TOLEDO, Oh. – Thursday’s series finale belonged to Toledo Mud Hens (27-31) starting pitcher Anthony Vasquez.
The lefty went the distance in the Hens’ 2-0 win, blanking the Indianapolis Indians (32-27) on five hits. The victory gives Toledo the series win, as the home team took three of four games at Fifth Third Field. The Tribe still holds a 4 1/2-game lead over the Mud Hens in the International League West standings, however.
Thursday’s performance was by far Vasquez’s best of 2017. He went the full nine innings, needing 119 pitches to finish the complete game, and struck out seven batters. The former major leaguer entered the game with an ERA of 6.28, but set a season-high for innings pitched and tied his best mark for earned runs allowed and strikeouts.
Vasquez was opposed on the mound by another former major leaguer, Indianapolis starter Drew Hutchison. Hutchison was solid, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, but was no match for the Mud Hens’ hurler on this night.
Toledo grabbed an early lead with a run in the first and never looked back. Three straight Hens batters reached with two outs in the frame, capped by Efren Navarro‘s RBI single. The Mud Hens added another run in the fourth for good measure, as Bryan Holaday doubled home Omar Infante to make it 2-0.
Indianapolis’ Angel Sanchez and Pat Light each tossed scoreless innings in relief of Hutchison.
It was a rough night at the plate and in the field for the Indians. Not one Tribe batter recorded multiple hits, but one defender committed multiple errors. Shortstop Gift Ngoepe was responsible for two of the team’s three errors, with one coming on a throw and the other with his glove, while Eric Wood was charged with a fielding error at first.
The Indians will wrap up their road trip on Friday with a single game in Columbus. Nick Kingham (2-1, 3.63 ERA) will take the ball for Indy at Huntington Park before the Tribe and Clippers move on to Victory Field for games on Saturday and Sunday.
On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted catcher Jacob Stallings to the big leagues. Double-A Altoona’s Tomas Morales was brought up to the Indians to replace Stallings behind the plate.
On Thursday, Tribe reliever Dovydas Neverauskas was also called up to the Pirates.