INDIANAPOLIS – After a slow beginning to the season, the Indianapolis Indians (8-15) have started to figure things out at the plate. That continued in a big way on Tuesday.
The Tribe set season bests in runs (nine) and hits (17), as they took it to the first-place Toledo Mud Hens (12-11) to the tune of a 9-2 win.
Indianapolis bucked a couple of key offensive trends to pick up the win at Victory Field in this contest. Entering Tuesday night, the Indians were 0-10 when scoring three or less runs and only 2-14 when tying or getting outhit by their opposition. They took care of that with a very productive game at the dish.
Indy scored in bunches, with their nine runs plated scattered over three innings. They plated two each in the second and third and then broke out for five runs in the sixth.
The Indians got their early scoring in on Toledo starting pitcher A.J. Ladwig, who was making his Triple-A debut.
Indianapolis picked up three hits in the second, with Jacob Stallings‘ two-run single up the middle giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Indy then recorded four hits against Ladwig in the third, with an Austin Meadows RBI groundout and an Erich Weiss RBI single pushing their advantage to 4-0.
Ladwig would get the hook in the sixth after giving up consecutive hits to open the frame. The Tribe then took advantage versus the Hens bullpen, tying another season-high with a five-run inning.
A total of six Indians reached in the frame, with three hitters securing RBIs. Meadows came up with the big hit in the frame, a bases clearing three-run double.
One of the important pieces to Indy’s resurgence offensively is Chris Bostick, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 2-for-5 night. 14 games in a row with a knock matches the longest stretch the Indians have seen over the course of the past two seasons (Alen Hanson/Josh Bell, 2016).
While most of the focus was at the plate on Tuesday, Indians starting pitcher Clay Holmes was solid on the mound.
The right-hander surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings pitched in his previous two starts against the Mud Hens in 2017, but limited Toledo to just two runs in 4 2/3 frames on Tuesday. Holmes held the Hens to just one hit through his first four innings of work, but three hits and a pair of runs scored in the fifth cut his night short.
Indianapolis will go for their first series win of the season on Wednesday, as this series rolls on. Game time from the Vic is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. with Tyler Eppler (2-1, 2.45 ERA) slated to start on the hill for the Tribe.
A flurry of moves have been announced since the Indians last played on Sunday.
For the third straight year, catcher Elias Diaz has been promoted to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jackson Williams has been brought up to Indy from Double-A Altoona to help with the Tribe’s depth at catcher. Also, outfielder Danny Ortiz has returned to Indianapolis and Justin Maffei is back with Short-Season A West Virginia.