INDIANAPOLIS – Sitting with a 3-3 record entering the final game of a seven-game homestand on Wednesday, the Indianapolis Indians took the rubber game from the Toledo Mud Hens to get over the .500 mark so far at home this season.
The Tribe used five strong innings of work from starting pitcher Chad Kuhl and a five-run second inning at the plate to claim a 7-2 win over Toledo at Victory Field.
After a scoreless opening inning, the Indians went to work at the plate in the second against Toledo starter Daniel Norris.
The entire Indianapolis lineup had an at-bat in the frame, with five men coming up with hits against Norris. Jacob Stallings drove in the game’s first pair of runs, as his single up the middle scored runners from second and third to make it 2-0. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, Max Moroff pushed the Tribe ahead 5-0 by clearing the bases with a three-run double down the left field line.
Norris, who made his third start (first with Toledo) on Wednesday in his rehab assignment with the Detroit Tigers, finished with a line of five runs allowed on six hits and three walks.
Indians pitching, starting with Kuhl, made sure that the team’s five-run second stood up.
In his second start of the young season, Kuhl tossed five scoreless innings. The right-hander held the Hens to two hits and a walk in his time on the mound, in addition to striking out five batters.
Out of the bullpen, Jared Hughes made his first appearance during his rehab assignment with a scoreless sixth. The Pittsburgh Pirates reliever started the inning by walking Wynton Bernard and hitting Dixon Machado with a pitch, but was able to get out of trouble with a double play and an inning-ending groundout.
Kelvin Marte was next out of the Indians pen, shutting out the Mud Hens in the seventh. Casey McGehee started the inning with a ground rule double off of the top of the left field wall, but Marte retired the next three Toledo hitters to keep it a 5-0 game.
Toledo made their run at the Tribe in the eighth, as they cut Indianapolis’ lead down to three runs. Curtis Partch started the eighth for the Indians, but only recorded two outs as he surrendered two runs on five hits. Trey Haley took over for Partch with the tying run at the plate and was able to limit the damage, getting Steven Moya to fly out on one pitch to end the frame.
The Indians got the runs back in no time, however, as they went up 7-2 in their half of the eighth. Jason Rogers and Josh Bell hit back-to-back home runs off of Toledo reliever Jose Valdez to start the inning, allowing the Tribe to reclaim their five-run advantage.
Haley returned to the mound for the ninth and despite the Hens loading the bases, he was able to pick up a four-out save and secure the 7-2 win for Indianapolis.
After splitting a four-game series with the Columbus Clippers and taking two of three from Toledo at Victory Field, the Indians will embark on an eight-game road trip beginning in Louisville on Thursday. First pitch from Louisville Slugger Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 1.80 ERA) set to pitch for the Tribe.