Good pitching, good defense and timely hitting.
Three elements the Toledo Mud Hens have had trouble combining in the same game early in this International League baseball season - but all three arrived yesterday in Toledo's 2-1 win over the Indianapolis Indians at Skeldon Stadium.
Left-hander Adam Pettyjohn (1-2) earned his first victory in his fifth start, right fielder Chris Wakeland and catcher David Lindstrom hooked up on the game's pivotal defensive play, and Lindstrom provided the game-winning hit.
It was the second straight win for the Hens (7-15), matching their longest streak of the season.
Toledo turned four singles into all the runs it needed in the second inning.
Dusty Allen started the two-run spurt with a single through the middle. After Tom Evans smacked one through the left side, Jarrod Patterson loaded the bases with an infield hit.
Lindstrom then delivered a two-run single just beyond the reach of diving Indians third baseman Micah Franklin.
“I came up with a chance to drive in some runs, got a good pitch to hit, and got one through the hole,” Lindstrom said. “I hit in the bottom of the order and he (Indians starter Carlos Chantres) was struggling a little bit. Down there (eighth), you're going to get a lot of fastballs, so I was just trying to be aggressive.”
With no one out and runners at the corners for Indianapolis in the third, Lou Collier's fly to medium right was caught by Wakeland, who then fired home. Lindstrom tagged Creighton Gubanich out for the double play.
“Wake made a great throw,” Lindstrom said. “One hop right to me. My job was easy. All I had to do was catch it and tag. Some of the breaks are starting to go our way. I think we're going to start turning it around and go on a roll.”
Indianapolis' only run came on Gubanich's fifth-inning, two-out homer to center, one of six hits off Pettyjohn in 62/3 innings.
Pettyjohn's lone walk of this game, issued to Indians shortstop Mike Coolbaugh in the first, was his first in four starts. He has 20 strikeouts against three walks in 281/3 innings.
“It was a total team effort today,” Pettyjohn said. “You've definitely got to credit the defense. For my part, I got ahead (in counts) and tried to give my team the best shot to get those guys out. If you get ahead of hitters 0-1, that only leaves two strikes and puts them on the defensive side.”
Pettyjohn got some help from the enemy in the sixth inning.
After a two-out double, Coolbaugh rounded third base too far on a grounder bobbled for an error by Allen at first. Hen second baseman Pedro Santana alertly picked up the ball and fired to Evans at third before Coolbaugh could get back.
The finishing touches were applied by the Hens' bullpen.
David Borkowski came on to strike out Gubanich for the final out of the Indianapolis seventh, then worked a scoreless eighth before Kevin Tolar pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the season.
“I can't say enough about the pitching,” Hens manager Bruce Fields said. “The guys who came in threw strikes and got 'em out. You always hope that two runs can be enough, but you can never expect that. Today, two runs were enough, and we'll take that.”