It got ugly early at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis Sunday afternoon as the Indians gave the fans a treat like nothing seen before at the Vic. All kinds of season and stadium records were set for the Indianapolis Indians as the team explodes for one of their biggest offensive days in club history. Tribe starting pitcher Hayden Penn had another solid outing for the Indy Indians, but his work was largely overshadowed by the Hoosier-hardballers 15-3 win over the Toledo Mud Hens.
For the third straight game the Toledo Mud Hens jumped out to an early lead. For three straight days now Indianapolis has come back with big scoring innings to take the lead and eventually win out right.
The visiting Mud Hens got to Tribe starter Hayden Penn (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) early with three runs in the first. It was a surprise for all Indianapolis sports fans in attendance since Penn entered the game coming off of three straight 6.0 IP no runs allowed performances–including his latest outing in the earlier part of this homestand against the Durham Bulls where he had a season-high 9 strikeouts in a 9-1 Indians victory.
It was a gorgeous day to play baseball as the rain stayed away Sunday afternoon.
Toledo’s leadoff hitter and shortstop Will Rhymes reached first on a walk and moved up 90 feet as second basemen Justin Henry singed to left field. Rhymes moved to third on a sac fly from first basemen Jeff Frazier, but for a while it seemed like he might be left stranded as Penn struck out left fielder Ryan Strieby. However, Toledo third basemen Jeff Larish singled to left field which scored both Rhymes and Henry for an early 2-0 Toledo lead. Center fielder Wilkin Ramirez tripled to left center that plated Larish and, before Casper Wells was called out looking for the third out, the Mud Hens had a 3-0 lead before the Tribe even saw the visiting starter Billy Buckner.
It took the hometown Hoosiers until the bottom of the second inning before they got to the right-handed Buckner (2.2 IP, 8 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO), and as soon as they did, they wheels came off for the Mud Hen hurler. Buckner wasn’t able to get out of the third inning and ended up surrendering 10 runs on 10 hits including back-to-back six run innings.
Designated hitter Jeff Clement kicked off the party by hitting a leadoff solo home run for the Indians and was followed by third basemen Brian Myrow’s very own solo shot. With the score now 3-2, Tribe catcher Eric Kratz walked, then moved to second on shortstop Doug Bernier’s single to center. The bases quickly became loaded as newest Indians infielder Akinori Iwamura–who was making his Triple-A debut with the Indians–walked on four straight pitches.
With the sacks packed hot-hitting Right fielder Brandon Moss laced a single to center field that drove in both Kratz an Bernier ,and gave the Tribe their first lead of the day 4-3. With one out, another new face for the Indians, left fielder Alex Presley–just called up from Double-A Altoona–singled to right, which scored Iwamura and moved Moss to third. First basemen Steve Pearce got into the action with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Moss for the final run in the Indians home half, leaving them with a 6-3 lead and hungry for more.
It was more of the same in the bottom of the third for the Indians as they posted another six spot on the scoreboard and in grand fashion. With no one on and two outs, center fielder Jonathan Van Every drew a full-count walk and scored on a double from Bernier to right field.
Again Akinori drew a four-pitch walk before Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer to right center that fell just below the Vic’s scoreboard. Presley followed suite with a home run of his own, the first of his Indianapolis Indians short three-game career. If that wasn’t enough for the the Circle City crowd, Steve Pearce decided to hit a four-bagger of his own to push the count to back-to-back-to-back homer runs–also Pearce’s his third of the season. After Clement drew a walk, Myrow struck out, but the damage was done. And all of that damage started with a two-out walk.
After the back-to-back 6-run innings the Tribe now lead 12-3.
There was more excitement in Victory Field in the bottom of the fifth inning as newbie Presley hit a double that gave him the cycle in his first four at bats–check Game Notes for more info on his cycle. After a Pearce strikeout and a Clement fly out, Brian Myrow singled to center which drove in the hot-hitting Presley for a ten run lead, 13-3.
For what seemed nothing more than good measure, the Tribe added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Doug Berneir continued his good day at the plate and lead off the inning with an infield single . Akinori singled to right which left men on first and sencond and no outs. After a Moss fly ball out, Presley extended his historic day to 5-5 with a single to load the bases. Steve Pearce drove in Bernier on a sacrifice fly to left center, giving him 2 RBi on the day. Jeff Clement closed out the scoring in the innnig with a ground ball double to left field. Again it was Myrow striking out to end the inning but the game had long been salted away as the Tribe lead 15-3.
The Mud Hens cried mercy and the Tribe went scoreless throughout their final two at bats. The only point to pay attention to was Presley’s sixth at bat in the eight were he line out to right field on a hard line drive. Presley ended up going 5-for-6 on the record setting day at Victory Field.
Indianapolis looks for the four-game sweep over division rival Toledo on Monday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. Left-handed pitcher Brian Burres is expected to get the call for the Indians, while Toledo will throw a left-hander themselves as Ryan Ketchner is the probable starter for the Mud Hens.
The game can be heard on Indianapolis radio station WXLW-950 AM , or watched live on Comcast and Bright House Networks digital channel 81 with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley giving you the play-by-play. The pre-game show on WXLW-950 AM begins at 6:40 p.m
EXTRA GAME NOTES
- Indianapolis Indians left fielder Alex Presley hit for the first cycle in Victory Field history as he got the four necessary components by the fifth inning in his first four at bats.Presley hit a triple in the first inning, a double in the second inning, a home run in the third inning and finished up with a double in the fifth inning. The Indianapolis neophyte finished his day 5-for-6 with another single in the sixth inning.
- The five home runs hit by Indianapolis Indian hitters in a Victory Field record.
- Sunday afternoons game was the first time in Victory Field history that a team hit back-to-back-to-back home runs.
- The 15 runs the Tribe score are a season high
- The Tribes 19 hits accumulated on Sunday afternoon was also a season high.
- WIth the win the Indianapolis Indians moved to 43-34 and moves them 2.0 games ahead of Toledo for second place in the International League West Division while they still stand 3.0 games behind the Columbus Clipper
- The Indians are 0.5 games behind in the Wild Card race behind the Syracuse Chiefs.
- With the loss the Toledo Mud Hens move to 41-36 2.0 games behind Indianapolis and 5.0 games behind the Columbus Clippers for first in the IL West division.