INDIANAPOLIS – After a crushing defeat on Thursday, the Indianapolis Indians (49-40) needed a bounce-back performance on Friday. They delivered in resounding fashion.
The Tribe cranked out eight runs on nine hits and got seven innings of two-hit baseball from starter Brandon Waddell, as they cruised to a much-needed 8-0 rout of the Toledo Mud Hens (50-40). The win draws Indy back to within a half game of the first-place Hens in the division standings, with two more matchups with Toledo due for this weekend.
The night didn’t get off to a good start for the Indians, as Hens starter Artie Lewicki tossed an immaculate first inning. Lewicki struck out side on nine pitches, but Indianapolis’ luck changed after that.
Consecutive one-out singles in the second got the Tribe’s offense stirring and Jason Martin kept the line moving, doubling home Indy’s first run on a ground rule double that bounced and rested atop the left field wall’s videoboard. Eric Wood followed with a run-scoring groundout, giving the home team a 2-0 edge after two frames.
Indy was silenced in the third inning, but got back on the scoreboard in a big way in the fourth.
New Mud Hens pitcher Warwick Saupold was knocked around hard, as the Tribe’s first four batters in the inning each got hits to extend their lead to 4-0. Jacob Stallings and Martin got the RBIs before Pablo Reyes went yard again. Reyes connected on a three-run shot, homering for the second straight night, to push Indianapolis’ advantage to 7-0.
Sean Rodriguez added Indy’s last bit of offense in the seventh, homering to dead center field to hand the Indians an eight-run advantage.
While the Tribe had it going at this dish on this night, Waddell was equally as good on the mound.
Waddell efficiently tore through Toledo’s lineup, needing only 91 pitches to complete seven innings of work. The southpaw limited the Mud Hens to just two hits and a walk, while striking out a new career high of nine batters.
Friday’s outing was undoubtedly Waddell’s best at the Triple-A level. He also went seven innings in his previous start, but gave up two runs on nine hits and two walks.
Behind Waddell, Jesus Liranzo and Dovydas Neverauskas preserved the shutout. The duo each worked scoreless, no-hit innings to wrap up the 8-0 triumph for Indianapolis.
The Indians will aim to leapfrog Toledo in the standings with a win on Saturday evening. Game time from Victory Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.