COLUMBUS, Oh. – 2016 MLB All-Star Danny Salazar was on the mound in a big league rehab start for the Columbus Clippers (44-41) on Thursday night. The Indianapolis Indians (48-38) did not seem to care. At all.
Tribe outfielder Danny Ortiz clubbed two of Indy’s seven long balls, as the Indians cruised to a record-setting 21-1 win at Huntington Park. Indianapolis broke Victory Field-era (1996-present) single-game high marks in runs scored (21) and margin of victory (20) and tied the record for hits (22) and home runs (seven).
Thursday’s victory allowed the Indians to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Clips and extends their lead over Columbus in the International League West division to 3 1/2 games.
Salazar made it through the Thursday’s first inning unscathed, but Ortiz got to him in the second. Indianapolis’ center fielder smacked his first round-tripper of the game in the frame, a solo shot to right center.
The home runs kept coming for the Tribe in the third. Jacob Stallings and Chris Bostick each took Salazar deep in the inning, pushing Indy’s lead to 3-0.
Salazar got the leadoff man to ground out in the fourth and then his evening was done. Columbus called on Adam Plutko to replace Salazar, leaving the rehabbing righty with a final line of three runs allowed on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
The Indians did not take it easy on Plutko, though. In fact, they found even more success versus the Clips’ reliever.
It started with a two-out rally in the fourth, as back-to-back knocks and a walk loaded the bases and allowed a free pass to Bostick to result in Indy’s fourth run scored.
Indianapolis kept the heat on Plutko in the fifth and sixth, plating three runs in each inning. Eric Wood recorded a RBI single to start the scoring in the fifth, with Stallings later driving in two with a double to center. A 41-minute rain delay came between the frames, but it did not slow down the Tribe. After consecutive one-out singles, Ortiz took flight again, ripping a three-run bomb over the right field fence.
The onslaught continued in the eighth against Clippers reliever Perci Garner. Three straight Indians reached to start the inning, allowing a bases loaded walk to Stallings and an Anderson Feliz RBI groundout to bring Indy’s run total for the ballgame to 12.
Then, seemingly happening in a flash, the Tribe poured on nine more runs in the top of the ninth.
11 Indianapolis batters reached base in the eventful inning, with three of those fruitful at-bats resulting in home runs. Joey Terdoslavich and Jordan Luplow connected on three-run shots, with Wood also touching them all with a solo homer. Bostick and Justin Maffei also chipped in with RBI singles. Six of the nine runs crossed with two outs.
Already down big entering the ninth, Columbus enlisted position players to pitch and face all but two batters in the nine-run inning.
Tyler Glasnow toed the rubber for Indianapolis and was the beneficiary of all of the offense. The right-hander pitched well yet again for the Indians, giving up one run on five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings of work. Glasnow’s streak of posting ten or more strikeouts ended at three games, but he did still punch out seven Clippers. His strikeout total with the Tribe now sits at 49 through five starts (29 1/3 innings).
Indianapolis now moves on to the state of Georgia, where they will face the Gwinnett Braves in their final series before the All-Star break. Nick Kingham (3-5, 4.50 ERA) gets the nod for the Indians in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. opener.