TOLEDO, OH – In the first of two games versus the Toledo Mud Hens, the Indianapolis Indians ran into some solid pitching on the way to taking their second loss of the year.
Five Toledo pitchers combined to blank the Indians on six hits, as the Hens claimed a 3-0 victory on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field.
Mud Hens starting pitcher Michael Fulmer led the charge against Indianapolis, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings in front of four relievers. The right-hander struck out seven batters in the game, while only surrendering four hits.
Indians starter Steven Brault gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in his four innings pitched, resulting in a loss.
The Mud Hens got the scoring started in a busy bottom of the first inning that featured an error, a walk and a base hit. Just when it looked like the Tribe would avoid trouble after Willy Garcia threw Cameron Maybin out at the plate, Dixon Machado stole home a batter later to give Toledo an early 1-0 advantage.
Then in the third, it was Machado causing more problems for Indy with a leadoff double. Brault was able to retire the next two batters in the inning, but a two-out RBI single from Steven Moya pushed the Mud Hens ahead 2-0.
Brault tossed a perfect fourth inning before being replaced by Curtis Partch in the fifth, when Toledo added one last run onto their lead. Machado would once again be in the middle of the action as he scored on a two-out RBI single from Casey McGehee after drawing an one-out walk earlier in the frame.
The Tribe struggled to come up with good scoring opportunities throughout the night, but their biggest threat may have come when they knocked Fulmer out of the game. With two outs in the sixth, Josh Bell reached on an error and Jason Rogers doubled to force Toledo to call on their bullpen. Drake Britton replaced Fulmer and was able to keep Indianapolis off of the scoreboard, getting Danny Ortiz to ground out to end the inning.
Michael Crotta, Bobby Parnell and Bruce Rondon each chipped in a scoreless inning out of the Mud Hen bullpen to wrap up the win for Toledo. Of the six hits on the night for the Indians, Rogers and Alen Hanson each picked up two.
Indianapolis and Toledo will conclude their two-game set at Fifth Third Field on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. Jameson Taillon, who has not pitched in a game since 2013 due to injury, will make his season debut on the mound for the Tribe.