INDIANAPOLIS - Taking advantage of gusting winds in downtown Indianapolis last night, the Indians and the visiting Mud Hens played home run derby and combined for four breeze-blown clouts. In the end, though, it was right fielder Brent Clevlen's two-base error that handed the Indians a 3-2 triumph.
"We should have caught that ball," said Toledo manager Larry Parrish "You hate to lose a game like that, when you just misplay a ball in the outfield and it costs you the game."
With winds gusting toward left field at 18 to 24 miles per hour, each team slugged a pair of solo home runs. Toledo (34-22) now has 96 homers on the year, the most in professional baseball.
Brian Bixler gave the Indians (27-29) a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo shot off Toledo starter Yorman Bazardo.
Clevlen answered in the top of the second with a 435-foot blast to left-center that made it 1-1. Clevlen's homer, his ninth of the year, came on an 0-2 pitch from Jimmy Barthmaier. Clevlen extended his hitting streak to 10 games and has reached base in 36 consecutive games.
Bazardo, the Venezuelan right-hander, worked his way out of a jam in the second. Michel Hernandez led off with a single to right and took second on Neil Walker's base hit. The runners moved up on Craig Wilson's sacrifice bunt, but Bazardo ended the threat by whiffing Adam Boeve and retiring Matt Kata on a grounder to second.
Dane Sar- dinha made it 2-1 in the third inning. The Mud Hens catcher lifted a 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence that barely cleared the foul pole for his sixth homer.
Boeve tied the score in the fourth with another solo shot, launching a 3-2 breaking pitch into the left-field grounds.
The homer, Boeve's fourth in as many games and his sixth of the season, made it 2-2.
Denny Bautista relieved Bazardo in the sixth. Bautista opened the seventh with a walk to Craig Wilson. Kevin Thompson ran for Wilson and took second on Boeve's sacrifice. Bautista (0-1) got Matt Kata to fly to left for the second out. It looked like the inning was over when Morgan skied toward Clevlen in right field.
But Clevlen misplayed the ball for a two-base error, and Thompson scored to put the Indians ahead.
Toledo threatened in the ninth when Mike Hessman hit a two-out double followed by a walk to Timo Perez, but Romulo Sanchez struck out Clevlen.
"He had a good night offensively," Parrish said of Clevlen. "He had a chance there at the end of the game to sort of make up for it."