INDIANAPOLIS – On a night in which the Indianapolis Indians celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of Victory Field, the Tribe acted accordingly.
Indy starting pitcher Trevor Williams led the charge with seven innings of one-run ball, as the Indians defeated the Toledo Mud Hens by a score of 4-1 to mark the big occasion.
The Tribe never trailed on Friday and grabbed the lead early, plating a run in the bottom of the first against Hens starter Joe Mantiply. Two-out damage gave the Indians the lead, as Jason Rogers doubled home Pedro Florimon to make it 1-0.
Matt Boyd was scheduled to start for Toledo on Friday, but after he was promoted to the Detroit Tigers, Mantiply got the call from Double-A on July 6 and made it through just the first inning in Indy. The lefty ultimately took the loss despite going just one frame, allowing one run on three hits on 32 pitches thrown.
Indianapolis would add on against the Mud Hen bullpen in the fourth, putting up two runs to build a 3-0 advantage. Willy Garcia got the scoring started against Toledo reliever Drake Britton with a one-out solo home run and later, a double from Jacob Stallings and a single from Gift Ngoepe set up an Alen Hanson sacrifice fly.
One last run would be scored by the Tribe in the seventh, this time coming against Blaine Hardy. Hanson led off with a single, moved up to second on a Florimon sacrifice bunt, stole third base and finally came around to score when Max Moroff recorded a RBI groundout.
While the Indians’ offense was solid on Friday night, the real story of the ballgame was Williams.
The right-hander shut out the Hens through six innings, extending a scoreless streak to 17 straight frames, before Toledo struck for their only run of the night. John Hicks homered with two outs, ending Williams’ shutout run, but could not get the Mud Hens over the hump. Indianapolis cruised to the 4-1 win despite the long ball, giving Williams a .500 record on the season at 4-4 with his second consecutive winning decision and fourth in his last five tries.
Following the final game of their homestand, the Tribe will hit the road until after the All-Star break. Indy will play three games in two days in Columbus, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday (game one is slated to get underway at 1:15 p.m. and game two at 7:15 p.m.). Frank Duncan (5-4, 2.56 ERA) is penciled in to be Indianapolis’ game one starting pitcher, with Justin Masterson (1-1, 5.25 ERA) expected to go in game number two.