally multiple hits with a 2-for-3 performance, while Toledo DH Jeff Frazier (3-for-3, 1 RBI) collected a base knock in all three at-bats in the contest.
Mud Hens’ starting pitcher Ruddy Lugo (4.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP, 1 HBP) was handed his eighth loss of the season after he allowed all seven Tribe runs on seven hits in four innings of work. Lugo was then replaced by reliever Matt Rusch (3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 IBB, 1 SO) who gave up two hits and two walks in three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The dominant pitching would then continue as Toledo’s game two starting pitcher Scot Drucker (6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO) allowed just two runs in 6.2 innings for a game two victory. Drucker picked up his seventh win of the season after he gave up only four hits and struck out seven.
The lone run off of the right hander came in the second inning when Indians’ C Hector Gimenez launched a solo homer for his second longball as a member of the Tribe. Indianapolis would go on to record another run in the final inning as 1B Steve Pearce tallied a score on an RBI double by CF Jonel Pacheco.
The two runs would not be enough, however as the Mud Hens did offensive damage early. Gimenez lifted the Tribe to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but the lead didn’t last long as Toledo answered right back with two runs in the bottom half of the frame.
After the lead off hitter was retired on a ground out the next five Toledo batters would all go on to reach base safely in the second. With one out the bases were quickly loaded as 1B Ryan Roberson reached on a walk followed by 3B Mike Hessman who singled and then RF Brent Clevlen who collected a base on balls.
With the bases loaded C Dane Sardinha collected an RBI in an unconventional way as the slugger was pelted by Indians’ starter Ty Taubenheim to allow Roberson to trot home to tie the score. Hessman would then come plateward as well when the very next batter, DH Wilkin Ramirez brought him home on an RBI single to give the Mud Hens the 2-1 lead.
The offensive outburst would continue for Toledo as they recorded a run in the third and fourth and then exploded for three scores in the fifth. Ramirez blasted a solo homer in the fourth for one of the scores, while Clevlen launched a longball of his own with a three-run dinger in fifth to give them seven runs.
Both sluggers went on to record multiple RBI, while Ramirez (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI) along with Hessman (2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B) and Roberson (2-for-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB) tallied multi-hit games in Saturday’s nightcap. Pearce (2-for-3, 1 R, 2 2B) collected the only multi-hit performance for the Tribe in the contest as Drucker held the Indians to only six total baserunners in game two’s victory.
Drucker’s counterpart, Taubenheim (4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB), received the loss to drop to 4-8 on the season. The tall righty allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in the losing effort as the Mud Hens’ were able to split the doubleheader behind 10 total base knocks in the contest.
The Indians will play tomorrow in their last game before a three-day All-Star break begins on Monday. The Tribe will finish their four-game series at Toledo with Sunday’s contest beginning at 6:30 p.m. RHP Eric Hacker is scheduled to start for Indianapolis, while RHP Nate Bump is expected to get the nod for Toledo.
The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and www.IndyIndians.com with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley. The pre-game show begins at 6:10 p.m.
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