TOLEDO, Oh. – After losing seven of their last ten games before the All-Star break, the Indianapolis Indians took advantage of some rest and started the second half of the 2015 season with a victory on Thursday.
Indians starting pitcher Chris Volstad was solid in 5 2/3 innings of work and Jaff Decker recorded two RBI singles as the Tribe defeated the Toledo Mud Hens by a score of 7-2 at Fifth Third Field.
The game remained scoreless until the third, when the Tribe got on the scoreboard by putting up a pair of runs against Mud Hens starter Thad Weber.
Tony Sanchez and Gift Ngoepe hit back-to-back singles to start the inning before Alen Hanson moved them up a base by dropping down a sacrifice bunt. Steve Lombardozzi followed by making a productive out, as Sanchez scored on his groundout to first to make it 1-0. Decker came to the plate next and capped the offense in the frame, sending a RBI single to right to push Indianapolis’ lead to two runs.
The Tribe added on to their lead in the fifth, when they took a simple approach to scoring their third run of the night. Hanson led off the inning by getting on base thanks to a walk, then moved up to second on a groundout and scored to make it 3-0 when Decker came up with a second RBI single to center.
Volstad started the game with five scoreless innings and seemed to be in control, but Toledo’s bats came to life in the sixth to knock Indianapolis’ starter out of the game.
Josh Wilson led off the frame with a double and Daniel Fields followed by drawing a walk from Volstad. Alexi Castillo then grounded out to second for the inning’s first out, but Steven Moya batted next and hit a RBI double to left to make it 3-1. Mike Hessman followed by driving in Fields from third on a sacrifice fly, cutting the Tribe’s lead to one run and forcing Indianapolis to call on their bullpen.
Bobby LaFromboise replaced Volstad and struck out Dean Green, ending the inning to keep the Indians ahead. Volstad would finish with a line of two runs allowed on four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings pitched.
Weber settled down nicely for the Mud Hens, surrendering three runs on eight hits and five strikeouts in seven innings, but the Indians struck in a hurry when reliever Alberto Cabrera came on in the eighth.
Decker began the inning with a double and scored when Brent Morel followed with a run-scoring single to center. Indianapolis’ third baseman then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error before scoring when Willy Garcia made it 5-2 by recording a RBI single. After Cabrera walked Keon Broxton, Toledo went back to their bullpen.
Cabrera’s rough night would get even worse when Josh Zeid entered the game, as both runs that scored were against Zeid were charged to Cabrera. Sanchez hit a two-out, two-run double to left to lift the Indians to a 7-2 lead and give Cabrera a final line of four runs allowed on three hits and a walk without recording an out.
Wilfredo Boscan and Yhonathan Barrios combined to shut out the Hens the rest of the way and secure the win for the Indians. The duo allowed only one hit and one walk in the game’s final three innings.
The Mud Hens and Indians will meet again on Friday night in Toledo. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. with Adrian Sampson (7-7, 3.88 ERA) ready to take the mound for the Tribe.
Before Thursday’s game, a flurry of moves were announced to start the second half of the season.
Boscan and Lombardozzi (who both played on Thursday for Indianapolis) were optioned from the majors down to the Tribe and catcher Elias Diaz was activated from the temporary inactive list and placed on the Indians’ roster.
Outfielder Jose Tabata was placed on the temporary inactive list, major league rehabber Corey Hart completed his assignment with the Indians and infielder Hunter Morris was placed on the disabled list to make up for the additions to the Tribe’s roster.