Sims Strikes out 13 as Bats Win in Extras, 3-1
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Louisville Bats (8-9) clinched a series win over the Indianapolis Indians (9-6) by a 3-1 score in 10 innings on Saturday night at Victory Field. Bats starting pitcher Lucas Sims (1-0, 3.15) was superb in 5.2 innings, setting a new career-high with 13 strikeouts, while shortstop Blake Trahan delivered the game-winning hit with a two-run single in the top of the 10th.
Sims was sensational on a chilly night at Victory Field, recording 17 outs, while allowing one earned run on five hits, walking none and striking out a career-high 13 before being lifted for left-hander Ian Krol in the bottom of the sixth after 94 pitches, 63 strikes. Sims fooled Indianapolis hitters all night, with eight of the 13 punchouts being called third strikes.
Indianapolis starting pitcher, right-hander and former Bat Rookie Davis (0-1, 4.50) was effective as well, allowing just one run in 5.2 innings like his counterpart Sims. Louisville took a 1-0 lead against Davis in the top of the sixth inning, when Nick Longhi's RBI groundout brought in Christian Colon to get the game's first run across. Colon went 4-for-4 for the Bats, his second four-hit game of the week.
The Indians answered in the bottom of the sixth, finally getting to Sims with Jake Elmore and Major League rehabber Gregory Polanco both doubling to tie the score at 1-1. Sims would record his 13th and final strikeout for the second out in the sixth, before Krol came into the game and struck out Kevin Kramer, stranding the potential go-ahead run in Polanco on second base.
Cody Reed got his first win of the season out of the Louisville bullpen, shutting down the Indians in the bottom of the ninth, making way for Trahan to play hero by knocking in a pair of runs in the top of the 10th to give the Bats a 3-1 lead. Right-hander Matt Bowman notched his first save of the season by tossing a perfect frame to give the Bats their first extra innings win of 2019.
Sims' 13 strikeouts make it his second consecutive outing with double-digit strikeouts, the first time a Louisville pitcher has accomplished that since Edinson Volquez in 2011. The 13 strikeouts are also the most by an individual Bats pitcher in a game since Robert Stephenson whiffed 13 Columbus Clippers on August 3 last season.
The Bats and Indians finish off the three-game series on Sunday afternoon as Louisville looks to sweep its first series of 2019 and also get back to the .500 mark. Right-hander Keury Mella (1-1, 7.53) is set to start for Louisville, with Indianapolis expected to go with right-hander and top prospect Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.86).
The Bats return home on Tuesday, April 23 to begin a six-game homestand against the Durham Bulls and Norfolk Tides that will run through Sunday, April 28. The upcoming homestand will feature the final appearance for the "Derby City Mint Juleps" on Saturday, April 27, as well as other great promotions at Louisville Slugger Field.
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