INDIANAPOLIS – An old-fashioned pitcher’s duel broke out at Victory Field on Sunday afternoon.
Indianapolis Indians (46-36) starting pitcher Nick Kingham threw six innings of one-run ball, but Louisville Bats (33-49) right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla countered with seven shutout frames to pace the Bats to a 1-0 win. The Tribe’s winning streak ends at four with Sunday’s loss.
Louisville got on the board in the second, using three consecutive one-out singles to go on top. Zach Vincej picked up the last of those three knocks off of Kingham, giving the Bats a 1-0 lead. Louisville had a chance at more in the second, but Bonilla pulled back a bunt with runners on the corners and bounced into an inning-ending double play.
Despite taking the loss, Kingham turned in one of his better starts on Sunday. The righty fired six strong innings on 107 pitches, tying his season-high, giving up just one run on five hits and two walks. Kingham had surrendered three or more runs in each of his last five outings.
Unfortunately for Indianapolis, Kingham was simply outdone by Bonilla.
Bonilla, who has made eight appearances (four starts) with the Cincinnati Reds this year, was on top of his game on Sunday. The 27-year-old Dominican blanked the Tribe on just two hits and a walk over the course of seven masterful innings. Bonilla only needed 79 pitches to navigate his way through his day on the hill.
Indy’s best opportunity to score came in the bottom of the ninth, as Eury Perez led off with a triple. Bats reliever Jimmy Herget wiggled off the hook, though, starting with a Chris Bostick groundout. Jordan Luplow followed with another ground ball and Perez was running on contact, leaving him in a rundown that resulted in the inning’s second out. Finally, Eric Wood ended the game by grounding into a forceout at third.
The final game of this four-game set will take place at the Vic at 7:05 p.m. on Monday night. Tyler Eppler (5-3, 4.16 ERA) gets the nod for Indianapolis as the Indians go for the series win.