Indianapolis Indians 9, Toledo Mud Hens 8 [ box ] 1B Matt Hague’s grand slam capped a 7-run 2nd inning for the Indians, but the Mud Hens had a big inning in the 4th, and the Indians had to regain and then hold the lead to get the win tonight at Victory Field. Both teams had one big inning (the 2nd for the Indians, the 4th for the Hens) in which they batted around. The Indians scored those 7 runs in their big inning, but two...
Toledo Mud Hens �3, �Indianapolis Indians �0 (box)
On any other day, six perfect innings and 10 strikeouts would have been more than enough for Brad Lincoln. On any other day, that one tough inning and a 3-run homer would have been shrugged off. �Not today, though. �Not when Toledo pitcher Enrique Gonzalez pitched a 2-hit complete game shutout, to win only his second game of the season, and send the Indians home from Toledo having lost the 4-game series 1 to 3.
Five days ago, Lincoln began his start against the Rochester Red Wings by retiring the first 13 batters he faced. �This morning, he retired the first 16 batters he faced, taking a perfect game into the 6th inning. �He had struck out 7 batters up to that point, including striking out the side in the 5th.
Then in the 6th, it fell apart. � Lincoln got a bit of a gift for the first out of the inning, when the wind held up RF Ben Guez’s huge fly ball long enough for LF Kevin Melillo to make the catch on the warning track. �LF Deik Scram broke up the perfect bid with a single just past 2B Neil Walker’s desperate dive and into right field. �C Max St. Pierre popped out, and for a moment, it looked like Lincoln would not be in too much trouble.
Back to the top of the Mud Hen’s batting order, 3B Will Rhymes dropped down a perfect bunt to the left of the mound. �Lincoln scrambled over and picked up the ball with his bare hand, but he was rushing and his back foot slid as he made the throw to first base. �The throw went wide to the outfield side and up the foul line. �Rhymes was credited with a hit, and Lincoln charged with a throwing error. �With runners on second and third bases and two outs, Lincoln delivered up a 2-1 pitch that SS Brent Dlugach blasted into the wind and over the left field wall for a 3-run homer. �CF Ryan Raburn followed the homer with his fifth double of the series, bounding down the right field line. �Lincoln then walked 1B Jeff Larish, but left both Raburn and Larish on base when he ended the inning with a fly out.
Those four hits and three runs were all the Mud Hens would need. �Lincoln struck out the side again in the 7th, bringing his strikeout total to 10. �Lincoln had made 89 pitches (57 strikes). �Reliever Vinnie Chulk took the mound for the 8th inning. �He gave up an infield hit to St. Pierre, when Neil Walker made another dive for a grounder. �This time Walker was able to stop the ball from going into the outfield, but he did not have time to make a throw, and St. Pierre was on first. �Raburn singled with two outs, but Chulk ended the inning without allowing a run to score.
Enrique Gonzalez let four Indians batters reach base as he pitched 9 innings and threw 119 pitches (79 strikes). �1B Brian Myrow was hit on the jersey by a pitch in the top of the 1st inning. �Kevin Melillo drilled a double down the right field line in the 2nd inning. �CF Jose Tabata lined a single into right field in the 3rd, and he moved to second base on a wild pitch by Gonzalez. �The next 14 Indians’ batters went down in order, until Melillo walked to lead off the 8th inning. �But Melillo was caught stealing in a strike-out-throw-out double play (RF Brandon Moss struck out). �The Tribe went down quietly in the 9th, as Gonzalez struck out Neil Walker and Brian Myrow to end the game.
The loss drops the Indians down to third place in the International League Western Division standings and moves the Mud Hens up to second place. �Toledo is now 2.5 games behind the first-place Columbus Clippers, and the Indians are 3 games behind. �The Louisville Bats are in fourth place, 8.5 games behind Columbus.
The Indians return to Victory Field on Tuesday, to begin an 8-game home stand: �4 games against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and 4 against the Gwinnett Braves.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �There were only two hits to choose from, and Kevin Melillo’s was a double.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �A career-high 10 strikeouts for Brad Lincoln, and 6 + 1 perfect innings of work.
Enrique Gonzalez struck out 9 Tribe batters, including striking out Brandon Moss 3 times.
3B Pedro Alvarez went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. �Neil Walker was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
UPDATE: �The Indians have placed starter Daniel McCutchen on the Disabled List due to arm fatigue. �He might miss one or two starts. �Sounds like Jeremy Powell is back into the starting rotation.
(photo by Nancy)