Indianapolis and Lehigh Valley Split Double-Header
INDIANAPOLIS. -- The Lehigh Valley IronPigs took game one of a doubleheader 4-2 behind dominate pitching and center fielder Jason Ellison's 3-for-4 performance, while the Indianapolis Indians took game two in extra innings as they outdueled and shutout Lehigh 1-0 in extras Thursday night at Victory Field.
With the doubleheader split the Indians' record moves to 24-29 overall and 12-16 at home, while the split gives the IronPigs a 22-31 record on the season and an 11-12 mark on the road. Thursday's doubleheader gives Lehigh Valley the 2-1 series lead with one game left to play in the two teams first matchup of the season.
Lehigh Valley's number one prospect, Carlos Carrasco, picked up his first win of the season as he held the Indians to only two runs in 6.1 innings of work in game one. The young right hander, Carrasco (6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) struck out five Tribe hitters and improved to 1-6 on the season with the victory, while RHP Tyler Walker (0.2, 1 BB, 1 SO) closed out the game for his second save of the season as he walked one and struck out one in 0.2 innings of work.
Seven of the nine IronPigs' starters tallied a hit as Lehigh Valley took the first game of Friday Night's doubleheader 4-2. Ellison (3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) collected three hits with one run scored and an RBI as he 2B Pablo Ozuna (2-for-3, 1 R) and C Paul Hoover (2-for-3) each recorded multiple hits for the IronPigs.
The IronPigs grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the third inning as Ellison singled to bring home Ozuna, who led off the frame with a single. Lehigh Valley then added onto their lead in the sixth as the first five hitters of the inning all reached base safely.
Ellison led the inning off with single and later scored when SS Jason Donald doubled to left-center field. Then 3B Miguel Cairo, 1B Andy Tracy and RF John Mayberry Jr each followed with singles of their own. Tracy's baseknock allowed Donald to trot home, while LF David Newhan brought Cairo plateward with a sacrifice fly to give Lehigh Valley the 4-0 lead.
The Indians attempted a late comeback scoring runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh only to fall short in the 4-2 loss. CF Jeff Salazar scored the first run for the Tribe when he came home after SS Brian Bixler's third triple of the season.
LF Larry Broadway then moved the Tribe to within two as he blasted a 1-1 pitch for a one out solo home run in the seventh. No Indianapolis hitter collected multiple hits as Carrasco and Walker combined to hold the Indians to only three total base knocks in the first contest.
In game two it was the Indians' hurlers who silenced the Lehigh Valley bats, as Tribe newcomer Charlie Morton and reliever Brian Slocum outdueled IronPigs' RHP Rodrigo Lopez, LHP Sergio Escalona and RHP Steven Register in a 1-0 pitcher's duel.
Morton (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER 1 BB, 7 SO), who was one of the three players traded by the Atlanta Braves for Pittsburgh OF Nate McLouth on Wednesday, held the IronPigs scoreless after he struckout seven hitters and allowed only four hits in his Indians debut. The right hander came into his first outing as a member of the Tribe having won his last five starts and has now given up only one run in his last 23 innings of work.
The Indians' were also shutout by IronPigs' starting pitcher Lopez (5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 SO) and reliever Escalona (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) for seven innings, but managed to pull out the victory in extra innings as they collected a run in the bottom of the ninth.
SS Brian Bixler scored the game-clinching run after he slapped a one-out single to left with one out in the ninth inning and later reached second on a wild pitch. 1B Steve Pearce (2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R) then brought Bixler plateward with his game-winning double down the left field line that gave Indianapolis the 1-0 victory and gave him the only multi-hit performance in the contest.
Lehigh Valley reliever, Register (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO), dropped to 0-2 on the season as he allowed the only run of game two and gave up two hits in 1.2 innings of relief, while Slocum (2.0 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO) picked up the win for the Tribe after two innings of scoreless relief in which he struck out two batters for his first win of the season.
Indianapolis finishes their four game series with Lehigh Valley on Friday at 7:15 p.m. RHP Virgil Vasquez is scheduled to start for the Indians, while RHP Drew Carpenter is expected to get the nod for the IronPigs.
The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and www.IndyIndians.com with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley. The pre-game show begins at 6:55 p.m.
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