INDIANAPOLIS – After being designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates and accepting his outright assignment back to the Indianapolis Indians, starting pitcher Wilfredo Boscan shined in his first in-game action in nine days.
Boscan threw seven shutout innings in his first start since Aug. 4, leading the Tribe to a 3-0 win that allowed Indianapolis to take two out of three games from the Toledo Mud Hens at Victory Field.
Toledo starter Thad Weber matched Boscan with seven solid innings of his own, but the Tribe were able to score some runs off of Weber to back up their pitcher.
After threatening early, the Indians broke through in the fourth to take an 1-0 lead. Back-to-back one-out singles from Josh Bell and John Bowker put runners on the corners for Tony Sanchez, who brought home the game’s first run on a RBI groundout that nearly went for an inning-ending double play.
While Boscan continued to cruise on the mound, the Tribe struck again in the sixth to add to their lead against Weber and the Mud Hens.
Keon Broxton was picked off following a single to start the inning, but Indianapolis added to their advantage in a hurry after that. Bell doubled and Bowker followed with a RBI two-bagger, his third hit of the night, to make it 2-0.
Weber worked through the seventh for the Hens, allowing two runs on 11 hits and four strikeouts. The 11 hits given up to the Indians on Thursday go down as the most Weber has allowed in a start this season, narrowly beating out the ten hits he surrendered to the Louisville Bats on Aug. 2.
Major league rehabbers Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer made their second appearance with the Tribe on Thursday, combining to go 2-for-8 at the plate. Harrison recorded a single on Tuesday, but was 0-for-4 this time around and Mercer recorded a pair of base knocks after going hitless in his first start.
Boscan dealt with little trouble in his first six innings of work, but had to face the go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh. Consecutive two-out walks, his first free passes of the night, put the Tribe’s starter in a tough spot in his final frame on the mound. Boscan would escape the jam, however, by striking out Jeff McVaney and getting Josh Wilson to fly out to right for the final out of the inning.
Indianapolis’ starter surrendered five hits and two walks in seven innings pitched, holding Toledo scoreless to earn his ninth win of the year. Thursday also serves as Boscan’s ninth straight start of keeping his opposition to two earned runs or less.
The Tribe tacked on another insurance run in the eighth, when Willy Garcia took new Toledo pitcher Alberto Cabrera deep. Garcia led off the inning with a solo shot deep to center, his fifth home run in the month of August.
Bobby LaFromboise replaced Boscan in the eighth and preserved the shutout before giving way to closer Blake Wood, who locked up his league-leading 25th save of 2015 by tossing a scoreless ninth.
The Indians will continue their home stand with a weekend series against the Durham Bulls. The set will begin with a doubleheader on Friday, with Indianapolis’ Radhames Liz (4-4, 1.12 ERA) scheduled to start game one at 6:05 p.m.