Toledo broke open a tight pitcher's duel with a two-run eighth inning en route to a 6-2 victory over the home-standing Indianapolis Indians Tuesday before a crowd of 9,341 at warm and sultry Victory Field. Despite enduring a dismal season overall, the Mud Hens gained the measure of the International League West champion Indians, sweeping the two game series. Indianapolis falls to 77-61 on the year, while Toledo improves to 59-79.
Indianapolis' top pitching prospect, RHP Jameson Taillon (1-2), held Toledo in check, scattering eight hits and three runs over seven innings. Taillon continues to get stronger with each start. In his last two starts prior to Tuesday, he posted a 2.25 ERA (3 ER in 12.0 IP) with 12 strikeouts.
On this night however, he was matched by Mud Hens starter Jair Jurrjens. He handcuffed Indians hitters, allowing just one run and six hits over six innings. Jurrjens struck out four in posting his seventh win in 16 decisions. Four Toledo relievers combined to shut down Indianapolis.
The Tribe's few offensive highlights came courtesy of Darren Ford's home run to left in the bottom of the fifth that tied the game at 1-1. Indianapolis also plated a run when Jerry Sands scored after leading off the seventh with a base hit, advanced to second on Kelly Shoppach's single, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ford, and came home when leadoff batter Chase d'Arnaud hit into a fielder's choice. The Tribe struggled with runners in scoring position though, something that has become a second-half trend.
Meanwhile, the Mud Hens got contributions from the bottom half of their lineup. 3B Danny Worth and SS Argenis Diaz each delivered run producing blows. Worth doubled home a run and Diaz stroked a two-run single to give the Hens a lead they would never relinquish.
Smoke Signals: The International League post-season All-Star team was announced Tuesday. Indianapolis was represented by catcher Tony Sanchez. The 25-year old Sanchez, since recalled to the parent Pittsburgh Pirates, had an outstanding summer with the Tribe, culminating in a standout performance at the IL All-Star game in July. He's the third Indians catcher to be named to the post-season IL squad, following Jason Larue and Erik Kratz. The IL's Most Valuable Player honor went to Rochester's Chris Colabello and the manager of the year is Durham's Charlie Montoyo.....The Tribe conclude their regular season home schedule with a two-game series against Louisville Friday and Saturday....Playoff tickets are on sale at Victory Field. The Tribe opens at IL South champ Durham next Tuesday and Wednesday for games one and two before returning home for games three, four and five, if necessary next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings....Tuesday's crowd of over 9,000 pushed the Indians season attendance total over the 600,000 fans mark.