INDIANAPOLIS - After enduring three close losses to open the season, the Toledo Mud Hens turned the table on their hosts yesterday.
After giving up a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning, the Hens collected four runs on four hits in the 11th to post a 6-2 win over Indianapolis.
Toledo start-er Mike Mar-oth dominated in his Triple-A debut, yielding only four hits over six innings.
“Put it this way,” said Hens manager Bruce Fields. “If he can do that every time out, he's going to be good.”
“I just wanted to go out there and get ahead of hitters,” said Maroth. “I just kept the ball down. I was able to use all my pitches .. and keep (the hitters) off balance.”
Maroth allowed only one runner past first base and no fly ball outs. The Hens scored their first runs in the second inning off Indianapolis starter Kyle Peterson.
New arrival Ryan Jackson led off the inning with a single to right. Tom Evans and Kurt Bierek then walked to load the bases, and Brian Rios delivered a two-run single.
From that point, the Hens scratched for scoring chances. In the sixth, Evans walked and Bierek pushed him to second base with a single. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by David Linsdstrom to put two runners in scoring position with one out.
Rios then grounded sharply to third, but Evans had strayed too far and was tagged out.
The subsequent throw to first got Rios, and the Toledo threat was ended.
After the third inning, Maroth and reliever Dave Borkowski shut Indianapolis down, allowing only one base-runner between them. Heath Murray came on in the ninth and got quick outs on the first two batters, but walked Mike Coolbaugh.
Brian Lesher then homered to left field to tie the game.
“Hanging changeup,” said Fields. “One pitch and they tied the game.” After a scoreless 10th, Indianapolis brought in reliever Tom Fordham. Giomar Guevara walked and Chris Wakeland reached on an error. Randall Simon then singled home Guevara for the lead.
Jackson then came to the plate and took the pressure off with a three-run blast to right field to end the scoring.
Matt Miller pitched a scoreless eleventh to earn the win.
Miller struck out Coolbaugh to end the game. The teams tied in runs for the series.
“In this series, I thought the games could have gone either way,” Fields said.