TOLEDO, OHIO - A five-run third inning helped Toledo erase an early 2-0 deficit en route to a 7-4 win over the Indianapolis Indians on Labor Day at Fifth Third Field. The Tribe's season continues into the Governors' Cup playoffs with Game 1 of a best-of-five series on Wednesday night at Durham.
Toledo (70-71) capped its eighth consecutive losing season on a high note.
Tribe starter Drew Hutchison posted a pair of zeroes in the first and second, but the Hens broke loose for five in the third on four hits. An infield single started the frame and following a fielder's choice, back-to-back doubles by Jim Adduci and Omar Infante leveled the score at 2-2. Hutchison then issued consecutive walks to load the bases, setting up a Grayson Greiner sacrifice fly and two-run triple off the bat of Jason Krizan.
The home team tacked on two runs in the fifth on run-scoring singles from Dominic Ficociello and Kody Eaves.
Indianapolis (79-63) fell short of winning its 80th regular season game, but they didn't go down without a fight. Barrett Barnes cranked his first career Triple-A long ball in the seventh to make it a 7-4 ballgame, but the Hens escaped the inning when the potential tying run, Kevin Newman, popped out to the catcher in foul territory.
The Indians again threatened in their final at-bat as both Jacob Stallings and Edwin Espinal collected singles, but Erich Weiss grounded into a game-ending double play to second to seal Edward Mujica's 21st save.
Indy gained a 1-0 advantage just a half-inning into the game on Gift Ngoepe's sixth home run of the season. Espinal then hit a two-out RBI single that made it 2-0 before Toledo plated seven unanswered runs.
Hutchison (9-9) took the loss after yielding five runs on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts in four innings pitched. Knuckleballer Josh Turley (2-2) tossed 7 2/3 innings of four-run ball while earning the win for the Hens.
Brett McKinney shut down the Hens in the seventh and eighth with two strikeouts in those two innings of work. He has now thrown nine scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts over his last four appearances combined.
Barnes fell a triple shy of the cycle and Espinal joined him with a three-hit performance.
The Indians and Bulls begin their IL semifinal matchup on Wednesday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Right-hander Clay Holmes (10-5, 3.36) gets the nod for Indy, opposite Bulls southpaw Ryan Yarbrough (13-6, 3.43). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. The radio broadcast can be heard on Fox Sports 97.5 or AM 1260.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.