INDIANAPOLIS - Well-known for his keen eye at the plate, Tribe infielder Max Moroff became an under-the-radar power hitter in 2017. The switch-hitter's previous career high for home runs in a season was eight, accomplished in both 2013 and 2016. He doubled that total this past season between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, with his homer on April 7 against Toledo being one of his more memorable blasts.
On a 54-degree Friday night at Victory Field, a bundled-up Moroff and Co. sought a perfect 2-and-0 start to the season. After homering in the season opener, Moroff surprised Toledo late with a long drive that carried onto West Street.
Toledo grabbed the lead in the second on a John Hicks sacrifice fly, but the Tribe plated a pair in the bottom half on run-scoring doubles by Elias Diaz and Jason Rogers to take a 2-1 advantage.
The Hens threatened against Tribe starter Drew Hutchison in the third, putting two runners in scoring position with no outs. The right-hander escaped by striking out Jim Adduci and Steven Moya ahead of a Matt Murton fly ball to center.
Toledo eventually drew even in its next at-bat thanks to a Hicks RBI single. Tied at two into the sixth, Hicks then gave the visitors another lead with his third RBI of the game. Brendan Ryan followed with a bases-loaded walk that pushed their cushion to 4-2.
The Tribe, who overcame a 3-2 deficit after six innings in the season opener en route to a 7-4 triumph, had another seventh-inning rally in them. With two outs and nobody on, Christopher Bostick tripled and Erich Weiss worked a walk before Moroff cranked a 2-1 pitch from Edward Mujica to deep right. The home run was Moroff's second of 13 blasts for the Tribe in 2017.
Dovydas Neverauskas pitched the final two innings for his first of 13 saves with the Tribe.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.