Game Information: Indianapolis Indians (72-66) at Louisville Bats (60-75)
The Indians continue their Labor Day Weekend series with Louisville tonight in Kentucky. Game notes are attached.
Location: Louisville Slugger Field
First Pitch: 6:00 p.m. EDT
Game #139 / Road #69: Indianapolis Indians (72-66) @ Louisville Bats (60-75)
Probables: RHP J.T. Brubaker (8-3, 2.95) @ LHP Justin Nicolino (5-6, 4.77)
Radio: Fox Sports 97.5 / AM 1260 / iHeart app
TV: MiLB TV
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Indians scored four runs in the second inning and never looked back en route to a 5-2 win over the Bats last night, giving Indy its 40th home win of the season. The Tribe loaded the bases with no outs in the second but almost came up empty. Jason Martin tied the game with a two-out infield single to second, and Max Moroff followed with a two-run single up the middle. Another run eventually crossed home thanks to an error and passed ball by the Bats. Brandon Waddell (W, 5-8) tossed 6.0 innings and surrendered just four hits and one run, walking one and fanning two. The victory was his first since July 13 vs. Toledo. Indy had lost in seven of Waddell's previous eight starts prior to winning last night's game. Juan Martinez (L, 0-1) took the loss for Louisville. Eric Wood finished with a game-high three hits, his fourth three-hit performance of 2018.
KEEP SCRATCHING: The Indians are in tight races in both the IL West and IL Wild Card races. The Tribe enter tonight's game in Louisville in a tie for second place in the IL West with Columbus, as both the Indians and Clippers sit a half-game back of Toledo. Columbus and Indy are both tied for the lead with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the IL Wild Card, as well, but the RailRiders have a slightly better winning percentage because they have played two fewer games. If the Indians win tonight, they'll head into Labor Day and the season finale with a chance to win the IL West, no matter the outcome in Columbus between the Clippers and Mud Hens this afternoon.
THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE: The Tribe can still reach the playoffs by splitting the next two games in Louisville, but that would require the PawSox going 2-0 against Scranton/W-B AND either Columbus going 2-0 or 0-2 against Toledo. If Indy goes 1-1, SWB goes 0-2 and Columbus goes 2-0, the Indians would be the IL Wild Card winner by a half-game over Toledo and one game over SWB. If Indy goes 1-1, SWB goes 0-2 and Toledo goes 2-0, the Indians would be the IL Wild Card winner by 1.0 game over both SWB and Columbus.
CLOSE OUTCOMES IN LOUISVILLE: Indy has lost three consecutive games at Louisville Slugger Field and five in eight matchups there this season. All five of Indy's losses at Louisville have been by two runs or less: 3-1, 4-3, 3-2, 5-4, 4-2. The season series is tied 9-9 as Indy looks to win the head-to-head series with Louisville for a second straight season; the last time Indy won the season series over the Bats in back-to-back years was a three-year stretch from 1998-2000 (11-5, 9-7, 13-3).
WHAT A YEAR: Victory Field welcomed 14,624 fans through its gates for the Indians' home finale last night, the second-largest crowd of the season and fifth sellout in 2018. Indy finished with an overall attendance of 619,122, second to only Charlotte in all of Minor League Baseball. The Indians have exceeded 600,000 fans in 12 of Victory Field's 22 full seasons. Ballpark Digest recently announced the Indianapolis Indians as its 2018 Team of the Year.
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