Mud Hens Take it to Tribe: Score 10 in Series Finale

There was a late surge in scoring for the Toledo Mud Hens on Monday night, as they took a once close game in downtown Indianapolis and busted it open like a piñata. Their 10-1 victory over the Indianapolis Indians gave the visiting dirty birds a 3-1 series win. The loss moves Tribe to a record of 4-8, while the victors leave the Circle City at a 7-5 mark.

Even with the Indianapolis sports baseball team losing three out of four on opening weekend at Victory Field, some great baseball was played. Unfortunately for the home town fans, Monday night’s great play was a mostly one sided affair that favored Toledo.

Besides the 11 runs scored, last night’s crowd saw plays a plenty at the plate early in the contest, including two tag outs, and a runaway freight train making mince meat of the home team’s backstop.

Third basemen, and resident slugger, Pedro Alvarez singled twice last night, and had a chance to score later in each inning. However, as Alvarez came around third base heading for home, he chose not to get his uniform dirty on either attempt, and subsequently was tagged out by Mud Hens catcher Mike Rabelo.

Indianapolis scored their only run in the home half of the second inning when center fielder Jonathan Van Every touched home plate after a single from catcher Luke Carlin. Carlin was later thanked for his offensive effort by being on the business end of the best play in baseball, the home plate collision. To his credit, Carlin got right back up, dusted himself off and collected his mask and helmet as if this was an everyday occurrence. You have to love that kind of toughness from your catcher.

While Toledo quickly evened the score with one run of their own in the top of the third, Indy Indians starting pitcher Brad Lincoln (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) was able to temporarily limit the damage with the bases loaded by picking off Mud Hen first basemen Jeff Larish, and inducing a slow roller to shortstop to end the inning.

The Mud Hens added two more runs in the third inning to jump out to an early 3-1 lead. The second run was scored by Toledo’s third basemen Danny Worth,  ho was the second half of the play at the plate which left Carlin on his back.

The game remained a 3-1 contest until the top of the eight inning, it was then that the levee broke. Toledo added 6 more runs to blow the barndoors of the contest. the first 5 of Toledo’s 6 runs came off struggling Indianapolis pitcher Vinnie Chalk, whose ERA would be ticketed for speeding in a school zone at an even 36.00.

The win went to the Mud Hens starting pitcher, left-handed Phil Dumatrait (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). Dumatrait is familiar with the Vic since he pitched for the Tribe for parts of last season.

The Indians look to put this tough series behind them, as they open up a short two game stint against fellow International League West rivals, the Columbus Clippers. These next two games may prove a tall order for our Hoosier hardballers, since the two teams serve as bookends in the West division standings. The Clippers own the best record in the division at 8-4, while the Tribe is bringing up the rear at 4-8.

The game will start at 7 p.m. at the prettiest minor league ballpark ever built, and the probable starters are RHP Hector Rondon for Columbus and LHP Donnie Veal for Indianapolis. If you haven’t made it down to the stadium across from the White River State Park, there is no better night to make your first appearance than 2-for-1 Tuesdays at Victory Field.

The promotion is exact as it sounds. Our Indians have partnered with Fazoli’s and X103 Indy’s Rock Radio to present 2-for-1 Tuesdays, a special discount ticket promotion for Tribe fans. Get two tickets for the price of one. Mark it on your calendar as one of the best things to do in Indianapolis, and bring your friends.

If you can’t make it down to the ball park tonight, tune in to WXLW-950 AM for complete game coverage. Or, watch the live  broadcast of every Tribe game on  Comcast and Bright House Networks digital channel 81 with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley on the call. The Indians pre-game show on WXLW-950 AM begins at 6:40 p.m.

For more information about the Tribes four remaining games in this home stand, or anything Indy Indians related, visit the team’s Web site here.

Extra Game Notes

Center fielder Jose Tabata singled in the bottom of the third with two outs to extend his hitting streak to a career high 10 games. In the same inning, Tabata stole his seventh base of this early season which is good enough for the International League lead.

The box scores alone could have told you how last night’s game ended. Every Toledo Mud Hen had at least one hit, all but one scored a run and all but two had at least one RBI. As for the home team, they found themselves without an extra base hit for the first time all season.