Indianapolis Indians 5, Toledo Mud Hens 1
The new Max Schumacher Victory Bell finally rang out a win for the Indianapolis Indians tonight, as they beat the Toledo Mud Hens at Victory Field. The Bell (and Mr. Schumacher, who had the honor of ringing it for the first time) had to wait through the Indians' 4-game series against the Columbus Clippers for the chance to ring, but the losing streak ended tonight, behind the stellar pitching by starter Rudy Owens and an exciting 6th inning.
Owens (photo) made his AAA debut tonight and earned the win with 7 innings of work, allowing one run on 7 hits, no walks, and with 5 strikeouts. He gave up one hit in 5 of his innings, two hits in the 7th, and no hits in the 4th. Unfortunately, one of the hits he gave up was a solo home run, to Toledo CF Clete Thomas in the 2nd. It was a no-doubter, which sailed over the iron fence beyond the berm behind right field, and bounced down onto West Street (though at least not while the fire trucks were racing past).
Owens looked completely in control all night. He needed only 83 pitches (58 strikes) to get through 7 innings. He did not go deep into any counts until the 6th inning, and even then threw only 14 pitches in each of the 6th and 7th innings. He got some help from his friends behind him, including a nice running catch by LF Alex Presley in the 6th, and a backhanded stop deep in the hole by SS Chase d'Arnaud with a catch in the dirt by 1B Matt Hague. In the post-game interview, Owens said that he was pleased to get that first AAA start out of the way. "The first AAA start is always one of those big deals -- same with last year in AA with the first start. I got out there and had to face (Stephen) Strasburg, and it couldn't be more nerve-wracking. By just getting that first win out of the way and doing well, I showed myself that I can compete here..... Throwing strikes is the key for me because this team (Toledo) likes to swing and just got to let them get themselves out."
The Indians' batters also posted one hit per inning for the first four innings of the game. Alex Presley continued his torrid hitting with two singles -- a line drive into center field in the 1st and a grounder through the hole into left field in the 4th. He also stole second base in the 4th. RF Andrew Lambo picked up his first hit of the season in the 2nd inning, when he grounded to short, but Toledo SS Cale Iorg bobbled the ball as his foot slipped, then threw wide to first base, giving Lambo the extra split second he needed to reach first safely. Presley and Lambo were left stranded on base, but when CF Gorkys Hernandez singled in the 3rd, he was thrown out trying to steal second base.