INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians were three outs away from their first series win of 2017 on Thursday, but the Durham Bulls had other ideas.
Durham rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth, stunning the Tribe for a 4-1 rubber game win at Victory Field.
The Bulls’ comeback spoiled a great start from Indians starting pitcher Clay Holmes, who blanked Durham over the course of six innings of work. The right-hander gave up just five hits and struck out seven, but was ultimately not rewarded with a win for his efforts.
Thursday’s contest remained scoreless until the sixth, as Bulls starter Ryan Yarbrough matched Holmes with a nice outing of his own. The southpaw tossed seven innings of one-run ball, but an Austin Meadows RBI double in the sixth put Indy in front.
Indianapolis held on to that 1-0 advantage thanks to two shutout frames from Johnny Barbato in his team debut, but everything changed once Cody Dickson came on to pitch in the ninth.
Dickson surrendered two singles and a walk before manager Andy Barkett called on the bullpen again. A.J. Schugel inherited a tough situation, the bases loaded with no one out, and was not able to get the Tribe out of the jam. Curt Casali delivered a two-run single to give Durham the lead and then Mike Marjama smoked a two-run shot to left to push the Bulls ahead by a score of 4-1.
Three of the four runs were charged to Dickson, who took the loss. Schugel was hit with one run and was given the blown save.
The Indians then went down in order in the ninth, dropping their record to 4-10 through the year’s first four series.
Indy will remain at home, welcoming the defending International League and Triple-A champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for a three-game set beginning on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. with Josh Lindblom (0-1, 3.27 ERA) expected to take the ball for the Tribe.