• Indians magic number at 2 with win over Bats

    August 23, 2012 No comments

    Indians shortstop Chase d’Arnaud went 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored on Wednesday night, delivering a game-winning, ground-rule double in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Indianapolis past the Louisville Bats 7-5 at Victory Field.

    After PH Drew Sutton drew a one-out walk in the seventh, d’Arnaud smacked his fourth hit of the night, a flyball into the right-center-field gap. Sutton scored, but the ball bounced off the warning track and over the wall, much to the chagrin of d’Arnaud, who would have had an easy triple and an outside chance at an inside-the-park home run.

    After back-to-back-to-back walks, d’Arnaud trotted home with an insurance run on a bases load walk by RF Dallas McPherson, giving the Indians their final 7-5 lead. With the win the Tribe improved to 14-4 on the season against the division-rival Bats.

    1B Matt Hague had tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning when he launched his fourth home run of the season over the left-center-field fence. That homer erased a one-run lead that Bats LF Cody Puckett built with a two-run double to left in the top of the sixth inning.

    A wild play gave the Indians a brief 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth when CF Alex Presley tied and then untied the game on a ‘Little League home run.’ With d’Arnaud on second, Presley blooped a single into center field and advanced to second on the throw home.

    d’Arnaud beat the throw home to tie the game and when the ball got past the Louisville catcher Presley advanced to third. An ill-advised throw from behind the plate then skipped into left field and Presley trotted home to complete his trip around the bases.

    Prior to Presley’s single, d’Arnaud had moved into scoring position with his first stolen base since July 30 — a span of 19 games. Still, d’Arnaud’s 31 stolen bases rank second in the International League.

    Louisville 2B Willie Harris had been the story offensively early on, leading off the game with his second home run of the season. Harris later put the Bats ahead 3-2 in the fifth inning with his second home run of the game.

    Between the Harris homers, the Indians scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third on an RBI groundout by Hague and an RBI single by McPherson. Louisville tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning when 1B Neftali Soto, who had singled and advanced on a double by 3B Mike Constanzo, scored on a wild pitch by Indianapolis starter Chris Leroux.

    Leroux (5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 2 HR) was far from his normal self — allowing five earned runs and a pair of homers — but avoided his first loss of the season when his offense bounced back in the late innings. LHP Jo-Jo Reyes picked up the win for Indianapolis, his first since May 7 against Lehigh Valley.

    Reyes (2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 K) has struggled with injuries this season but allowed just one hit and recorded two strikeouts while earning his sixth win of the season. Fellow LHP Doug Slaten (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K) allowed one hit and picked up one strikeout in a scoreless ninth to earn his 10th save of the season.

    For Louisville, LHP Travis Webb suffered a blown save, his first, and the loss, his fifth. Webb (1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) allowed Hague’s home run and walked Sutton, who scored the game-winning run on d’Arnaud’s ground-rule double.

    With the win and a loss by the Columbus Clippers, the magic number for Indianapolis to clinch the International League West title falls to two.

    In Thursday’s 7:05 p.m. game two, Indianapolis is expected to send RHP Phil Irwin (0-0, 4.50) to the mound in his second Triple-A start. The Bats, meanwhile, will likely start RHP Todd Redmond (2-3, 3.41). Redmond made his major league debut on August 18 against the Chicago Cubs, taking a loss.

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