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Indians Fall Short to Mud Hens 7-6

Photo: Megan Filipowski/indysportsreport.com
Photo: Megan Filipowski/indysportsreport.com

INDIANAPOLIS – In a wild game at Victory Field Tuesday afternoon, the Indianapolis Indians came from four runs down to tie the game, but ultimately lost to the Toledo Mud Hens by a score of 7-6.

The teams combined for 22 hits and 12 walks in a game which saw a total of nine different pitchers take the mound.

Mel Rojas Jr. got the offense for the day started in the second inning when he singled off of Hens starter Buck Farmer and scored Deibinson Romero to put the Tribe ahead 1-0.

The Indians would see their slim lead disappear in the fifth inning when the Hens scored five runs and knocked Tribe starter Nick Kingham out of the game.

The inning began with Kingham giving up a single to Xavier Avery, followed by walks to Dixon Machado and Tyler Collins. With the bases loaded and no one out, Kingham was replaced by Indians relief pitcher Adam Morris. Morris faced Jefry Marte, who immediately put Toledo in front with a 2-run double to left field.

Jordan Lennerton then hit a 2-run single off of Morris to make it 4-1 in favor of the Mud Hens. Daniel Fields followed by hitting a double to put runners on second and third, with Jason Krizan scoring Lennerton on a soft groundout to conclude the Hens’ big inning and put the Tribe in a 5-1 hole.

Indianapolis responded in their half of the fifth when a Chris Stewart RBI single cut the Toledo lead to three runs.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Tribe successfully played small ball and trimmed their deficit to just one run. Romero scored on a Rojas Jr. ground ball to Hens reliever Kenny Faulk and Jaff Decker made it 5-4 when he was able to come home on a wild pitch with Gustavo Nunez batting.

In the seventh, a wild pitch from Rafael Dolis allowed Decker to race home again, completing the comeback for Indianapolis and tying the game at five runs apiece.

The game did not remain tied for long though, as Toledo took the lead back in the top of the eighth on an Avery RBI single and Machado sacrifice fly to right field.

Now trailing 7-5, the Indians were able to get one run back in the bottom of the eighth on yet another wild pitch, this time from Jose Valdez. The Tribe could not overcome a second deficit and went down in order in the ninth, losing the back end of the short two-game series.

Kingham lasted just 4+ innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and two walks after losing his season debut on Thursday despite throwing six strong innings and surrendering just one run on four hits.

Miller, Blake Wood and John Holdzkom came out of the Indians bullpen to pitch the final five innings, combining to allow three earned runs on five hits and four walks. Wood was charged with the loss as he was responsible for the Mud Hens game deciding two-run eighth inning.

Steve Lombardozzi led the Indians on offense, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles. Stewart, with one RBI, and Rojas Jr., with two RBIs, drove in three of the Indians six runs. The other half of the Tribe’s run production came from unearned runs on Toledo’s three wild pitches.

The Indians will begin the final series of their nine-game home stand when they welcome the Louisville Bats to Victory Field on Wednesday. Adrian Sampson (0-1, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Tribe when first pitch comes around at 1:35 p.m.

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