Swaggerty's Three-Hit Day Leads Indy in Opening Night Shutout
DES MOINES, IOWA - Travis Swaggerty launched his first Triple-A home run and RHP Chase De Jong held the Iowa Cubs hitless through five innings to lead the Indianapolis Indians to their first Opening Night win since 2017, 3-0.
The win marks Indianapolis' first Opening Day shutout since besting Toledo, 3-0, to open the 1998 season.
The Indians (1-0) offense was led by two starters making the jump from High-A to Triple-A this season. Swaggerty, Pittsburgh's No. 14 prospect (_Baseball America_) entering this season, launched the fifth leadoff home run of his career to begin Indianapolis' 2021 campaign. Third baseman Dylan Busby later drove in Kevin Kramer with two outs to give Indy the early 2-0 lead in the first.
De Jong (W, 1-0) fanned a career-high tying 10 batters for the third time in his career and first since 2015. He took the no-no into the sixth inning before allowing the Cubs' first hit to shortstop Sergio Alcantara. With the bases loaded and no outs, the righty struck out the side to end his night unscathed.
Swaggerty drove in his second RBI of the day to give Indianapolis an insurance run in the ninth inning. The 23-year-old ended his Triple-A debut with three hits to lead the Indians offense.
Indy relievers Geoff Hartlieb (H, 1), Chasen Shreve (H, 1) and Jandel Gustave (S, 1) combined to hold Iowa (0-1) hitless through the final three innings of the game and seal the shutout. The Indians pitching staff fanned 15 total batters on the night.
After surrendering two runs on four hits in the first inning, Cubs starter RHP Joe Biagini (L, 0-1) settled in and allowed just two additional hits through his 6.0 innings of work. RHP Ryan Meisinger entered for the ninth inning and surrendered one run on two hits.
The win for Indianapolis marks it's second Opening Night win at Iowa dating back to 1988. The Indians bested Iowa in the 1990 season opener, 4-2.
Game two of the six-game series at Principal Park begins Wednesday night at 7:38 PM ET. RHP Beau Sulser (0-0, 0.00) is slated to make his Triple-A debut for the Indians vs. LHP Ben Holmes (0-0, 0.00).
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