Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (14-12) vs. Louisville Bats (11-17)
The Tribe and Bats continue their four-game series tonight as Indy seeks its 10th home victory this year.
Location: Victory Field
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
Game #27 / Home #15: Indianapolis Indians (14-12) vs. Louisville Bats (11-17)
Probables: RHP Alex McRae (1-2, 7.13) vs. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (1-2, 8.14)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
LAST NIGHT: The Tribe scored all of their runs in the fifth inning during a 5-3 win over the Bats on Thursday night. Indians pitcher Mitch Keller ignited the five-run burst in the fifth with a run-scoring double that brought home Christian Kelley, who had opened the frame with a two-bagger of his own. After Kevin Newman worked a two-out walk, Jose Osuna evened the score with a single to right. Will Craig then parked his team-high eighth home run of the season 391 feet to left, a three-run bomb, giving the Tribe a 5-2 advantage. Keller struck out the side in the sixth to finish his 6.0 innings of two-run ball. He scattered six hits, walked none for the first time this season and fanned six overall to improve to 3-0. Louisville scored two of its three runs in the first on consecutive two-out solo home runs by Brian O'Grady and Rob Refsnyder. Geoff Hartlieb (2.0ip, 1er) and Dovydas Neverauskas (1.0ip, 0r, 2k) pitched the final three innings in relief of Keller to seal the victory.
TONIGHT: The Indians and Bats meet for the second game of their four-game series this evening at Victory Field. Right-hander Alex McRae (1-2, 7.13) will face Louisville righty Vladimir Gutierrez (1-2, 8.14). McRae had good success against Louisville in 2018, allowing just two runs (one earned) in 11.2 innings pitched spanning three appearances (one start). All three of those outings were at Louisville Slugger Field. The Tribe have not yet faced the 23-year-old Gutierrez, who spent the entire 2018 season with Double-A Pensacola, going 9-10 with a 4.35 ERA (71er/147.0ip) and 145 strikeouts in 27 starts. He is ranked by Baseball America as Cincinnati's No. 9 prospect.
INDY 500 UNIFORMS: For a second straight night, the Indians will wear a specialty uniform. Last night the Tribe wore their newly-introduced Circle City uniforms, and tonight they will honor Indianapolis' greatest sports spectacle with Indy 500-themed uniforms. The hat includes a 103rd Indy 500 patch on the side while the logo is complete with a brick pattern. The left sleeve of the jersey also includes a Pagoda patch. The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Folds of Honor. Text TRIBE to 79230 to place a bid on the jerseys; the auction concludes at the end of the seventh inning.
TAKUMA SATO: 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato is in attendance for tonight's game. Prior to the game, Sato will swap a bottle of milk for a jersey with Tribe pitcher Mitch Keller. He will also throw out a ceremonial first pitch at 6:45 p.m. and will sign autographs on the third-base concourse near the lineup boards from 7:30-8:00 p.m.
MITCH THE MAGNIFICENT: Tribe ace Mitch Keller settled in nicely after surrendering back-to-back, two-out home runs in the first inning. Those were the only runs the righty allowed over 6.0 innings pitched. Ranked as Pittsburgh's top prospect and a consensus top 30 prospect in all of baseball, Keller added to what has been an impressive start to the 2019 season. He finished with six strikeouts, elevating his season total to 38, tied for second most in the International League. He also moved to 3-0 while lowering his ERA to 3.48, seventh best in the IL.
SEVEN UP: Jake Elmore (.400, 10-for-25) and Ke'Bryan Hayes (.300, 9-for-30) are both riding seven-game hitting streaks entering tonight's game. Elmore has hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games overall, batting .441 (26-for-59) with 14 of his 16 RBI on the season during that stretch, which dates back to April 12. Elmore leads the IL with a .402 average (33-for-82) in 23 games played.
RISP: Indy's pitching staff has limited IL batters to a .242 average with RISP this season, the second-lowest mark in the league behind only Pawtucket (.235). Indy's offense, however, has struggled with RISP; the Indians have hit just .243 with a .720 OPS with RISP, numbers that rank 13th and 14th in the league, respectively.
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