Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (39-34) vs. Louisville Bats (28-47)
The Indians begin a brief two-game series with Louisville tonight in the Circle City.
LOCATION: Victory Field
FIRST PITCH: 7:05 p.m. ET
GAME #74 / HOME #36: Indianapolis Indians (39-34) vs. Louisville Bats (28-47)
PROBABLES: RHP Mitch Keller (5-1, 3.10) vs. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (2-5, 7.60)
RADIO: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
YESTERDAY: The Indians trailed 1-0 through five innings, 2-1 after six and were tied 3-3 going into the ninth before scoring the decisive run on a Christian Kelley RBI single that gave Indy a 4-3 win and series victory for the first time in three weeks. Darnell Sweeney scored the go-ahead run in Indy's final at-bat after getting plunked by Jenrry Mejia with one away. He then stole second base and Nick Franklin walked to set up Kelley's game-winner. Jordan Lyles struck out seven and allowed just one run on two hits and three walks in 5.1 innings pitched. Cole Tucker lined a solo homer off the RF foul pole in the sixth to tie the game at 1-1, but Bryce Brentz greeted Blake Weiman out of the 'pen in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run of his own. Indy's two runs in the seventh came in on a Franklin single.
DOWN THRU SIX: Indy's 4-3 win yesterday improved its record to 2-24 in games where they have trailed through six innings of play. The Tribe began the season 0-7 in those situations before earning their first win when trailing after six frames on April 28 at Charlotte. The Indians scored in eight of their nine trips to the plate that day and overcame an 8-6 deficit thru six innings with one run in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the final tally coming on an Erich Weiss go-ahead solo homer.
SEIZED THE SERIES: The Indians had lost four consecutive series and 11 of their last 15 games overall prior to yesterday's triumph. Indy's last series victory prior to taking two of three at Pawtucket came from June 3-5 at Louisville, when the Indians took two of three games against the Bats.
CLOSE CALLS: Indianapolis is 15-9 in one-run games this year, tied with Durham and Charlotte for the most one-run victories in the IL. The Tribe went 14-24 in one-run ballgames last year. Seventeen of Indy's 22 games this month have been decided by three runs or less (77.3 percent). On the season, Indy has played 53 of its 73 games (72.6 percent) within three runs.
THE SCOUTING REPORT: Indy and Louisville are very familiar with one another this year, having already played 13 games head-to-head. The Tribe own an 8-5 advantage in the season series but are just 3-4 against Louisville in seven games at The Vic. The Bats have outscored the Indians 57-54 and outhit the Tribe 116-100. Their pitching staff owns a 3.66 ERA compared to Indy's 3.86 ERA in the season series, as well. Indy's biggest advantage is in the extra-base hits department; the Tribe have 42 XBH to Louisville's 31 XBH, including a 29-17 advantage in doubles.
SAME BOAT IN JUNE: The Indians are 8-14 in June, tied with Syracuse for the third-worst record in the league and ahead of only Norfolk (6-16) and Louisville (5-16). Indy's struggles this month have come at the plate, where they have totaled a league-low 80 runs in 22 games (3.64 RPG). The Tribe offense is at the bottom of the league in home runs (15) this month and rank 13th in on-base percentage (.314), slugging percentage (.394) and OPS (.707). They have also walked a league-low 59 times in June, but they have managed to strike out the fewest times (167).
Louisville's struggles this month have come on the mound. Their pitching staff has compiled a league-worst 6.71 ERA this month, well behind Syracuse's 6.02 ERA that ranks 13th. The Bats have given up 149 runs in 21 games (7.10 RPG) and have struck out just 146 batters (6.95 K/G), both the worst marks in the league. Louisville's pitchers have also issued 90 walks this month, second worst in the IL and ahead of only Pawtucket (92).
WELL, THAT'S WEIRD: OF/Assistant Hitting Coach Jon Schwind was officially transferred from High-A Bradenton to Indianapolis today and placed on the 7-day injured list with a left shoulder strain. The paper move cleared a roster space in Bradenton. Schwind is in his first year as a coach at the professional level after playing in the Pirates organization for seven years. He was selected by the Pirates with the first pick in the 41st round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Marist College.
xWL: The Indians are one of two teams in the IL with a winning record and a negative run differential. Indy is -9 in run differential but 39-34 overall; Buffalo is -21 in run differential and 38-36 overall. Indy's expected W-L record is 36-37, making them one of four IL teams to have played three games better than their xWL. The others are Lehigh Valley (34-38, xWL 31-41), Charlotte (41-33, xWL 38-36) and Columbus (44-30, xWL 41-33).
EIGHT STRAIGHT: Indy's pitching staff has allowed at least one home run in eight consecutive games dating back to Game 1 of a doubleheader against Pawtucket on June 16. It's the longest home run streak for opponents against Indy since an eight-game stretch from July 19-26, 2017.
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International League Stories from June 24, 2019
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