INDIANS TRUMP TOLEDO 2-1
Tribe Pitching Staff Retires 20 of 22 Batters To Close Out Win
INDIANAPOLIS — Starting pitcher Chris Jakubauskas held the Mud Hens’ offense to one run on three hits in his first Triple-A start since April 17 and the Indianapolis Indians’ pitching staff combined to retire 20 of the game’s final 22 batters as the Tribe earned a 2-1 victory over Toledo in a contest that lasted only two hours and five minutes on Thursday night at Victory Field.
With the win, Indianapolis’ record improves to 67-66 on the season, while the loss drops Toledo to 62-70. The victory also ups the Tribe’s record to 11-9 on the season against the Mud Hens and gives them their ninth win in the team’s last 11 games against Toledo.
After giving up Toledo’s first run of the contest with no one out in the top of the third inning, Jakubauskas (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) settled down to retire the final nine batters of his five-inning outing to earn his first victory of the season. The Indians’ right-hander, who was placed on the disabled list in early April after being hit by a line drive in his first start for the Pittsburgh Pirates, had appeared in nine games over four levels during the 2010 season and had posted a winless record at 0-6 before tonight’s win over the Mud Hens.
In relief of Jakubauskas, two Indianapolis right-handers – Brian Bass (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 SO) and Steven Jackson (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 SO) – combined to set down all nine batters they faced, before Toledo eventually broke up a string of 18 consecutive outs with an infield single to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Bass retired six batters in a row on 23 pitches, while Jackson needed just 13 pitches to get all three Mud Hens’ hitters that stepped to the plate against him.
Tribe closer Jean Machi (1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 SO) entered the contest in the top of the ninth inning and allowed a lead-off infield single to SS Cale Iorg to break up the Tribe’s string of 18 consecutive retired hitters. However, a perfect throw to second base by C Jason Jaramillo caught Iorg stealing second before a two-out triple by LF Jeff Frazier put the Tribe’s lead in jeopardy, but Machi bore down to retire DH Max Leon and escape the jam with his 20th save of the season.
With the game still scoreless in the top of the third inning, the Mud Hens scratched across their only run of the contest to take an early 1-0 lead. After 3B Shawn Roof lined the first pitch of the frame to the gap in left-center field for a triple, RF Justin Henry laced the fifth pitch of his plate appearance out to left field for an RBI single.
Toledo carried its one-run advantage into the bottom of the fifth inning before the Indianapolis offense plated two runs in the frame to take the decisive 2-1 lead. RF John Bowker. who opened the inning with a triple to left-center field, trotted home to tie the contest at 1-1 one batter later on an RBI groundout by C Jason Jaramillo.
The Tribe then took the lead when SS Pedro Ciriaco, who singled to center, moved to second on a wild pitch and later stole third, touched home on what proved to be the game-winning RBI single off the bat of LF Kevin Melillo. The run was Ciriaco’s 13th in the month of August, a mark which ties OF Alex Presley for the team lead in runs scored this month.
In the first start of his Triple-A career, Toledo RHP Thad Weber (7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO) struck out eight Tribe batters, but was saddled with the tough luck loss after allowing only two runs on five hits in seven strong frames. Mud Hens’ reliever Scot Drucker (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 SO) worked a scoreless eighth inning to keep Toledo within striking distance, but the Tribe pitching staff closed the door on the Hens to earn the 2-1 win.
The Indians conclude their brief two-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens on Friday, August 27 at 7:15 p.m. RHP Joe Martinez is the anticipated starter for the Tribe, while LHP Ryan Ketchner is expected to get the call for Toledo.
The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and broadcast live on Comcast and Bright House Networks digital channel 81 with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley on the call. The pre-game show on WXLW-950 AM begins at 6:55 p.m.
Post-game quotes — RHP Chris Jakubauskas
(on what the key was to his dominating performance)
“The key is what it always is. Getting first pitch strikes. They are an aggressive team and they were going after those first pitches. Believe or not my sinker was working tonight, which is something I usually don’t have. I was just laying the sinker in there and they were putting the ball in play early.”
(on the impact of his pitch count)
“You have to throw first pitch strikes to go deep in a game period. Dean (Indians’ pitching coach Dean Treanor) and I talked and we set my pitch count at about 60 to 65 pitches. The big thing was just trying to get through five innings and try to give the bullpen a break.”
(on being able to contribute and finish the year on a positive note)
“Finishing the year strong is something that is big for me. It has been one of those years you just want to throw away and forget. But I want to go out there and finish the season strong, and go into the winter and get strong and get ready for Spring Training.”