INDIANAPOLIS – Just when the Indianapolis Indians needed a spark on Monday night, Alen Hanson provided the power.
Hanson’s walk-off grand slam capped a five-run ninth for the Tribe, as Indy rallied past the Louisville Bats for a 5-2 win at Victory Field.
Despite a solid night of pitching, the Indians found themselves trailing late thanks to Bats starting pitcher Amir Garrett. The Cincinnati Reds‘ top ranked pitching prospect blanked Indianapolis on six hits in seven innings, setting the pace for the Bats.
Louisville built an early lead for Garrett against Indians starter Trevor Williams, plating runs in the second and third.
A two-out rally made it 1-0 in the second, as Chris Berset followed a Carlos Triunfel double with a RBI single. Then in the third, three straight one-out base hits allowed the Bats to double their advantage.
Williams would exit the ballgame after getting through the fifth, finishing with a final line of two runs allowed on seven hits and four strikeouts.
Josh Outman and Justin Masterson would follow Williams out of the bullpen with two scoreless innings each, taking the Tribe to the bottom of the ninth down 2-0.
With Louisville reliever Kevin Shackelford on the mound, Indy broke through at the last moment to pull out a win. Three of the first four Indians batters reached to load the bases, setting the stage for Dan Gamache to single home the team’s first run. Hanson came to the plate next and the rest is history, as Indianapolis’ second baseman went opposite field for a game-winning grand slam over the wall in left.
Monday’s win was big for the Indians, who entered the contest with a record of 1-48 when trailing after seven innings of play.
Game two of this series is set for Tuesday, with another 7:05 p.m. first pitch at the Vic.