Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (20-17) vs. Norfolk Tides (19-19)
The Indians and Tides open a three-game weekend series this evening in the Circle City.
Location: Victory Field
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
Game #38 / Home #21: Indianapolis Indians (20-17) vs. Norfolk Tides (19-19)
Probables: RHP Eduardo Vera (1-3, 5.35) vs. RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 6.31)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
YESTERDAY: Four runs, all with two outs in the fourth inning, broke a 1-1 tie and pushed Scranton/WB past Indianapolis, 7-4. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Tribe and for a second straight season, the Indians and RailRiders split their season series, 3-3. Cliff Pennington had the big blow during the RailRiders' fourth, as he followed a pair of two-out walks issued by Dario Agrazal with a three-run homer to make it 4-1. After the visitors hit back-to-back solo homers in the fifth to extend their lead to 7-1, the Tribe showed fight with a Will Craig hit a two-run homer in the eighth, his 10th of the season. He also worked a bases-loaded walk in the ninth to make it 7-4. Kevin Kramer struck out swinging as the winning run at the plate to seal the defeat. Sean Keselica was strong in relief for Indy, throwing 3.0 hitless innings. Former Tribe hurler Drew Hutchison tossed 6.0 innings and allowed one unearned run while striking out nine for the RailRiders.
DOUBLE DIGITS FOR CRAIG: Tribe 1B Will Craig is already to the halfway point of his 2018 home run total of 20 with Double-A Altoona, having hit 10 this season. Indy's 2018 home run leader was Kevin Kramer, who blasted 15 in 129 games.
HARTLIEB, HOLMES GOING UP: Today the Pirates selected the contract of right-handed reliever Geoff Hartlieb and recalled right-handed reliever Clay Holmes. Hartlieb, 25, went 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA (7er/19.0ip) and 23 strikeouts in 12 games for the Tribe. He notched one save and held IL batters to a .225 average (16-for-71). He was especially dominant against right-handed batters, holding them to a .136 average (6-for-44) with 16 punchouts. Hartlieb also excelled in seven appearances at Victory Field, recording a 0.82 ERA (1er/11.0ip) and .167 average against (6-for-36). Nine of his 12 outings for Indy were multi-inning appearances.
MORE ON HARTLIEB: Hartlieb, a native of Highland, Ill., was a 29th-round pick by the Pirates in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Lindenwood (Mo.) University. He first attended Quincy (Ill.) University to play college basketball and played in 24 games as a freshman. He transferred to Lindenwood for his last three years and focused strictly on baseball. He is the first player from Pittsburgh's 2016 draft class to reach the major leagues. He attended Highland (Ill.) High School, the same high school that produced first-round draftee and current Minnesota Twin, Jake Odorizzi.
ALL OF THE DEBUTS: Hartlieb will be the fifth Tribe player to make his MLB debut already this season, joining OF Jason Martin, SS Cole Tucker, OF Bryan Reynolds and RHP Montana DuRapau. In 2018, Indy sent nine different players to the bigs for their debuts.
TODAY: Right-hander Eduardo Vera (1-3, 5.35) will face Tides righty Luis Ortiz (1-3, 6.31) this evening in the first of six meetings between Indy and Norfolk in 2019. Vera got his first taste of victory his last time out at Lehigh Valley (6.0ip, 5h, 1er, 1bb, 7k) while Ortiz's last win came two starts back on April 30 at Durham (5.0ip, 5h, 1er, 2bb, 2k). Ortiz, 23, has already been traded twice in his career after being taken in the first round (30th overall) by Texas in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. He was acquired by Milwaukee on 8/1/16 with OF Lewis Brinson (now with the Marlins) and OF Ryan Cordell (now with the White Sox) in exchange for C Jonathan Lucroy (now with the Angels) and RHP Jeremy Jeffress (back with the Brewers). The Brewers then shipped Ortiz to the Orioles on 7/31/18 with INF Jonathan Villar and SS Jean Carmona in exchange for INF Jonathan Schoop (now with the Twins).
KRAMER RED HOT: Kevin Kramer has hit safely in eight of his last 11 games while reaching base safely in 10 of those contests, dating back to May 3. During the 11-game stretch the California native is batting .421 (16-for-38) with three separate three-hit performances, an average that is fifth in the IL. His .511 OBP since May 3 is third in the league behind only Columbus' Mark Mathias (.528) and Rochester's Drew Maggi (.550).
HOME COOKIN': 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. He has turned it up a notch this year at Victory Field, batting .372 (16-for-43) with eight RBI through 13 games at home. His .372 clip at home is the third highest home average by a left-handed batter in the IL with 40+ PAs, trailing only Durham's Jake Cronenworth (.386) and Kean Wong (.380).
TWO BAGS FOR KEY: Ke'Bryan Hayes leads the International League with 15 doubles, tied for the fourth-highest mark in all of Minor League Baseball. 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 seven games overall.
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