INDIANAPOLIS – Just when it looked like the Toledo Mud Hens were going to put a stop to the Indianapolis Indians‘ winning streak on Friday night, the Tribe fought back.
Toledo held a two-run lead in the eighth, but a three-run rally lifted Indianapolis to a 5-4 win over the Mud Hens, the Indians’ fifth straight win and eighth victory in nine games.
The Tribe would get the game going by grabbing an one-run advantage in the first inning when their newest player went deep in his first Triple-A at-bat.
Keon Broxton, who was called up from the Double-A Altoona Curve earlier on Friday, hit a solo home run to straightaway center field off of Toledo starting pitcher Tim Melville to give Indianapolis a 1-0 lead after one inning.
The game would stayed locked up at 1-0 until the fourth, when the Tribe utilized the successful strategy that earned them a win on Thursday.
Brent Morel tripled to right with one out in the frame and Tony Sanchez brought him home on a sacrifice fly that made it 2-0 in favor of the Tribe. Indianapolis scored three runs against Toledo on Thursday by driving in a runner from third on a sacrifice fly that followed a triple.
Melville would turn in a good performance for the Hens, limiting the Indians to just those two runs on three hits in six innings pitched.
Indians starter Clayton Richard was dominant in his first five innings of work, but one swing of the bat cost him in a big way.
The first three batters of the sixth reached for Toledo and after Richard struck out two consecutive Hens to get within one out of escaping the jam, Mike Hessman made his mark. The Mud Hens’ first baseman crushed a 1-0 pitch from Richard to left center, giving Toledo a 4-2 lead with a grand slam.
Richard would make it through the seventh, allowing four runs (none earned) on just three hits in his seven solid innings on the mound.
Indianapolis’ starter would not be able to get the win, but the Indians’ bats awoke in the eighth to make sure the team walked away victorious. Bruce Rondon, who is in the midst of a major league rehab assignment, came on in the inning and could not take care of business for the Hens.
Alen Hanson led off with a double and Broxton followed by immediately cutting Toledo’s lead in half, drilling a RBI single to center to make it a 4-3 game. Steve Lombardozzi then hit a single of his own and advanced to second when the throw from left failed to beat out Broxton at third. The Indians would cash in, with a RBI groundout from Morel tying the game and a sacrifice fly from Sanchez putting Indianapolis ahead 5-4.
Indians closer Blake Wood then came on in the ninth, earning his 13th save of the season by retiring the Mud Hens in order.
The Tribe will look to improve on their International League-leading 30-19 record when they take on the Mud Hens again on Saturday night. First pitch from Victory Field is set for 7:05 p.m. with Wilfredo Boscan (2-1, 3.22 ERA) serving as the probable pitcher for Indianapolis.