Game Notes: Louisville Bats (11-17) at Indianapolis Indians (14-12)
Game 29, Away 15
Louisville Bats (11-17) at Indianapolis Indians (14-12)
RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (1-2, 8.14) vs. RHP Alex McRae (1-2, 7.13)
7:15 PM | Friday, May 3, 2019 | Victory Field
LISTEN: Nick Curran, 790 KRD; iHeartRadio.com; iHeart app
HAPPY OAKS DAY: Louisville and Indianapolis continue a four-game series at Victory Field with right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez on the mound for Louisville. The Indians won the series opener on Thursday after scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the fifth, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit after the Bats hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning. On Friday, LOU will look to keep itself alive for a fourth straight series victory on the road, also hoping to take a 3-2 lead in the season series against the Indians.
SENZINNATI: On Friday morning, the Cincinnati Reds selected the contract of No. 1 prospect in the organization, center fielder Nick Senzel. When he debuted with the Bats in April 2018, he became the first Top 10 prospect to appear in a Louisville uniform since LHP Aroldis Chapman in 2010, and the first position player since OF Jay Bruce in 2007.
- In 52 games with Louisville between 2018-19, Senzel has batted .301 (62-for-206) with 30 runs, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs, 27 RBI and 8 stolen bases. He's walked 22 times compared to 52 strikeouts, and gotten on-base at a .368 clip. His OPS has been well-above average at .853, including an .887 OPS in 44 games last season.
- Senzel spent 3 different stints on the disabled/injured list while at Triple-A, including being sidelined by vertigo symptoms (5/4-5/28/2018), a right index finger injury (6/23/2018-end of season) and a sprained right ankle (4/4-4/22/2019).
- The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft started at 4 positions in 52 games with Louisville: second base (29 starts), third base (14), center field (8) and shortstop (1). He started at center field in each of his 8 games in 2019.
AGAINST INDIANAPOLIS: Indianapolis' 5-3 win in Thursday's series opener was actually the highest-scoring game between the clubs in 4 matchups this season, with the 3 matchups in the previous series (3-2, 3-1, 1-2) averaging just 4 runs/contest. When the Bats play the Indians this season, there has now been an average of exactly 5 runs scored per game (20 total runs in 4 games), and in the Bats' other 24 games this season, there has been a total of 264 runs, averaging exactly 11 runs per game.
O'YEAH: Bats first baseman Brian O'Grady homered for the third time in his last 4 games, getting the Bats on the board in the first inning. The left-handed batting slugger totes a .375 (24-for-64) average on the season, 4th-best in the IL. His .734 slugging percentage leads the IL, and since coming off the injured list with lower back spasms, O'Grady is batting .419 (13-or-31) with 5 runs, 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 8 RBI and 5 multi-hit games in 8 contests beginning on April 24.
BACK-ONE-BACK: Center fielder Rob Refsnyder followed up O'Grady's homer in the first with one of his own, going back-to-back to give the Bats an early 2-0 lead. It was the second case of back-to-back homers for Louisville this season, joining Senzel and Josh VanMeter, who did it on April 29 as part of a three-homer game for VanMeter. It was the first time LOU went back-to-back in the first inning since Alex Blandino and Brandon Dixon did it on August 20, 2017 in a 13-6 win vs. Rochester, as part of a three-homer game for Dixon.
TRANSACTIONS: The Bats added IF Luis M. Gonzalez to their roster prior to yesterday's game, with the 24-year-old making his Triple-A debut in the 5-3 loss with a pinch-hit appearance. RHP Matt Bowman was optioned to LOU to make room on the Reds' 25-man roster for Senzel.
HOMERSPALOOZA: The International League has seen a surge in home run rate to begin the 2019 season, with a total of 435 home runs hit in the league through 370 games, coming out to 1.17 home runs/game. During the 2018 season, there were a total of 1,555 home runs in 1,948 games, coming out to 0.80 home runs/game. There has been an approximate 47.5% rise in home run rate between 2018 full season homers/game and homers/game so far in 2019, coming into play on May 3.
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