Arena Sportsnet

Indianapolis Indians split opening weekend with Toledo

INDIANAPOLIS – Juan Perez cleared the bases with a triple in the eighth inning to help the Toledo Mud Hens salvage a series split in a 9-5 win over the Indianapolis Indians on Sunday afternoon at Victory Field. Perez finished with five RBI in the game, the third time he’s done so in his nine-year career.

Perez greeted reliever Edgar Santana with his bases-clearing triple in the eighth, turning a 5-5 deadlock into an 8-5 lead. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jim Adduci to provide the final margin.

Seeking a series victory, the Indians (2-2) scored four times in the first against Drew VerHagen to take an early lead. Elias Diaz plated Gift Ngoepe on a fielder’s choice for the game’s first run, and Eric Wood lofted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 2-0. With two away, Danny Ortiz drilled a two-run single to right field, doubling Indy’s advantage.

Perez tallied his first RBI of the game on a single in the third, and in the fifth, he drew a bases-loaded walk to bring Toledo (2-2) within one run at 4-3. Adduci then leveled the score at four with his first of two sacrifice flies in the contest.

Clay Holmes, making his Triple-A debut, allowed just one run through the first four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. He failed to retire each of the four batters he faced in the inning, and the Mud Hens’ three-run outburst gave the visitors new life.

Indianapolis took a brief 5-4 lead in the sixth on Wood’s second sacrifice fly of the game, but Toledo answered in the top of the seventh on a double-steal attempt. Perez scooted home from third on the play as Adduci was caught stealing at second base.

Blaine Hardy (1-0) earned the win with 1.2 innings of relief for Toledo, while Schugel dropped to 1-1 after yielding four earned runs on four hits in 1.1 innings pitched.

The Indians welcome the Columbus Clippers for the first of a three-game set in the Circle City on Monday night at Victory Field. Right-hander Josh Lindblom, an Indiana native, will start for Indy, opposite Columbus left-hander Chris Narveson. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.