Bats Rally Again for 4-2 Win over Indians
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For the second-consecutive game, the Louisville Bats (57-71) used a late rally to top the Indianapolis Indians (69-62), 4-2, Saturday evening at Louisville Slugger Field. After loading the bases with one out, Hernan Iribarren brought home Blake Trahan for the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice, giving the Bats their third straight win.
Louisville starter Tyler Mahle was terrific in a seven-inning outing, allowing only five hits and two runs with strikeouts. Despite the no-decision, the Bats improved to 35-11 this season when given a quality start. Tanner Rainey (6-2, 2.12) earned the win as he gave up one hit in an inning of work. In the ninth, Kevin Quackenbush emphatically earned his 24th save of the year, striking out the side on just 11 pitches. For Indianapolis, southpaw Buddy Boshers (0-1, 6.00) took the loss, surrendering two hits and two runs with two walks in one inning of work.
The Bats struck early in the first as Brian O'Grady doubled to bring home Gabriel Guerrero for the game's first run. The lead was bolstered in the second as Josh VanMeter posted a double of his own, scoring Taylor Sparks, who had reached earlier on a walk.
In the third, the Indians responded as Eric Wood lead off with a home run to left-center, but Mahle was able to keep their offense at bay, retiring nine of the next ten Indianapolis batters. The same could be said for the Bats, who were held in check by reliever Alex McRae and his four strikeouts in four innings. The offensive malaise was finally broken in the top of the sixth as the Indians tied the game on a sac fly from Jose Osuna that brought home Pablo Reyes.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth, when the Bats commenced their surge, beginning with a leadoff single by Trahan and a walk to Guerrero. After O'Grady laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, Tim Federowicz was intentionally walked to load the bases for Iribarren, who knocked in the winning run. One batter later, C.J. McElroy added an insurance run with a RBI single to left that scored Guerrero. McElroy's performance on Saturday was one of his best to date with Louisville, going 3-for-4 with a RBI. Tonight's late-inning outburst continued a recent trend for the Bats, who have scored 10 runs in the final two innings during their last three games.
The Bats will now head north to Indianapolis for the back half of this four-game set with the Indians. Right-hander Lucas Sims (4-5, 2.99) will start for Louisville, with fellow righty Mitch Keller (2-2, 5.31) countering for Indianapolis. First pitch is slated for 1:35 p.m. at Victory Field.
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