TOLEDO, Ohio (IndyIndians.com) - Four Toledo hurlers scattered 10 hits and held off a late Indianapolis rally, while a three-run first-inning outburst provided all the offense the Mud Hens would need as they took down the Indians 3-2 on Friday night at Fifth Third Field.
Toledo would get all the offense they needed in the top of the first off Tribe starter Rick VandenHurk (7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO), who struck out seven over a resilient seven innings of work, but suffered the loss to fall to 9-2 on the season.
3B Justin Henry began the first-frame rally with a lead-off single, before moving to second when 2B Matt Young drew a base-on-balls. RF Ben Guez then stepped to the plate and came through with a base hit to center to plate both Henry and Young, while moving all the way to third on an Indians' throwing error.
That Tribe miscue would prove to be key as 1B Danny Dorn lifted a sacrifice fly to score Guez later in the frame for what proved to be the game-winning run. Following their opening inning outburst VandenHurk and reliever Tim Wood (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) held the Mud Hens scoreless on just four hits and no walks the rest of the way.
However, though the Indians put together several offensive rallies throughout the evening, Toledo starter Brooks Brown and relievers Zach Miner, Collin Balester and Luis Marte worked out of several jams to make the three-run lead hold up.
Brown (5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO) worked around five base knocks by matching a season-high with six strikeouts over five innings to earn the victory and improve to 2-3 on the season. Brown was able to work out of two key scoring chances to hold the Tribe scoreless over his five innings of work,
1B Matt Hague led of the second with a single against Brown and quickly moved to third when DH Jeff Clement followed with his team-leading 27th double of the season. However, Brown would induce an infield pop out and come through with a key strikeout before finishing off the threat with a groundout.
Then in the fifth, the red-hot Tribe SS Chase d'Arnaud would lead off the frame with a double to left, but would be picked off second immediacy before CF Jose Tabata followed with a two-bagger of his own. Following a frustrating fifth for the Tribe, Miner (2.0 IP, 1 BB) would toss two scoreless innings of relief to earn his fourth hold of the season.
Indianapolis would finally get on the board in the eighth inning as LF Starling Marte led off the frame with a double to left, moved to third on a single by Hague and came plateward on a base knock by Clement. Toledo would escape the eighth with a near 5-4-3 triple-play off the bat of 3B Yamaico Navarro, who just beat the throw to first after Hague and Clement were forced out at third and second respectively.
Finally, the Indians put together one final push in the final frame as 2B Anderson Hernandez ripped a one-out double, moved to second on a wild pitch and came plateward on a base hit by Tabata. However, Mud Hens reliever Luis Marte (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 SO) would finish off the win to earn his second save.
With the series-opening loss the Indians (61-39) lead over second-place Columbus drops to 10 games after the Clippers defeated Lehigh Valley 6-2. The Indians will look to bounce back in a scheduled doubleheader against the Mud Hens on Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. LHP Rudy Owens is expected toe get the start in game one for the Tribe, while the Mud Hens are scheduled to counter with RHP Thad Weber.
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 5:10 p.m.