On a beautiful 80-degree Saturday in April, Efren Navarro put on a show in Toledo's second straight win over Indianapolis by a final of 6-3. Navarro blasted two opposite field home runs and reached base all four times he came to the plate.
Navarro is now hitting .424 on the season, which puts him in the Top 10 in the International League and has hit safely in eight-of-10 contests to start the season.
Dustin Molleken got the start on the hill after the weekend of pitcher moves between Toledo and Detroit. It was the first start of the season for Molleken, who had five starts in 2016 in his 42 appearances with the Hens.
Toledo got off to a fast start at the plate in the bottom of the first against Indy starter Josh Lindblom. Alex Presley walked and Jim Adduci singled to start the offensive surge before John Hicks blooped in a double that scored both runners. The two RBI for Hicks gave him the lead in the IL with 11 RBI on the season.
Efren Navarro followed by hitting an opposite field home run that cleared the left field wall for his first blast of the year. After one, the Hens led 4-0.
Indy scored two in the top of the second off of Dustin Molleken. The first three Indians reached on walks before a one-out double from Chris Bostick scored two runs. Blaine Hardy came on in relief and got a pop out and a strikeout to limit the damage in the second. Hardy went on to throw 3.2 big shutout innings in relief, allowing just one hit, one walk, and struck out three.
Bruce Rondon entered for his first appearance for the Hens in the sixth and stranded a walk and a hit to finish his scoreless frame. In the seventh, Daniel Stumpf retired the first two batters he faced before Max Moroff homered to left field, ending Stumpf's appearance. Logan Kensing came on and walked Gift Ngoepe, but John Hicks threw him out to end the inning.
After a shutout top of the eighth inning for Kensing, the Hens got two big insurance runs in the bottom half, once again courtesy of Efren Navarro. After a Hicks single to right, Navarro went opposite field again and the blast carried over the left field fence, to give Toledo a 6-3 lead after eight innings.
Arecenio Leon came on in the ninth and allowed a single and a walk before Navarro sprawled out on a hard-hit ball to his left and tossed to Leon to end the game.
Hardy earned the win in relief, which gives him three to start the season to lead the Hens and the IL.
Toledo will look for a home-opening series win on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. before going on another week-long road trip.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.