Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (34-29) vs. Toledo Mud Hens (39-25)
The Indians seek their second series win over the Mud Hens this season. Indy's three-run burst on six hits following Wednesday's weather delay was enough to best Toledo, 3-2, giving the Tribe a 2-1 series lead.
Location: Victory Field
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Game #64 / Home #33: Indianapolis Indians (34-29) vs. Toledo Mud Hens (39-25)
Probables: RHP Nick Kingham (2-1, 2.12) vs. RHP A.J. Ladwig (5-2, 5.10)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
From the Notes
ABOUT YESTERDAY: The Indians tallied six straight hits off left-hander Tyler Alexander immediately following a 55-minute rain delay and stormed back to take game three of the series Wednesday afternoon, 3-2. Kevin Kramer hustled for a triple on a shallow fly ball to right field and later scored on a Max Moroff RBI single that evened the score at 1-1. Wyatt Mathisen and Jackson Williams then strung back-to-back singles together, the latter scoring Moroff to give Indy the lead. Kevin Newman added an insurance run with a two-strike single to right-center. Damien Magnifico (2.0ip, 1h, 0r, 1bb, 3k), Bo Schultz (1.0ip, 2h, 1r/er, 0bb, 0k) and Johnny Hellweg (1.0ip, 0h, 0r, 0bb, 0k) worked the final four innings for Indy, with Hellweg earning his 10th save in as many tries. Clay Holmes won his third straight start behind five innings of one-run ball. Newman, Christopher Bostick and Kramer all finished with two hits apiece. The one-run win was Indy's fifth of the season and first since May 21 when they beat Louisville at The Vic by the same margin, 3-2.
ONCE IT HITS YOUR LIPS, IT'S SO GOOD: The Indians will send right-hander Nick Kingham to the bump for his seventh start this season and 14th overall (1 with Double-A Altoona, 6 with Pittsburgh, 6 with Indianapolis). Kingham, 26, made each of his last three starts with Pittsburgh, going 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA (8 ER/17.0 IP). Both of those losses came to the Cubs, one at PNC Park and the other at Wrigley Field. Despite those defeats, Kingham still sports a 2-3 record and 3.82 ERA overall in six major league starts, solidifying himself as a reliable spot starter and potential rotation placeholder down the road.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Christopher Bostick is riding a season-high nine-game hitting streak entering play tonight. The Tribe outfielder is batting .400 (14-for-35) with two home runs, two doubles, five RBI and five runs scored during the stretch. He has hit safely in 45 of his 54 starts this season and is currently the league's batting leader with a .325 average (69-for-212) and team-high 19 doubles.
THIS IS A SAFE PLACE: Victory Field has seen the home team win on many occasions over the last 15 years. Indy is 18-14 at The Vic this year. The Tribe have not finished with a record below .500 at home since 2003 (35-37). They were also below .500 in 2002 (35-38), marking the only two seasons in the 22-year history of the ballpark where the Indians didn't finish at or above .500 at home. Indy's all-time regular season record at The Vic entering tonight's contest is 870-702 (.553).
CLAY, YOU'RE MY BOY!: Clay Holmes continued his recent trend of success with another five innings of one-run ball yesterday afternoon. His outing was cut short due to a 55-minute rain delay, but he still earned the win thanks to Indy's bullpen consistency. Over his last three starts he has three wins, a 0.50 ERA (1 ER/18.0 IP) and 20 strikeouts.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO CELEBRATE IT: Kevin Kramer's triple that jumpstarted the three-run fifth last night was his second of the season and first by a Tribe player since May 8 at Louisville. Indy led the International League in triples through the first seven weeks of the season but has since slipped into a tie for fifth among IL squads with 14 three-baggers.
IF YOU'RE HOLDING THESE NOTES, YOU ALREADY KNOW: The Indians' win yesterday was their third over Toledo in six head-to-head meetings at Victory Field this season. The Tribe are now a remarkable 125-82 (.604) against Toledo in Indianapolis dating back to the 1988 season. Indy's other 2018 home win over the Hens was on April 10 when Nick Kingham bested Ryan Carpenter with a 4-1 victory. Over the last five years, the Indians have alternated having more or less wins against Toledo at The Vic. In 2013 Indy went 8-3 vs. Toledo at The Vic but followed that with a 5-6 showing in 2014. The Tribe bounced back to go 6-5 in 2015, only to lose seven of 12 home games to the Hens in 2016. Last year Indy finished 9-4 at home against Toledo, its most home wins in a single season vs. the Hens in the last three decades.
TRUE LOVE IS HARD TO FIND: Indy has played 12 games this season against teams currently leading their respective division. So far, the Indians own a 6-6 record against them, 5-4 against Toledo and 1-2 against Durham. Their run differential in bouts with division-leading squads is -10 (62 runs scored, 72 runs against). Indy has yet to square off against Lehigh Valley, who leads the IL North division, and won't see the IronPigs until August 7. Including the current Toledo series, the Tribe are scheduled for 25 more games against teams currently atop the three IL divisions.
YOU'RE IN THE BACKSEAT: The terrific trio of Tanner Anderson (1-1, 2.03 ERA, 7 ER/31.0 IP), Johnny Hellweg (1-0, 10 saves, 0.36 ERA, 1 ER/25.1 IP) and Bo Schultz (0-1, 1.83 ERA, 4 ER/19.2 IP) have combined for a 3-4 record, 13 saves and a 1.42 ERA (12 ER/76.0 IP) this season. Casey Sadler (2 ER/15.2 IP) and Josh Smoker (0 ER/10.2 IP) have also combined for a 0.68 ERA (2 ER/26.1 IP) over their last 15 appearances. On the season, Indy's entire relief corps has posted a collective 2.78 ERA (73 ER/236.0 IP).
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