Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (70-62) vs. Louisville Bats (57-72)
Back in sole possession of first place in the IL West, the Indians look to maintain that status in the finale of a split series with Louisville this evening.
Location: Victory Field
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Game #133 / Home #65: Indianapolis Indians (70-62) vs. Louisville Bats (57-72)
Probables: LHP Brandon Waddell (4-7, 4.32) vs. RHP Matt Wisler (5-5, 3.89)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV / Comcast 90
ABOUT YESTERDAY: Jordan Luplow broke a 3-3 tie with a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift the Indians to an eventual 5-3 win yesterday over the Bats. Louisville plated two unearned runs in the first before Jose Osuna evened the score with a two-run blast in the home half, his third home run in four games and eighth overall for Indy in 2018. Kevin Kramer then put the Tribe on top 3-2 in the fourth with a one-out solo shot to dead center. The homer was his team- and career-high 14th of the season. Eric Wood launched an opposite-field homer in the eighth for a big insurance run, his third dinger in as many days. Tanner Anderson recorded the final six outs for his sixth save in nine chances. Mitch Keller (W, 3-2) scattered eight hits over 6.0 innings, walking one and fanning six in his third straight victory.
POSITIVE RESULTS: Indy's 5-3 win yesterday preceded losses by Columbus, Scranton/W-B and Norfolk. The Clippers blew a 2-0 lead at Toledo and fell 3-2, giving the Tribe sole possession of first place in the IL West with eight games remaining. Additionally, the RailRiders and Tides losses moved them two games back of Indy and into a third-place tie in the wild card, just a half-game behind the second-place Mud Hens who are charging late. Toledo is still 1.5 games back of Indy in the IL West but just a half-game back of the Clippers for the wild card lead.
CONGRATS TO THE CURVE: Double-A Altoona clinched its fourth consecutive postseason berth and ninth overall with a 3-0 shutout over Richmond last night. The defending Eastern League Champions have won seven of their last eight series and sit a season-high 18 games over .500 (74-56). The Curve currently hold a 1.0-game lead over Double-A Akron in the EL Western Division. Oddly enough, Akron is the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians -- Indy leads Columbus, the Triple-A affiliate of Cleveland -- by a 1.0-game margin in the International League West Division.
ANOTHER WEEKLY AWARD: Jose Osuna was named IL Player of the Week earlier today by the league office, the first weekly award of his nine-year professional career and sixth by a Tribe player in 2018. Indy is tied with Columbus and Lehigh Valley for the most weekly honors this season. Osuna hit .478 (11-for-23) with three homers, a league-high nine RBI and four runs scored in six games vs. Columbus and Louisville. His .870 slugging percentage was the second-best mark in the league and his 1.370 OPS was third highest overall.
LOOKING LIKE AN ACE: Mitch Keller, 22, delivered another quality start yesterday en route to his third win at the Triple-A level. Over his last four starts, he's 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA (3 ER/23.0 IP) and 21 strikeouts against just six walks.
AIR JORDAN: Jordan Luplow has hit safely in 10 straight games for the Tribe dating back to June 29, batting .441 (15-for-34) with one homer, one double, seven RBI, seven runs scored and four walks. Since June 3 with Indy, he's hit .361 (43-for-119) with a .962 OPS in 33 games to raise his average from .250 to .296. He has hit safely in 29 of those 33 games.
I-65 SERIES: The Indians currently hold an 8-7 advantage in the season series vs. Louisville with five head-to-head matchups remaining. Indy has outscored Louisville 56-48 and own an 11-8 advantage in home runs. Both teams are hitting .260 against one another. The Tribe took the season series over Louisville last year by winning 15 of the 23 matchups, including an 8-4 mark at Victory Field. The Indians have not won the season series over the Bats in consecutive years since a three-year stretch from 1998-2000. Indy went 11-5, 9-7 and 13-3 vs. the Bats in those three years.
RIGHT MAN, RIGHT TIME: Jose Osuna is batting .417 (35-for-84) with six homers, nine doubles and 52 RBI with RISP this season. He went 1-for-2 in those situations yesterday, the knock being a first-inning, two-run blast off Lucas Sims. He has also walked 12 times and struck out just 10 times in those situations for the Tribe this year. The last Indians player to total 25-plus plate appearances with RISP and post an average at or above .400 was Gregory Polanco in 2014, when he hit .432 (32-for-74) with 43 RBI. Matt Hague nearly accomplished the feat that season, as well, batting .396 (38-for-96) with 53 RBI.
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