Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (21-17) vs. Norfolk Tides (19-20)
The Indians seek a third consecutive series victory this evening in game two of the series against Norfolk.
Location: Victory Field
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Game #39 / Home #22: Indianapolis Indians (21-17) vs. Norfolk Tides (19-20)
Probables: RHP Rookie Davis (0-3, 6.30) vs. LHP Josh Rogers (2-2, 6.48)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
LAST NIGHT: JB Shuck doubled and later scored on a Ke'Bryan Hayes sacrifice fly in the seventh inning as the Indians earned their 11th comeback win of the season, 6-5, over Norfolk in the series opener. Both teams plated two runs apiece in the second inning, with Indy's as a result of Trayvon Robinson's second home run of the year. DJ Stewart put the Tides on top again with a two-out, three-run blast in the third off Eduardo Vera, but the Tribe plated the last four runs of the contest. Will Craig homered to open Indy's three-run fourth, and after Kevin Kramer walked and Jacob Stallings doubled, Robinson and Pablo Reyes collected consecutive RBI groundouts to even the score. Vera (W, 2-3) faced one over the minimum over his final four innings of work, and Dovydas Neverauskas (S, 4) nailed down the save with two scoreless frames, fanning two.
CRAIG, YARD, AGAIN: Tribe 1B Will Craig homered for a second straight ballgame in last night's 6-5 victory, giving him 11 dingers already this season. That total ranks fifth in the International League. Craig has 156 plate appearances in 36 games played this season, so he's homering once every 14.2 PAs; it took him 240 PAs and 61 games to reach 11 home runs in 2018 with Double-A Altoona, meaning he homered once every 21.8 PAs. The Tribe are 6-5 in games where Craig has gone deep this season.
100TH BLAST: 1,347 days had passed between Trayvon Robinson's 98th and 99th home runs in affiliated ball. Only two days separated his 99th and 100th career home runs, however, when he drilled his second long ball of the year in the second inning of last night's victory.
JACOB, RICH ROD: In addition to the promotions of RHPs Geoff Hartlieb and Clay Holmes from Indianapolis yesterday, the Pirates also optioned RHP Richard Rodriguez and outrighted C Jacob Stallings to Indianapolis. Stallings had been on a rehab assignment with Indy before being DFA'd and clearing waivers. Stallings first suited up for Indy in 2016 and over the last four years, he has hit .267 (203-for-760) with 15 homers, 60 doubles and 112 RBI in 220 Triple-A games. He has also thrown out 33.5 percent (62-of-185) of attempted basestealers. Rodriguez pitched briefly for Indy in 2018, recording a 0.00 ERA in 5.0 innings pitched. He struck out nine, walked two and yielded just one hit before having his contract selected by the Pirates in April 2018.
TONIGHT: Right-hander Rookie Davis (0-3, 6.30) will make his first start in 11 days as Indy looks to secure another series win this evening. Davis was scheduled to start for the Tribe on Sunday at Lehigh Valley, but the game was postponed due to rain and Davis' spot was ultimately skipped in the rotation. He posted his first quality start with the Indians on 5/7 at Scranton/WB (6.0ip, 9h, 2er, 1bb, 4k) but he suffered his second straight loss. The Tides will counter with New Albany, Ind. native, left-hander Josh Rogers (2-2, 6.48). Rogers, like Davis, is pitching on 11 days rest; he took the loss on 5/7 vs. Pawtucket (6.2ip, 9h, 4r, 4er, 1hr, 2bb, 4k).
MR. ROGERS: In 2007, Josh Rogers played for a New Albany Little League team that won the state championship. Josh and his teammates made it to the championship game of the Great Lakes Tournament in Indianapolis - the last stop before the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. - where they lost to a club from Ohio. Rogers started that game on the mound for New Albany, and the game was aired on ESPN. At New Albany High School, Rogers developed into one of Midwest's top left-handers. By the end of his junior year he had 24 wins, two losses, 259 strikeouts and a 1.07 ERA. He attended the University of Louisville before being drafted by the Yankees in 2015.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Kevin Kramer is batting .378 (17-for-45) with one homer, five doubles and nine RBI in 14 games this May. His average is ninth in the IL this month. Norfolk's DJ Stewart has been a monster at the plate this month; he leads the league in batting (.487), is tied for second in RBI (23) and is second in XBH (13).
LIMIT THE LONG BALL: Despite the inflation in home run totals across all of Triple-A this year, Indianapolis' pitching staff has managed to limit opponents to 33 home runs, fewest in the IL. The Indians have also led the IL in fewest home runs allowed in 2018 (88), 2016 (79) 2015 (63), 2013 (90), 2011 (101) and 2009 (79).
INFIELDERS, STAY READY: Indianapolis pitchers have combined for a 1.18 groundout-to-airout ratio this year, the highest mark in the IL. The Indians staff has induced 34 double plays as a result, tied with Charlotte for second most in the league behind Syracuse (37). Twenty-five of those double plays induced have been by Tribe starting pitchers, second behind Syracuse (28), and eight of those have been induced by Alex McRae, tops among all IL pitchers.
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