• Tribe down Bats in 15 innings

    May 25, 2012 No comments

    After nine straight scoreless innings, during which both teams stranded nine runners and the Tribe saw three runners thrown out at the plate, Indians right fielder Alex Presley ripped a triple with one out in the 15th inning before trotting home on a walk-off single by third baseman Matt Hague, giving Indianapolis a 2-1 victory over the Louisville Bats on Thursday night at Victory Field.

    After both the Indians and Bats plated a single score in the top of the fifth inning each pitching staff would combine to throw nine shutout innings before Hague’s base knock won it for the Tribe in the 15th. The scoreless frames were not, however, devoid of opportunity as both sides squandered several chances to plate a go-ahead score, including the Indians have runners thrown out at home in the eighth, 10th and 11th innings.

    Louisville began their lone scoring rally in the top of the fifth when C Dioner Navarro and SS Miguel Rojas led off the frame with back-to-back base hits before a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by starter Jeff Francis loaded the bases with no outs. Tribe starter Rudy Owens then let fly a wild pitch that allowed Navarro to score, before expertly working out of any further damage by inducing a fly out and two strikeouts.

    The Indians would even the score in their half of the fifth with a rally that began with a lead-off base hit from 1B Jeff Clement. Back-to-back two out walks to C Jose Morales and Owens later in the frame then set the stage for CF Starling Marte, who lined a sharp single that deflected off the pitcher Francis and allowed Clement to cross the plate to even the score at 1-1.

    Despite excellent efforts from both starting pitchers neither would figure in the final decision.  On the mound for the Bats, Major League veteran Jeff Francis allowed just four hits and a single run while striking out four over seven strong innings.

    For the Indians, Owens continued a stretch of tough-luck as he did not earn a decision despite allowing just a single run over six solid innings.

    The game would ultimately be decided by Tribe RHP Tim Wood and Bats RHP Jordan Smith. Wood earned the win to improve to 3-3 by tossing a scoreless top of the 15th. Smith surrendered Hague’s walk-off base hit to suffer the loss for Louisville and fall to 1-2 on the season

    The Indians and Bats now wrap the first part of their home-and-home series tonight at 7:15 p.m. before heading to Louisville for the final two contests of the series.  LHP Justin Wilson is expected to make the start for Indianapolis, while Louisville is scheduled to counter with RHP Pedro Villarreal.

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