INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - The Indians took advantage of a pair of Toledo errors to plate three runs in a wild first inning en route to a 4-2 win in Friday night's series finale against the Mud Hens in front of 11,704 fans at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis.
SS Chase d'Arnaud led off the bottom of the first with a line drive single to center, advancing to second on a walk by LF Gorkys Hernandez. CF Starling Marte then laid down a bunt single and advanced all the way to third when the throw to first got away and rolled down the right-field line. Both d'Arnaud and Hernandez scored on the play to give Indianapolis a 2-0 lead, but Marte was not credited with an RBI due to the error.
Batting next, 1B Matt Hague grounded a ball to third that was misplayed, allowing Hague to reach base and Marte to cross the plate to make it 3-0 Indians. Again, no RBI was awarded Hague because of the error.
Three and a half scoreless innings later, Indianapolis scored an important insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. RF Brandon Boggs led off the frame with a single to center field and advanced to second on a groundout by C Tony Sanchez. After a flyout, Hernandez smacked a two-out single to left field to drive in Boggs -- the Tribe's only RBI of the game -- to make it 4-0.
Indians starter Jeff Locke (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) was quietly effective, scattering four hits and recording six strikeouts en route to his sixth win of the season. After Locke had stymied the Mud Hens for six scoreless innings, Toledo finally broke through for a pair of runs in the top of the eighth against righty reliever Daniel McCutchen, who had thrown a scoreless seventh.
In the eighth, Toledo CF Justin Henry tripled to the right-center-field gap, promptly scoring on a wild pitch. RF Ben Guez then hit a triple of his own to straightaway center, eventually scoring on a groundout. After a two-out single by 1B Ryan Strieby, McCutchen (1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) exited the game in favor of closer Tim Wood, who induced a flyout to stop the bleeding and preserve a 4-2 Indianapolis lead.
Wood (1.1 IP, 1 H) returned for the ninth to earn his 11th save and close out the Tribe's 50th win of the year. At 50-31, Indianapolis has recorded its best start to a season through 81 games in the Victory Field era, dating back to 1996.
The Indians (50-31) hit the road for the first three games of a five-game home-and-home with Louisville, with the first pitch of the series scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Saturday at Louisville Slugger Field. RHP Daniel Cabrera (3-3, 4.78) will likely start for Indianapolis, while the Bats are expected to counter with RHP Chad Reineke (3-5, 4.19).
The game will be carried on WNDE 1260 AM-WFBQ-HD2, WNDE.com and via iheartradio, a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones with Howard Kellman and Will Flemming on the call. The pre-game show begins at 5:45 p.m.
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