Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (19-16) vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (18-15)
The Indians look to secure their fifth straight win this morning in game two of the series against Scranton/WB.
Location: Victory Field
First Pitch: 11:05 a.m. ET
Game #36 / Home #19: Indianapolis Indians (19-16) vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (18-15)
Probables: RHP Alex McRae (3-2, 5.40) vs. RHP David Hale (3-1, 2.93)
Radio: FoxSports975.com / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
LAST NIGHT: Mitch Keller threw 6.0 innings of two-run ball, Jason Martin scored two runs atop the lineup and Ke'Bryan Hayes drove in a pair as the Indians dropped Scranton/WB in the series opener, 4-2. Indy broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning on a Kevin Kramer RBI single, his second knock of the game. Hayes added an RBI double in the fifth to provide the final margin. The Tribe scored the game's first run on a single by Kramer in the second, bringing home Jacob Stallings who kicked the ball free from catcher Kyle Higashioka on his slide at the plate. Jason Martin then tripled and raced home on a Hayes groundout in the third to make it 2-0. Higashioka made up for his miscue with a two-run, game-tying blast in the fourth. Keller allowed three hits and two walks with eight punchouts, and Indy's bullpen trio of Geoff Hartlieb (1.0ip, 0r, 2k), Sean Keselica (0.1ip, 0r) and Dovydas Neverauskas (1.2ip, 0r, 4k) kept the visitors silent over the final three innings.
DOUBLE THE FUN: Ke'Bryan Hayes' league-leading 15th double of the season gave the Indians a 4-2 advantage in last night's contest. The Tribe are 9-3 in games where he has recorded at least one two-bagger. He has doubled in four of Indy's last five games overall.
KELLER ROLLS: Tribe starter Mitch Keller improved to 4-0 through eight starts this season with his third quality start of the campaign. He is now tied with rotation mates Dario Agrazal and Alex McRae for most quality starts on the year by a Tribe starter. He has struck out eight-plus batters in three of his last five outings and ranks second in the league with 50 punchouts. He is also tied for second in wins and seventh in ERA (3.83) among IL leaders. The Indians are 6-2 with Keller on the bump.
GOOD WISHES TO WEISS: Infielder Erich Weiss was granted his release yesterday by the Pirates. The 27-year-old was Pittsburgh's 11th-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Texas and played primarily with Indianapolis over the last 2 1/2 seasons. The Texas native hit .206 (7-for-34) with two homers and four RBI in 14 games for Indy this year. He owned a lifetime average of .255 (149-for-584), 13 homers, nine triples, 35 doubles, 68 RBI and 79 runs scored in 155 career games with the Indians.
TODAY: Right-hander Alex McRae (3-2, 5.40) will face righty David Hale (3-1, 2.93) in today's matinee at The Vic. Hale, 31, is in his second straight campaign with SWB after going 3-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts a year ago. He made his Triple-A debut with Gwinnett in 2013 and posted a 6-9 record and 3.22 ERA in 22 games (20 starts). He didn't return to the IL until 2016 with Norfolk, where he went 4-7 with a 5.84 ERA in 20 starts. Hale, a third-round pick of the Braves in 2009, has faced Indy three times in his career, going 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA (5er/14.0ip). He has yielded 14 hits and six walks with nine punchouts against the Tribe.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Tribe starter Alex McRae was perfect through 5.0 frames and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning last Thursday at Scranton/WB, leading to him being named as the IL Pitcher of the Week Monday. The weekly honor was the first of McRae's career and the third won by a Tribe starter already this season, joining Dario Agrazal (May 6) and Mitch Keller (April 22). McRae's final line against the RailRiders was a dandy: 6.2ip, 1h, 0r, 2bb, 5k. The Indians have won in five of McRae's last six starts.
BETTER RESULTS AT HOME: Despite hitting .311 for the Indians in 2018, Kevin Kramer only batted .267 (64-for-240) with 29 RBI in 55 home games a year ago. Kramer has turned it up a notch this year at Victory Field, batting .324 (11-for-34) with seven RBI through 11 games at home.
DESIGNATED HITTERS: Indy's designated hitters have struggled so far this year, batting .195 (16-for-82) with league lows in extra-base hits (5) and RBI (5). The .195 clip is 13th in the IL, ahead of only Pawtucket's DH average (.179).
GREAT SUCCESS: The Indians improved to 6-2 when facing a left-handed starter this season. The Tribe are batting .288 (95-for-330) with 16 home runs against southpaws this year, opposed to a .260 clip (225-for-865) against right-handed pitchers.
0-2, 2-0, DOESN'T MATTER: The Indians rank first in the International League in batting average during 0-2 counts and second when the count is 2-0. The Tribe had three hits during 0-2 counts in last night's game, elevating their season average in those situations to .233 (24-for-103). Indy is 17-for-36 (.472) when hitting against a 2-0 count.
BY THE NUMBERS - 4-1, 2.27: Over Indy's last six games, Tribe starting pitchers have combined for a 4-1 record and 2.27 ERA (9er/35.2ip). Indy's starters have gone deeper into games and thrown more innings than any other IL team; Indy starters are averaging 5.32 innings pitched per start (186.1 IP in 35 games).
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