INDIANAPOLIS – Monday’s matchup between the Indianapolis Indians (2-2) and Toledo Mud Hens (3-1) was effectively decided before the Tribe even had their first turn to bat.
The Hens delivered a knockout punch to Indy in the top of the first, scoring six runs on eight hits, en route to a 13-3 win at Victory Field. All six of those runs and seven hits came against Indians starting pitcher Austin Coley. The right-hander lasted just 0.2 innings in his Triple-A debut, reaching 40 pitches before he could get out of the opening frame.
Coley was the second consecutive Indians starter to make his Tribe debut, following Alex McRae‘s 3.2 innings of work on Sunday. McRae threw a bunch of pitches, too, cutting his outing a bit short after surrendering one run. Coley ran his pitch count high in a hurry, forcing Indianapolis manager Brian Esposito to call on his bullpen.
Ronny Rodriguez started the rally with a leadoff triple and after Mike Gerber followed with a single, the Mud Hens quickly owned a 1-0 advantage.
Chad Huffman doubled to make it 2-0. Former Indian Edwin Espinal knocked home Toledo’s third run. And finally Jason Krizan provided the big hit, a towering three-run homer to right field.
Toledo hit Coley so hard that even the two outs he recorded were rather loud. Each out Coley recorded required good defense from Indy’s corner outfielders, as Austin Meadows in left and Eric Wood in right each made nice grabs.
With their starter recording just two of 27 outs, Indy’s bullpen was taxed in this one. And it showed.
Brett McKinney, who took over for Coley in the first, gave up one run in 2.1 innings. Damien Magnifico surrendered two runs (one earned) in four frames of work. Tyler Jones worked the eighth and ninth, allowing Toledo to plate four more runs (none earned) on two hits and two walks.
An error in the eighth inning eventually allowed Krizan to hit a three-run shot off of Jones, his second three-run homer of the game.
While they were put in a tough hole to dig out of, the Tribe’s offense didn’t have much going on Monday.
Jacob Stallings picked up RBIs five and six on the young season, with a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single. Kevin Kramer also drove in a run in the seventh, scoring Jerrick Suiter on a productive ground out.
A.J. Ladwig started for Toledo, pitching five innings of one-run ball. Indianapolis recorded just four hits against the righty and struck out five times.
The Tribe will be back in action against the Mud Hens at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday night. Casey Sadler is slated to pitch for Indy.