The Mud Hens last played for the Cup in 1980 and had not won any championship since 1967. They finished the regular season with the IL's best record, one year after owning its worst.
Toledo started and ended their scoring with three-run homers. With two outs and one on in the fifth, Dewayne Wise hit a grounder up the middle to put runners on the corners. Marcus Thames followed with a blast over the center-field wall off starter Michael Connolly (0-1) to give Toledo a 3-0 lead.
Thames led the IL with three postseason homers.
Mike Hessman's second round-tripper of the series put Toledo ahead, 8-0, in the eighth. After Kevin Hooper doubled and Wise singled and stole second, Hessman cranked a two-out shot to left field.
Toledo starter Jason Grilli (1-0) carried a shutout into the eighth, allowing just two batters to reach second. The 28-year-old right-hander ultimately yielded two runs on five hits, striking out six and walking three over 7 2/3 innings.
After Thames' homer, Toledo extended its lead to 5-0 in the sixth. Ryan Raburn singled with one out and advanced to third on a single by Jack Hannahan, who was thrown out returning to first. Matthew Capps relieved and was greeted by Don Kelly's RBI double to center. An error by third baseman Jose Bautista put runners on first and third, setting up Hooper's run-scoring single.
The Indians got on the board in the eighth. After Rich Thompson walked with two outs, Jorge Velandia hit a roller along the third base line and reached safely as catcher Sandy Martinez watched the ball stay fair. Mark Woodyard took the mound and yielded back-to-back RBI singles to Cesar Crespo and Graham Koonce before Jason Karnuth came in and got Ronny Paulino to ground out.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Bobby Hill lined a double to left, took third on Ray Sadler's single and came home on a grounder by Thompson. Velandia grounded to second, where Hooper got the out at first to start the celebration.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.