INDIANAPOLIS – MLB rehabber Joe Musgrove was on the mound for the Indianapolis Indians (17-16) on Saturday, working on a predetermined pitch count of 80. He probably could have lasted longer if not for that restriction.
Outside of an error in the game’s opening inning, not a single Columbus Clippers (16-18) batter reached base against the right-hander. No hits. No walks.
Musgrove turned in 5.2 shutout innings, helping the Tribe notch a 2-1 win at Victory Field.
Musgrove, a member of the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros, tore through Columbus’ lineup. The Clippers’ lose baserunner came on an error by Indians first baseman Jerrick Suiter, who booted a sharp grounder.
Musgrove retired all 16 batters after the error, completing quite the successful rehab outing. The righty struck out six batters and impressively threw 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes.
The current plan is for Musgrove to make one more rehab start with the Indians before returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ starting rotation.
Tanner Anderson finished off the sixth for Musgrove as he approached his pitch limit, but was unable to keep the no-hitter intact beyond the seventh inning.
Anderson returned to the bump for that seventh frame, but gave up a single to Melky Cabrera for Columbus’ first knock. Eric Haase later ripped a two-out single to give the Clips’ their first run, but Indianapolis has just enough support to make sure that run didn’t mean much.
Kevin Newman immediately helped Musgrove and company offensively. Indy’s shortstop crushed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first, clearing the left field lawn for a 387-foot blast.
It wouldn’t be until the sixth inning when the Indians scored again.
Clippers starter Adam Wilk bounced back from the Newman homer well, blanking the home team until a two-out double gave the Tribe a two-run lead. Kevin Kramer kept the bottom of the sixth alive with a two-out single and scored a batter later, with Jacob Stallings doubling him home.
Indy wrapped up the win behind Musgrove and Anderson with two more relief pitchers. Tyler Jones fired a perfect eighth, leading the way for Johnny Hellweg to handle the ninth. Hellweg earned his sixth save, working around a one-out hit.
The rubber game of this three-game series is slated for a Mother’s Day matinee on Sunday. Austin Coley (1-2, 7.91 ERA) will pitch for the Indians in the 1:35 p.m. clash.