Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (23-18) at Louisville Bats (14-27)
LOCATION: Louisville Slugger Field
FIRST PITCH: 7:00 PM ET
GAME #42 / Road #24: Indianapolis Indians (23-18) at Louisville Bats (14-27)
PROBABLES: RHP Beau Sulser (3-2, 3.82) vs. Jeff Hoffman (MLB Rehab)
RADIO: FoxSportsIndy.com / Fox Sports 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV
SUNDAY - ELEVENTH INNING EXCITEMENT: Facing a 7-6 deficit with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Wilmer Difo walked to extend the inning to Christian Bethancourt. He shot a line drive into center field to score Anthony Alford, the automatic runner on second base, to tie the game at 7-7. On the play, the throw home allowed Difo to advance to third, which took Redbirds catcher Tyler Heineman off the plate. With first base uncovered, Bethancourt stalled between first and second to bring pitcher Tyler Webb - who was covering home - toward first base. Difo then broke toward the plate, narrowly missing a tag at third base, to score the winning run.
SUNDAY - INNINGS 1-10: Prior to the wild 11th inning walk-off, the Indians trailed Memphis 3-0 early with a three-run triple off the bat of starting pitcher Zack Thompson. The Redbirds then extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning off a two-run single by Kramer Robertson. Joe Hudson roped an RBI double in the fourth inning to put Indy on the board in the fourth and Anthony Alford singled up the middle in the seventh to make the score 6-2. In the eighth inning, the Indians offense erupted to tie the game with a four-run frame. Christian Bethancourt began the scoring with a pinch-hit, two-run home run to left field, and Anthony Alford tied the game with an RBI single up the middle. The game then remained tied at 6-6 through the end of 10 innings.
ALFORD'S AMAZING STRETCH: Dating back to May 26, Anthony Alford ranks among all qualified professional baseball players (MLB included) with a .556 on-base percentage (2nd), .407 average (3rd) and 1.296 OPS (5th). He has hit safely in 14 of 18 games in that time frame, including a current eight-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .480 (12-for-25) with a .629 OBP and 1.469 OPS. On Sunday vs. Memphis, Alford reached safely in all six of his plate appearances with two RBI singles and four walks. In the month of June, he is hitting .452 (19-for-42) with three doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI, 14 walks and 15 strikeouts. Brock Holt holds the Indians single-season record in the Victory Field era for the highest batting average in a single month when he hit .432 in Aug. 2012.
CHRISTIAN CALLS GAME: Both of the Indians' Sunday walk-off wins this season (May 16 vs. Toledo, June 20 vs. Memphis) have capped off five-run comebacks and have come at the hands of Christian Bethancourt. After trailing 5-0 in the first inning on May 16, Bethancourt singled home Travis Swaggerty in the ninth as the winning run to take the 6-5 series finale win over Toledo. Last night, Bethancourt began the comeback from a 6-1 deficit with Indy's second pinch-hit home run of the season in a four-run eighth inning. With two outs in the 11th, he then singled home Anthony Alford as the tying run and set up the crazy play that brought Wilmer Difo home for the walk-off.
MATINEE MARATHON: The four hour, 19 minute marathon between Indianapolis and Memphis on Sunday is tied for the sixth-longest game in Victory Field history and the longest in only 11 innings. It was the longest game since Aug. 1, 2015 when the Indians went for just as long in 13 innings vs. Charlotte. The longest game in Victory Field history came on June 9, 2013 when Indy and Norfolk played 13 innings in four hours and 42 minutes.
HUDSON HITTING: Following a season-high three-hit performance on Sunday vs. Memphis, Joe Hudson is now hitting .364 (8-for-22) in seven June games with Indianapolis. He doubled twice and drove in a run in the Indians' comeback win on Sunday, and has three total extra-base hits with four RBI in the month. This season, Hudson has appeared in 20 games as the Indians catcher with a .279 average (19-for-68), five doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. Indians catchers currently rank fourth in the Triple-A East with a combined .259 average (37-for-143).
TONIGHT: The Indians face off against the former International League West division rival Bats tonight at 7 PM to kick off a six-game series in Louisville. The Bats finished in fourth place of the IL West in 2019 after the Indians took 14 of 23 games between the two teams. In history, the Indians are leading the Bats 220-211 (.510) with a 110-103 (.516) record in Louisville. Tonight, RHP Beau Sulser is set to take the mound vs. RHP Jeff Hoffman on an MLB rehab.
SULSER'S QUALITY START: Beau Sulser earned his third win of the season on June 16 vs. Memphis when he tossed 6.0 scoreless innings for his first Triple-A quality start. He allowed four hits and two walks in the outing while recording five strikeouts of the Redbirds lineup. The outing improved his ERA to 3.82 (15er/35.1ip) for the season, which is tied for the seventh-best among qualified Triple-A East hurlers. Sulser has made eight starts so far this season and has 39 strikeouts.
SERIES OPENING WINS: The Indians have won six of their seven series openers this season, with the lone loss coming at the hands of Omaha. In those games, the Indians have outscored their opponents 32-14, with the largest margin of victory coming with 6-1 wins in the last two series openers.
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