Clemens homers twice as Mud Hens defeat Indians

Toledo Mud Hens
INDIANAPOLISKody Clemens smashed a pair of home runs for the Toledo Mud Hens on Thursday, as he and Renato Núñez went back-to-back for the second consecutive game in a 7-2 win over the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field.

In all, Clemens finished 3-for-4 with two solo homers, a walk and three runs, while Núñez ended the night 2-for-4 with a two-run shot, a walk and three runs. Additionally, Yariel Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single, while Aderlin Rodríguez was 1-for-3 with an RBI single, a walk and a HBP.

Drew Hutchison excelled on the mound for Toledo (38-29) with eight strikeouts in a season-high seven scoreless innings of work, scattering three hits as he tied for the league lead with his seventh victory of the season. From there, Michael Fulmer took over in relief as he began a rehab assignment with the Mud Hens, overcoming a difficult start to pitch one shutout frame in his first appearance for the club since starting on April 22, 2016 at Columbus.

The Mud Hens used three consecutive two-out singles to open the scoring in the top of the first inning. Núñez ran out an infield single to first, before Clemens grounded an infield hit to second to put runners on the corners. Rodríguez then lined a base hit through the right side to plate Núñez and stake the visitors to a 1-0 lead.

Toledo eventually doubled its advantage in the top of the sixth when Clemens belted a solo shot down the right-field line, giving the prospect his second home run in as many games and fifth of the campaign.

Indianapolis (33-34) looked to shift momentum in the bottom of the seventh stanza, as Fabricio Macias lined a leadoff double toward the gap in right-center. Bligh Madris then flared a single into shallow center that should have scored Macias, but the latter tripped on the basepaths and had to stop at third. That stumble helped keep the Tribe off the board, thanks to Macias remaining at third when Christian Bethancourt grounded into a 1-4-3 double play and Hunter Owen striking out swinging to end the inning.

The Mud Hens promptly padded their lead with a pair of insurance markers in the top of the eighth. Núñez and Clemens drew back-to-back walks, before Rodríguez was plunked to load the bases with one out. Christin Stewart grounded into a fielder’s choice to short that allowed Núñez to score, and Gonzalez added a single into left that brought home Clemens.

Toledo put the game beyond any doubt with three more runs an inning later. After JaCoby Jones grounded an infield single to third, Núñez unloaded a two-out, two-run drive that sailed well beyond the left-field wall for his 15th round-tripper of the season. Three pitches later, Clemens whacked a home run to right-center that gave the Mud Hens a 7-0 cushion.

Indianapolis spoiled Toledo’s shutout bid with one out left in the bottom of the final frame. Christian Bethancourt hit a two-out single to right, and scored when Hunter Owen two-run drive to left that closed the gap to 7-2.

What’s Next:
The Mud Hens, who have tallied 29 runs on 37 hits in their last three outings, resume their six-game series against the Indians on Friday. First pitch from Victory Field is set for 7:05 p.m.

Hens Notes:
• The Mud Hens have notched 11 or more hits in six consecutive road games.
• With a two-run drive in the top of the ninth inning, Renato Núñez recorded his 150th career minor-league home run.
Kody Clemens has three multi-homer games in his minor-league career. He tallied two homers in a single game with High-A Lakeland in 2019, and did the same for Single-A West Michigan in 2018.

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