INDIANAPOLIS – It took just one inning for the Indianapolis Indians (33-29) to get their cuts in on Tuesday night.
The Tribe scored all five of their runs in the third, four of which came with two outs, as they defeated the Toledo Mud Hens (39-24) by a final score of 5-2. The victory brings the Indians within 5.5 games of the Hens in the IL West standings with two more games to play in the Circle City.
After 2.5 innings of scoreless baseball, Indy erupted for those five runs in the bottom of the third. Hens starter Kyle Dowdy saw six Indians collect hits and one more get on base via a walk in the frame.
Kevin Newman got the ball rolling with a one-out walk, followed by an Adam Frazier double down the right field line. That gave the Tribe a one-run lead, with the rest of the action coming with two outs.
While Frazier snuck a double fair to right field, Jose Osuna ropped a two-bagger to left to push Indianapolis ahead 2-0. Jordan Luplow single, 3-0. Kevin Kramer double, 4-0. Chris Bostick single, 5-0. Ryan Lavarnway then added one last single to the hit parade, but Erich Weiss struck out to end the inning.
Dowdy was pulled following Lavarnway’s knock, ending his evening after 2.2 innings of work. In all, Indy knocked him around for five runs on seven hits and a walk.
J.T. Brubaker, the Tribe’s right-handed starter, was the beneficiary of the home team’s outburst at the plate.
Brubaker gave up two runs in 5.1 innings, with both Mud Hen runs scored coming in the sixth. Two singles and a two-run double got Toledo on the scoreboard and left the Indians going to their bullpen.
Despite the Hens spoiling Brubaker’s shutout bid, the righty turned in yet another solid start. Six hits, two walks, five strikeouts. Seven starts into Brubaker’s Triple-A career, his ERA sits at a respectable 3.13 mark.
Three Indianapolis relievers carried the Indians to a win following Brubaker’s departure.
Jesus Liranzo got the last two outs of the sixth after taking over for Brubaker and then returned for the seventh and retired the Mud Hens in order. Josh Smoker climbed the mound in the eighth, sitting Toledo down 1-2-3. And in the ninth, a double play helped Bo Schultz face the minimum and wrap up the victory for the home team.
Wednesday’s Tribe/Hens matchup will begin at 1:35 p.m. at Victory Field. Clay Holmes (4-3, 4.00 ERA) serves as Indy’s probable starting pitcher.