Toledo Mud Hens 3, Indianapolis Indians 2
The Mud Hens scored early and the Indians scored late at Toledo’s Fifth-Third Field tonight, but it was the Mud Hens who came out on top. Tribe starter Rick VandenHurk had another tough start, even though he lasted 7 innings. Six of the Indians’ 10 hits were doubles, and the Tribe out-hit the Mud Hens, who posted just 7 hits.
In the Indians’ 100th game of the season, VandenHurk ran into trouble in the bottom of the 1st inning, complicated by two errors. Hens’ 3B Justin Henry began the inning with a single, and VandenHurk walked 2B Matt Young. RF Ben Guez grounded up the middle for a single, but Tribe CF Jose Tabata’s throw back to the infield went wild. Instead of the bases loaded, both Henry and Young scored, and Guez scrambled all the way to third base. VandenHurk hit DH John Lindsey with a pitch, giving Toledo runners on the corners. Guez scored on a sacrifice fly by 1B Danny Dorn. LF Jerad Head singled next, then C Rob Brantly lifted a fly ball to center field for the second out of the inning, but Tabata made a second throwing error in getting the ball back to the infield. That allowed Lindsey to advance to third base, but another fly out ended the inning, leaving Lindsey on base. Mud Hens ahead, 3-0.
VandenHurk settled down after that. He allowed the Mud Hens only one hit over the next three innings — a double by Brantly in the 4th inning. Two Mud Hens singled in the 6th inning, but two strike outs and a grounder force out got VandenHurk out of that jam. VandenHurk finished his evening with a 1-2-3 7th inning. In his 7 innings, he allowed those 3 runs on 6 hits and a run, and struck out 7 batters. He threw 107 pitches (70 strikes). Unfortunately, VandenHurk was the tough-luck loser, when the Indians could not score at all until the 8th inning.
The Tribe batters put runners on base in several of the first 7 innings, but could not bring any of them around to score. They loaded the bases in the top of the 2nd, when 1B Matt Hague singled, DH Jeff Clement doubled, and C Jose Morales was hit by a pitch. All three were left on base. LF Starling Marte was also hit by a pitch in the 3rd. 3B Yamaico Navarro doubled and Morales walked in the 4th, and again they were left stranded.
Two doubles should have given the Indians a run in the 5th. SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with a double into left field, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base. Jose Tabata followed with a double into center field. If d’Arnaud had not been thrown out, he would have been able to score.
The Indians finally got onto the scoreboard in the 8th. Marte doubled into left field to begin the inning. Hague and Clement hit back-to-back singles, driving in Marte to make the score 3-1. The Indians’ rally was cut short when Navarro grounded to third base. 3B Henry only had to step on third to force out Hague, then he fired to second, where 2B Young forced out Clement. Young threw on to first base, where he very nearly completed a triple play. Luckily for the Indians, Navarro was fast enough down the first base line to beat out the relay throw — “only” a double play, but the momentum was halted. A strike out ended the frame.
Reliever Tim Wood came on in relief of VandenHurk to pitch the bottom of the 8th. He gave up a double to Guez, then retired the next three batters.
The Indians had one more chance in the top of the 9th. WIth one out, Anderson Hernandez doubled into center field. A wild pitch moved him to third base. Tabata drove in Hernandez with a single smacked into left field, bringing the Indians within one run of the Mud Hens, 3-2. That was all they would be able to get though, as a fly out ended the game.
Jose Tabata, Matt Hague, and Jeff Clement each had two hits in the game.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Despite the 6 doubles, it was two singles that provided the Indians with their two RBI. Jeff Clement singled in the first Tribe run in the 8th, and Starling Marte drove in the second run with an RBI single in the 9th.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: No big huge plays, but there were a few tough plays that the Indians made look easy. 2B Anderson Hernandez did just that at least twice in the game (2nd inning, 6th inning). 1B Matt Hague and P Tim Wood combined to make the play on a grounder to first in the 8th inning.
The Indians dropped in the standings to 10 games ahead of the Columbus Clippers with this loss.
Tomorrow the two teams will play a double header, beginning at 5:30 pm.