TOLEDO, Oh. – Maybe all the Indianapolis Indians needed to do was get out of town.
The Tribe opened their first road series of 2017 with a 5-1 win over the Toledo Mud Hens, ending a five-game losing streak that they took on back at Victory Field. Tribe starting pitcher Tyler Eppler led the way, tossing six shutout innings of one-hit ball.
Eppler was on his game on the mound and so was Indy’s offense, a good sign following a 23-inning scoreless stretch earlier in the week.
The attack against Hens starter Chad Bell began with a two-run third inning. A fielding error and a single got it going, with a Max Moroff RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Gift Ngoepe giving the Indians the lead.
Indianapolis added on against Bell in the fourth, plating one run. With the bases loaded and two outs, it was a wild pitch from Bell that allowed Eric Wood to score and make it 3-0.
Bell took the loss for Toledo, surrendering three runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in five innings pitched.
Eppler, on the other hand, picked up his first Triple-A win. In just his second start at the level, the Tribe’s right-hander blanked the Mud Hens on just one hit and one walk. Eppler has now started the season on an 11-inning scoreless streak.
Toledo’s lone run of the game came with one swing in the seventh. Against new Indians pitcher Dan Runzler, Jim Adduci led off the frame with a solo shot to left.
Indy would answer, however, putting the result of Thursday’s contest to rest. A leadoff walk to start the eighth haunted Hens reliever Angel Nesbitt, as Wood smashed a two-run shot later in the inning to give the Indians a 5-1 advantage.
The Tribe would close it out from there, putting away the home team in order.
Game two of this four-game set is set to get underway from Fifth Third Field at 6:35 p.m. on Friday. Clay Holmes (0-0, 9.00 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the Indians.