Daily Dish: Sept. 6

See also: Tuesday’s Daily Dish
See also: Today’s Baseball America Prospect Report

Just one full-season minor league had a game scheduled last night and it was a big one. Toledo defeated visiting Indianapolis 4-0 in the teams’ one-game playoff to decide the Triple-A International League’s Western Division. The teams fell into a tie on the season’s final day–when Indianapolis won and Toledo lost–necessitating the play-in game.

The Mud Hens exercised their home-field advantage early by blasting two home runs in the third inning to take an early 3-0 lead. Third baseman Mike Hessman connected for a solo shot of Indians’ starter Britt Reames to lead off the inning, and two outs later right fielder Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run shot.

Fittingly, the duo finished second and third in the league in home runs: Ludwick with 28, Hessman with 24.

Toledo starter Colby Lewis came up big in his biggest start of the year, throwing seven scoreless innings while allowing just four hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Lewis, 27, enjoyed a fine comeback season–he went 6-7, 3.96–after missing nearly two full seasons with a shoulder injury.

The Mud Hens will face Charlotte in the first round of the playoffs starting today.

River Cats Remain Kings Of The Hill

Triple-A Sacramento led the minor leagues in attendance for the seventh consecutive season, the club announced today. The River Cats drew 728,227 fans in 71 home dates this season, for an average of 10,257 per game.

Sacramento has been one of the great success stories in the minor leagues since it re-entered the Pacific Coast League in 2000. The club has attracted more than 5.5 million fans in the seven-year history of Raley Field.