A four-game road set in Toledo resulted in the Indy Indians’ first series loss in two weeks, as the Mud Hens took three victories in a tense battle of International League West rivals. Indy’s bats stayed largely quiet throughout the series and prevented the Indians from being competitive.
Super utilityman Joey Terdoslavich, who’s played almost every position short of catcher this season, put up six hits, three walks, and two runs scored to lead the way for Indy, and first baseman Jason Rogers had three hits and three walks of his own.
GAME 1: Mud Hens 5, Indians 4
Indy fought hard for this one, with shortstop Gift Ngoepe tying the game at 4 with an RBI double in the top of the ninth to force extra innings. The Indians made it as far as the 12th before Toledo first baseman Efren Navarro picked up an RBI single to claim a late victory for the Mud Hens.
A homer and two doubles from second baseman Anderson Feliz got Indy on the board, but the rest of the lineup couldn’t offer much support, apart from Ngoepe’s double. Reliever Edgar Santana (1-1) was largely effective, but gave up the two singles in the bottom of the 12th that cost the Indians the game.
Toledo’s lineup smashed the Indians for 16 hits in this game, with three apiece for center fielder Matt den Dekker and third baseman Michael Almanzar. Reliever Jeff Ferrell (2-0) gave up only a single walk in the 12th as he set the Indians down on 13 pitches.
GAME 2: Indians 9, Mud Hens 4
It was a day with quality performances all around for the Indians, led by starting pitcher Steven Brault (4-3) and his eight strikeouts. Brault kept the Mud Hens’ bats in check with six innings of one-run baseball, and Indy struck early and often with major contributions from Terdoslavich (four hits in four at-bats) and catcher Jacob Stallings (three RBI).
Toledo center fielder Tyler Collins made a small dent in Indy’s lead with a late three-run homer, but the damage had already been done after Mud Hens starting pitcher Chad Bell (1-4) was attacked for five runs on seven hits in only 3 2/3 innings.
GAME 3: Mud Hens 5, Indians 1
An RBI sac fly by Terdoslavich was the entirety of Indy’s offense in this game, as the Toledo pitching staff only gave up seven baserunners. The Indians were able to work five walks as a team, but were unable to support starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (0-1), who was tagged for nine hits and five runs in six innings in his second rehab start.
Toledo, meanwhile, rode the momentum of a four-hit, three RBI performance from catcher James McCann, and starting pitcher Matt Crouse (1-1) kept Indy’s bats in check despite an inefficient 105 pitches in six innings.
GAME 4: Mud Hens 2, Indians 0
This series came to a close with a quality pitcher’s duel, with the edge going to Mud Hens pitcher Anthony Vazquez (2-2). Toledo only needed an RBI double from catcher Bryan Holaday and a run-scoring single from Navarro to complement Vazquez, who threw nine innings of five-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts.
Indy got a quality start from starting pitcher Drew Hutchinson (2-2), who gave up five hits and two walks in his six innings, but kept the game within reach for Indy the whole time. Sadly, no Indians hitter posted more than a single hit against Vazquez.
Indy’s lead over the Columbus Clippers has taken a hit with this series loss, but still stands at a solid four games atop the IL West. Luckily for the Indians (32-27), they’ll face the Clippers for three games this weekend with an opportunity to push that lead even further.