Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (65-72) vs. Columbus Clippers (78-59)
LOCATION: Victory Field
FIRST PITCH: 6:05 p.m. ET
GAME #138 / HOME #70: Indianapolis Indians (65-72) vs. Columbus Clippers (78-59)
PROBABLES: RHP Cody Ponce (1-2, 4.15) vs. RHP Shao-Ching Chiang (8-9, 5.36)
RADIO: FoxSportsIndy.com / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
LAST NIGHT: The Indians were two-hit last night against Columbus in a 4-2 loss. Cole Tucker led off the Indians first inning with a double, but was stranded on the bases. Columbus took a 4-0 lead going into the seventh inning on two Ryan Lavarnway RBIs and Connor Marabell's 3-for-3 performance. The Tribe went down in order through 15 straight batters before a leadoff walk by Ke'Bryan Hayes in the seventh inning broke the streak. Will Craig then cut the Clipper deficit in half with his team-leading 22nd home run of the season. The Indians walked once more in the final two innings but failed to tack on another hit to quietly take the loss and fall to third place in the IL West. The last time Indy was two-hit was on July 24, when they beat Syracuse in a game that featured only three total hits. Last night tied the season-low for hits by the Tribe in a game.
A FALLING AVERAGE: UTIL Jake Elmore has gone 2-for-15 in his last five games to drop his average to .333 (118-for-354) and fall behind Durham's Jake Cronenworth by six points (.339). Before his drought, he had hit safely in eight of 10 games and 18 of 21 with seven multi-hit contests. His average for August now sits at .288 (30-for-104), his lowest monthly average of the season (previous, .297 in June). Indy's last batting champion was Junior Noboa (.340) in 1989 and they have had just four batting titles since 1969 (Bernie Carbo in 1969, Gene Locklear in 1972, Dallas Williams in 1987).
THE DIVISION: For the first time since April 9, the Indians dropped below 2nd place in the IL West after losing 4-2 to Columbus as Toledo shut out Louisville, 2-0. The Tribe are 35-34 vs. the IL West with three divisional games to play, one against Columbus and two at Louisville. Indy has finished over .500 in the division each of the last two years and six of the last seven overall. Since Aug. 1, Indy has gone from 6.0 games back in the IL West to 13.0 games back, compiling a 10-19 record for the month.
RBI MACHINE: Will Craig's two-run homer last night upped his RBI total to 76, the most in a season by a Tribe player since John Bowker had 76 in 2011. Since Victory Field opened in 1996, Craig's 76 ribbies are tied for ninth most on Indy's leaderboard. The breakdown is below:
1. Roberto Petagine - 109 in 1998 6. Jeff Liefer - 83 in 2004
2. DT Cromer - 107 in 1999 7. Neil Walker - 80 in 2008
3. Brandon Moss - 96 in 2010 8. Graham Koonce - 77 in 2005
4. Brian Hunter - 85 in 1997 T-9. Will Craig - 76 in 2019
5. Eduardo Perez - 84 in 1996 T-9. John Bowker - 76 in 2019
HOW 'BOUT THE LONG BALL: Craig's 400-foot blast to left field in the seventh inning also gave him 22 home runs on the season, the most in a single campaign by a Tribe player since Brandon Moss clubbed 22 in 2010. Craig's 22 dingers are tied for sixth most on Indy's leaderboard since 1996:
1. DT Cromer - 30 in 1999 T-6. Will Craig - 22 in 2019
2. Izzy Alcantara - 27 in 2002 T-6. Brandon Moss - 22 in 2010
3. Roberto Petagine - 24 in 1998 T-6. Mark Johnson - 22 in 1998
T-4. Graham Koonce - 23 in 2005 T-6. Aaron Boone - 22 in 1997
T-4. Micah Franklin - 23 in 2001
TROUBLES AT HOME: The Indians lost for the fourth time in their last five home games with last night's setback. The Tribe also dropped to 2-9 at home against Columbus. Indy's 32-37 home record with one game to play -- win or lose -- will be its worst home record since Victory Field opened in 1996. Indy had only posted a losing record at The Vic two times in its history, going 35-38 in 2002 and 35-37 in 2003.
AUGUST HEAT: Last night's loss lowered Indy's August record to 10-19, the worst August for the Indians since The Vic opened in '96; the previous worst was 12-17, a record reached (1998, 2001, 2010, 2016, 2018). Last year, the Tribe finished 12-17 in August, leaving them with a 21-35 record (.375) in the past two Augusts combined.
TOP OF THE ORDER: Cole Tucker has quietly put together his own hitting streak with one of the Tribe's two hits last night. He has hit safely in his last five games and 14 of his last 16 to hold his average steady around .265 (80-for-302). In that stretch he has 6 extra-base hits, 4 RBI and 11 runs scored. 13 of his 51 total runs scored this season have come in the first inning and 32 have come in the fourth inning or earlier.
HOMERS AT HOME: Following Toledo's 12 home runs in the four-game series, Indy has surrendered a franchise-record 158 home runs this season (old record: 145 in 2005) and the Tribe are on pace to give up 163 jacks. Through the first 22.5 seasons at Victory Field, Indy's pitching staff only had three games at home where they surrendered four home runs, first doing so on June 3, 2008 vs. Lehigh Valley. They also gave up four dingers on July 26, 2017 vs. Rochester and July 15, 2018 vs. Toledo. This season alone, the Indians have had individual games at The Vic where they've allowed four (July 17 vs. Syracuse, August 16 vs. Lehigh Valley [LHV was the home team], August 29 vs. Toledo), five (August 27 vs. Toledo) and seven home runs (July 15 vs. Syracuse). They haven't allowed four or more homers on the road this season.
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