Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (54-59) vs. St. Paul Saints (58-56)
LOCATION: Victory Field
FIRST PITCH: 7:05 PM ET
GAME #114 / Home #55: Indianapolis Indians (54-59) vs. St. Paul Saints (58-56)
PROBABLES: RHP Beau Sulser (6-6, 4.49) vs. RHP Drew Strotman (8-3, 4.81)
RADIO: FoxSportsIndy.com / Fox Sports 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV
SUNDAY: The Indians left Louisville with a series split following a 3-0 win on Sunday afternoon. It was the team's fourth shutout of the season and first against the Bats since Sept. 2, 2019 at Louisville Slugger Field (4-0). After three scoreless innings, the Indians put up all three of their runs in the fourth inning off Cincinnati top prospect Hunter Greene. Jared Oliva and Bligh Madris led off the frame with back-to-back singles before a one-out sacrifice fly by John Nogowski. After a throwing error by Hunter Greene extended the inning, Ka'ai Tom hit his second home run of the season to right field to extend the lead.
MAD MAX, FURY ROAD: Max Kranick continued his dominant streak of starts on the road, earning his fourth Triple-A win on Sunday with his second consecutive quality start at Louisville. All four of his Triple-A wins and three quality starts have come in away contests (June 12 at Nashville, Aug. 20 at Toledo, Sept. 7 at Louisville, Sept. 12 at Louisville). On Sunday, he surrendered just two hits over 6.0 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. In four starts on the road against Triple-A East opponents this season, Kranick owns a 0.39 ERA (1er/23.0ip), 0.78 WHIP and .143 average against (11-for-77). His numbers on the road are in stark comparison to his stats at Victory Field, where he is 0-4 with a 6.89 ERA (24er/31.1ip), 1.63 WHIP and .316 average against (42-for-133) in eight starts.
MAKE IT A BAKER'S DOZEN: Bligh Madris extended his team-high hitting streak to 13 games on Sunday afternoon with a single in the fourth inning. His streak, which began on Aug. 28, is currently the longest active hitting streak among Triple-A East batters. The streak surpassed Indy's previous high of 10 games by Phillip Evans and Tucupita Marcano, and Madris' career high of nine games with Short-Season A West Virginia (8/2 (1)-11/17). Since Aug. 28, Madris is hitting .396 (19-for-48) with five extra-base hits, 10 RBI and a 1.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio (seven strikeouts, five walks). The Indians longest hitting streak of the 2019 campaign was recorded by Will Craig, who hit safely in 14 consecutive games from May 1-June 8 (1).
TRECE, POR FAVOR: Also since Aug. 28, Tucupita Marcano is working a 13-game on-base streak. In that time frame, he has hit safely in 12 games with a .333 batting average (17-for-51) and seven walks. He began his Indians tenure with a 10-game hitting streak from July 30-Aug. 11 and has since found his groove again, going 5-for-13 with two doubles in his last three games. Five of the 13 games in his current on-base streak have been two-hit performances.
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: Jared Oliva is currently on a six-game hitting streak since Sept. 7 at Louisville. He began the streak with four doubles in three games, leading to a .409 batting average (9-for-22) and 1.026 OPS for the week. The stretch continues an impressive last 36 games for Oliva after being optioned by Pittsburgh at the end of July. Since playing in his first game back with the Indians on Aug. 3, he is hitting .313 (41-for-131) with 13 extra-base hits (nine doubles, two triples, two homers) and 21 RBI. Oliva began the regular season on the injured list with an oblique strain and struggled after returning to game action. He hit just .167 (8-for-48) in his first 15 games but has since risen his Triple-A season average to .274 (49-for-179).
TONIGHT: The Indians play their final Tuesday game of the season tonight to kick off a six-game series vs. St. Paul at Victory Field. This series marks Indy's final six-gamer of the regularly scheduled 2021 campaign, as it will end the season with two five-game series from Sept. 22-Oct. 3. In the Indians first season since 1960 with the St. Paul Saints as an opponent, they are 9-9 with a 2-4 record vs. the Saints in the Circle City. RHP Beau Sulser will kick things off for the Indians tonight, making his fifth start against the Saints this season. RHP Drew Strotman will take the mound for St. Paul with a 8.68 ERA in two starts vs. Indianapolis this season.
SERIES SPLITS: After ending last week's series in a tie with Louisville, the Indians have now split each of their last three series after going 5-8-3 through their first 16. They came back from an 0-3 deficit from Aug. 24-29 vs. Louisville, dropped the series finale on Sept. 5 (2) vs. Iowa and won two of their final three games at Louisville from Sept. 7-12. They won their last series during a seven-game set from Aug. 3-8 at Iowa, winning the final four games to begin a five-game winning streak.
SWEET 16: The Indians have 16 games remaining on their schedule, with six to play vs. St. Paul, five at Omaha and five vs. Nashville. They just finished a stretch of 18 consecutive games vs. sub-.500 teams with a 9-9 record. St. Paul, Omaha and Nashville are all currently above .500. In the last three years, the Indians have finished with a winning record in their final 16 games just once (2017: 10-6). They went 7-9 in 2018 and 6-10 in 2019.
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