Kramer Keeps Tribe in Victory Lane with Five-RBI Night
INDIANAPOLIS - Kevin Kramer belted a first-inning grand slam en route to a career-high five runs driven in, Alex McRae notched a quality start and the Indians crossed the finish line with a 7-5 win over Louisville on Indy 500 Night at Victory Field.
The Indians (15-12) took advantage of an erratic Vladimir Gutierrez in the opening frame to mount a lead they would not relinquish. Ke'Bryan Hayes and Jacob Stallings were both hit by pitch, sandwiching a Jose Osuna single that eventually led to Kramer's first career grand slam. The Tribe second baseman ripped a 3-1 fastball 421 feet away to the grass berm beyond the wall in right-center, staking McRae a 4-0 cushion.
Indianapolis added another run in the second on a Hayes two-out single that followed a Jason Martin double to left.
Hoosier native Josh VanMeter put Louisville (11-18) on the board in the third with a two-out solo home run to right, but a Martin triple and Hayes sacrifice fly earned the run back in the fourth.
The Bats inched closer with two more runs in the fifth, one coming on a double play and another touching home on a wild pitch during a strikeout of Brian O'Grady. They eventually crept within one run at 6-5 on VanMeter's second home run of the game in the eighth off Clay Holmes. The long ball was VanMeter's league-leading 13th of the year.
Kramer capped his 3-for-3, five-RBI performance with a clutch two-out knock in the bottom of the eighth, bringing in Osuna who had doubled to begin the frame.
Montana DuRapau (S, 3) worked around a one-out single in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts, extending his scoreless streak to 11.2 innings pitched.
McRae (W, 2-2) yielded three runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Gutierrez (L, 1-3) gave up six earned runs, six hits and two walks over 4.0 innings.
The Indians and Bats meet again on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Dario Agrazal (1-0, 2.70) is set to make his second career Triple-A start. The Bats will counter with righty Jose Lopez (2-2, 5.63).
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