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Mud Hens Stun Indians in 9th to Earn Wild Win

INDIANAPOLIS – Lead changes, rain and plenty of offense made for an interesting night at Victory Field on Saturday.

The Indianapolis Indians rallied from four runs down after a lengthy rain delay, only to have the Toledo Mud Hens snap their five-game winning streak by scoring three two-out runs in the ninth to take a 9-8 victory.

Indians starting pitcher Wilfredo Boscan had a rough start to the game, allowing a run to score to give Toledo an early lead. A single and a balk put a runner in scoring position for Steven Moya, who hit a two-out RBI double to right to push the Hens ahead 1-0 in the first.

Toledo starter Thad Weber would struggle in the game’s opening inning as well, giving up the Hens’ lead by surrendering two runs to the Tribe. Alen Hanson quickly tied the game, hitting a leadoff solo home run to right before an Elias Diaz RBI single later in the frame gave the Indians a 2-1 lead after one inning.

After seeing their lead slip away, the Mud Hens responded with a three-run second to go back in front. Four different Toledo hitters recorded hits in the inning, with Xavier Henry‘s two-RBI double and Moya’s RBI groundout giving the Hens a 4-2 lead.

The threat of rain was in the forecast on Saturday and after the third inning ended, the tarp came out and the game was sent into a rain delay. The delay would last nearly two hours in total, knocking both starters out of the game after three innings of work.

Boscan allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks, while Weber gave up a pair of runs on two hits and three free passes.

Once the game resumed, the offense returned in a hurry. Daniel Fields hit a solo home run in the fourth and Henry scored Jeff McVaney on a sacrifice fly in the fifth to quickly increase the Mud Hens’ lead to 6-2.

Indianapolis would answer in their half of the fifth, however, with a four-run inning that tied the game at six runs each. Six Indians reached base in the frame, with all four runs being charged to Toledo reliever Melvin Mercedes. Pedro Florimon‘s RBI double, Steve Lombardozzi‘s two-RBI single and Tony Sanchez‘s RBI single did the damage that knotted the game up at 6-6.

The Indians would complete the comeback in the sixth with a run that gave them a 7-6 advantage. Florimon led off with a single and Hanson drove him in with a one-out RBI double against Hens reliever Guido Knudson to put the Tribe in front.

Indians relief pitchers Bobby LaFromboise and Deolis Guerra would combine to turn in three shutout innings, setting the stage for Blake Wood to nail down the save for Indianapolis. Toledo had other plans, though, scoring three two-out runs to grab a late lead.

Wood retired the first two batters of the ninth before allowing the next five Hens to reach. Moya’s two-RBI single gave Toledo an unlikely 8-7 lead and after Jefry Marte‘s RBI double put the Hens up by two runs, Brad Lincoln replaced Wood to end the inning.

The Tribe would then make one last run at the Hens in the ninth, scoring once against Alberto Cabrera. Hanson hit a RBI single to make it 9-8 and found himself at second with no one out, but was left stranded at third to end the game.

Toledo will try to split the four-game series on Sunday when they send former American League MVP Justin Verlander to the mound for a minor league rehab start. The Indians will counter with Casey Sadler (4-2, 2.52 ERA) in the series finale. First pitch from Victory Field is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.

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