INDIANAPOLIS – Miguel Andújar tattooed a 442-foot home run to give Indianapolis an early lead, Quinn Priester recorded another scoreless performance against Toledo, and Canaan Smith-Njigba launched his first career grand slam to cap a five-run eighth as the Indians buried the Mud Hens 11-0 on Friday night at Victory
INDIANAPOLIS – Miguel Andújar tattooed a 442-foot home run to give Indianapolis an early lead, Quinn Priester recorded another scoreless performance against Toledo, and Canaan Smith-Njigba launched his first career grand slam to cap a five-run eighth as the Indians buried the Mud Hens 11-0 on Friday night at Victory Field.
The Indians (26-28) jumped on 23-year-old southpaw Jack O’Loughlin (L, 0-1) in his Triple-A debut with three runs in the first. Andújar’s sixth long ball came with one out following a Nick Gonzales infield single in which he reached third on a throwing error and interference and Travis Swaggerty walk.
Indy added a run in the fourth behind a Smith-Njigba leadoff two-bagger and two-out double by Ryan Vilade and tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh on run-scoring singles by Gonzales and Jared Triolo.
Indianapolis put the nail in the coffin in the eighth with a five-run burst against Layne Henderson. Swaggerty singled home Aaron Shackelford to make it 7-0, and Smith-Njigba cleared the bases with a towering drive to the right-field lawn for his seventh homer of the season and fifth in his last 10 games. The grand slam was Indy’s fourth of the year, matching the club’s 2022 total.
Priester (W, 6-3) shut down the Mud Hens (24-30) over 6.0 innings, scattering four hits and three walks with six strikeouts. In the sixth, Vinny Capra, Gonzales and Vilade combined for a dazzling 6-4-3 double play before Priester punched out his final batter. The win was his fifth in his last six outings and also moved him into a tie with Norfolk’s Cole Irvin for the International League lead. Priester owns four of Indy’s eight quality starts this season.
Endy Rodríguez tallied a game-high three hits with one run, and Gonzales, Smith-Njigba and Triolo all registered two-hit performances.
The shutout victory was Indy’s fourth of the season and second against the Mud Hens, the other being a 9-0 win in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Fifth Third Field on May 3. The 11-0 triumph was Indy’s largest shutout since blanking the Clippers by the same score on May 31, 2013, in Columbus, and the biggest shutout win at Victory Field since a 16-0 defeat over Rochester on June 11, 2012.
Indy has notched double-digit run totals in six of its last 17 games.
The Indians and Mud Hens continue their series on Saturday at 7:05 PM. RHP Osvaldo Bido (2-3, 4.30) is scheduled to start for Indy against RHP Zach Logue (1-3, 4.97).