Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (43-34) at Columbus Clippers (39-39)
The Indians and Clippers clash for game two of their four-game set tonight in Columbus.
Location: Huntington Park
First Pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
Game #78 / Road #39: Indianapolis Indians (43-34) @ Columbus Clippers (39-39)
Probables: LHP Brandon Waddell (2-3, 7.41) vs. LHP Ryan Merritt (0-1, 6.00)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV
From the Notes
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Indians led 3-0 before the Clippers scored once in the seventh and four in the eighth to rally for a 5-3 win in the series opener. J.T. Brubaker, pitching in his native Ohio, hurled 5.2 shutout innings, scattering five hits and two walks with a Triple-A high eight punchouts, also tying a season high for the right-hander. Sam Haggerty, making his Triple-A debut for Columbus, provided the deciding blow with a two-run single off IL All-Star Dovydas Neverauskas. The Indians led 1-0 after a half-inning thanks to a Kevin Newman leadoff double and consecutive groundouts by Adam Frazier and Jordan Luplow. The Indians tacked on two more in the third, one crossing home plate on a Luplow fielder's choice and another on a Kevin Kramer sacrifice fly. Enny Romero was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on one hit and three walks in 0.1 innings pitched.
FOR STARTERS: The Indians are 3-2 in their last five games, but the rotation has been superb overall during that stretch by collecting a 0.61 ERA (2 ER/29.2 IP) and allowing just 18 hits and five walks with 34 strikeouts. They have posted a 0.78 WHIP over the previous five games after having a 1.50 WHIP through the season's first 72 contests.
LATE LEAD LOST: The Indians dropped their third game of the year when leading after seven full innings, making them one of four teams in the IL to have that many losses under those circumstances. Gwinnett and Lehigh Valley each have four losses and Buffalo also has three when leading after seven frames. The blown save, given to Enny Romero, was Indy's fifth of the year. The Indians hadn't blown a save since May 4 vs. Gwinnett (13 consecutive save opportunities converted), a 4-3 loss at Victory Field. Dovydas Neverauskas was charged with his first and only blown save to date in that affair.
HOT JUNE: Kevin Kramer has an extra-base hit in six of nine, 10 of 16 and 14 of his last 24 games overall. His double in the second inning Wednesday night helped him set a new personal mark; he had never recorded an XBH in four straight games in his career. He has 34 XBH (20 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR) in 72 games this season, second most in the IL. After batting just .238 (25-for-105) with 10 XBH (4 HR, 1 3B, 5 2B) in 28 May games, Kramer has heated up with a .319 average (29-for-91) and 19 XBH (6 HR, 2 3B, 11 2B) in 25 June contests. He has hit safely in 17 games this month, with a team-high 11 multi-hit performances during that span (Jordan Luplow is second with seven multi-hit games in June).
RBI MACHINE: Jordan Luplow has hit safely in 19 of his last 23 overall. He has also driven in at least one run in four straight and five of his last six, with four of those occurrences featuring two-RBI performances. He is batting .383 (18-for-47) with two homers, five doubles, 10 RBI, eight runs scored and 10 walks against just seven strikeouts over his last 14 games. Since May 1, Luplow has batted .307 (59-for-192) with 30 extra-base hits, 35 RBI and 26 runs scored in 53 games. All seven of his home runs with Indy have come on the road.
THAT'S A LONG STREAK: Catcher Ryan Lavarnway is riding a career-high tying 14-game hitting streak into tonight's game. His other 14-game streak came with Low-A Greenville in the South Atlantic League from May 6-June 4, 2009. He is one of seven players in the IL with a hitting streak of 14-plus games this season and has tied Jose Osuna (14 games, April 6-27) for the longest streak by a Tribe player in 2018. Christopher Bostick had a 15-gamer from April 15-May 3 last year. Lavarnway is batting .353 (18-for-51) during his streak with all four of his home runs coming since June 3. He has reached base safely in 19 straight and 25 of his last 26 games overall dating back to May 2.
SMOOTH SAILING: Kevin Newman has torched Clippers pitching in 13 games this year, batting .407 (24-for-59) with one homer, seven doubles, six RBI, 13 runs scored and a 1.021 OPS. Over one-third of his doubles (7 of 19) and nearly 29% of his hits (24 of 84) have come against Columbus.
LOVE LEFT-HANDERS: The Indians are 17-6 when facing a left-handed starter this season, and they'll see another tonight in the form of Ryan Merritt. The Tribe have a .290 average, .358 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage against southpaws. By comparison, their triple-slash line against right-handers is .268/.329/.397.
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