Toledo's Wil Ledezma and Britt Reames of Indianapolis proved last night there's more than one way to get professional hitters out.
But Reames' method worked just a little bit better, as the right-hander shut out the Mud Hens on two scratch hits over seven innings in the Indians' 3-0 victory at Fifth Third Field.
Reames finished with five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. What's more, he had a pair of eight-pitch innings and a five-pitch sixth and threw only 73 pitches - 50 strikes.
"We had two hits, and they didn't leave the infield," Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "To me, [Reames] pitched. He changed speeds, he kept the ball down, he moved it in and out. He kept getting us to hit it off the end [of the bat], turn it over a little bit and hit a ground ball to short."
Reames retired 12 Mud Hens in a row after Kevin Hooper beat out a slow roller down the third-base line for a single to lead off the bottom of the first.
The other hit came when Ryan Raburn beat out a grounder in the hole at shortstop to lead off the fifth. After that hit, Reames coaxed David Espinosa to ground into a 3-6-3 double play on the next pitch.
"I was on the same page with my catcher [Paul Chiaffredo], and he did a great job of calling pitches," Reames said. "I didn't have a great fastball tonight, but I tried to mix it in and spot it effectively to get outs."
"They were swinging early in the count, so I tried to make my pitch early in the count. When you see that, you use that to your advantage."
Ledezma used raw power - and perhaps his best curveball of the season - to limit Indianapolis to just four hits in six innings while striking out a career-high 12, including six in a row at one point. His biggest problem came when the Tribe hit home runs to lead off both the second and third innings.
"Today my curveball was good," Ledezma said.
"I wanted to work on it a lot. The home runs came on two fastballs."
In the second, Raul Gonzalez hammered a 2-2 pitch high off the left-field scoreboard for his first home run of the year.
In the next inning, Taber Lee, who was promoted from Double-A Altoona Tuesday, launched a line drive just over the fence in left-center for a home run in his first Triple-A at-bat.
"We didn't know anything about Lee, and we might not have given him enough respect," Parrish said.
The only other blot on
Ledezma's record came in the fifth, when the Indians took advantage of an error to add a run.
J.J. Furmaniak led off with a sharp single to left, then stole second base without drawing a throw. Ledezma had Furmaniak picked off second, but threw wildly, allowing Furmaniak to take third. Furmaniak scored on a sacrifice fly by Ray Sadler.
Despite a strong 2.43 ERA, and despite leading all of minor league baseball with 38 strikeouts, Ledezma is just 2-2 with both losses on shutouts.
"It shouldn't be a concern for him, it should concern me that we're not scoring," Parrish said.
NOTES: Before the game, Indianapolis SS Gookie Dawkins was given his 2005 Governors' Cup championship ring by the Mud Hens. Dawkins batted .242 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs in 103 games for Toledo last season. The Hens are expected to activate pitcher Matt Mantei, who threw a bullpen session yesterday. Toledo will have to clear a roster spot.
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