Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (54-60) vs. St. Paul Saints (59-56)
LOCATION: Victory Field
FIRST PITCH: 12:05 PM ET
GAME #115 / Home #56: Indianapolis Indians (54-60) vs. St. Paul Saints (59-56)
PROBABLES: RHP Tanner Anderson (2-3, 3.94) vs. RHP Beau Burrows (2-5, 6.16)
RADIO: FoxSportsIndy.com / Fox Sports 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV
LAST NIGHT: St. Paul put up six runs in the second inning and never looked back to beat the Indians on Tuesday night, 13-4. The Saints hit four home runs in the contest, tying the most surrendered by the Indians pitching staff in a single game this season (also: May 5 at Iowa). Two of those home runs came in the second inning, a frame bookended by homers off the bats of Mark Contreras (solo) and Jose Miranda (3R). Hunter Owen and Bligh Madris each homered in the contest, with Owen's coming as his team-leading 17th home run of the season. Facing a 13-2 deficit following a four-run seventh inning by the Saints, the Indians scored two runs on a bases-loaded single by Ethan Paul in the ninth.
SIXTEEN GOING ON 17: Held scoreless through the first three innings, Hunter Owen launched a one-out home run to put the Indians on the board in the fourth last night. It was his team-leading 17th long ball of the season and his third in September, all of which have come at Victory Field. Owen is no stranger to the home run, finishing the 2019 campaign as Double-A Altoona's home run leader (15) despite not appearing with the club after being promoted to Indy on June 20. He led the Eastern League in home runs at the time of his promotion and finished the season tied for fourth among Pirates farmhands in that category.
TWO WEEK STREAK: With a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, Bligh Madris extended his team-high hitting streak to 14 games, which tied the Indians high from 2019 (Will Craig, May 25-June 8 (1)). His streak, which began on Aug. 28, is currently the longest active hitting streak among Triple-A East batters. Since Aug. 28, Madris is hitting .385 (20-for-52) with six extra-base hits, 11 RBI and a 1.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio (seven strikeouts, five walks). He was named the Indians August Player of the Month and since Aug. 1, has continued that success over a 35-game span, hitting .312 (34-for-109) with a .541 slugging percentage and .940 OPS in 128 plate appearances.
BASE ON BALLS: Also since Aug. 28, Tucupita Marcano is working a 14-game on-base streak. In that time frame, he has hit safely in 12 games with a .309 batting average (17-for-55) and eight walks. He began his Indians tenure with a 10-game hitting streak from July 30-Aug. 11 and has since found his groove again, with five of the 14 games in his current on-base streak being two-hit performances.
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: Jared Oliva is currently on a seven-game hitting streak since Sept. 7 at Louisville. He began the streak with four doubles in three games, leading to a .400 batting average (10-for-25), .560 slugging percentage and 1.004 OPS. The stretch continues an impressive last 37 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 (42-for-134) 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 .275 (50-for-182).
TODAY: The Indians will face off against the Saints in their first and only Baseball in Education game of the season, a 12:05 PM ET first pitch 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 9-10 with a 2-5 record vs. the Saints in the Circle City. RHP Tanner Anderson is set to make his third consecutive start with the Indians after allowing two runs over five innings in his last start. RHP Beau Burrows will make his fourth appearance (second start) at Victory Field this season, split between St. Paul and Toledo.
SOLIDIFYING A SPOT: Tanner Anderson will make his fourth start of the season and third in a row today after tossing a season-high five innings in his last outing on Sept. 9 at Louisville. He allowed two runs on four hits in the first inning and followed with just two hits surrendered through his final four frames, keeping the Indians within striking distance of the Bats. Anderson has spent most of the season as a reliever with Indy and Triple-A Las Vegas and hadn't thrown five-or-more innings since Aug. 11, 2019 with Las Vegas at Omaha (5.2ip). In his career, he owns a 3.27 ERA (90er/247.1ip) in 134 relief appearances and a 4.82 ERA (129er/240.2ip) in 46 starts.
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.
DOWN TO THE WIRE: The Indians have 15 games remaining on their schedule, with five left 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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