INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Indians (9-7) saw another one of their starting pitchers turn in a bounce back performance.
Tyler Eppler had a 9.2-inning shutout streak snapped last Wednesday in a losing effort in Syracuse, but got right back on track against the very same club on Tuesday. The righty tossed six scoreless frames, leading the Tribe to a 4-0 win over the Syracuse Chiefs (10-7) at Victory Field.
Eppler was on top of his game on Tuesday, retiring the first 11 batters he faced. The 25-year-old finished up with just two hits and two walks allowed, while striking out five. His six innings of work are a season-high. His ERA is now back under two at 1.93 following a third shutout start (15.2 innings).
Tommy Milone, who opposed Eppler last week with five shutout innings, was Syracuse’s starter in this game as well. This time, the Tribe had some success against the southpaw.
In inning number two, three consecutive hits gave Indianapolis an early 2-0 lead. Kevin Kramer and Jacob Stallings each recorded one-out singles and scored when Jerrick Suiter ripped a double past the third base bag.
Milone settled back in with a perfect third inning, but Indy got their offense up and running again in the fourth.
Eric Wood and Kramer struck in a hurry, each doubling to extend the home team’s edge to 3-0. Stallings followed with a flyout to right, but Kramer made a heads up play and tagged up successfully. That move paid off later when Milone was called for a balk, allowing Kramer to jog home for the Indians’ fourth run.
Milone’s final line: four runs on six hits and a walk, also six strikeouts, in five innings pitched.
With a four-run cushion after six, a pair of Tribe relievers carried Indianapolis to the finish line.
A.J. Schugel, rehabbing his right shoulder, threw two scoreless innings. He retired the Chiefs in order in the seventh before getting some defensive help in the eighth. Alejandro De Aza clubbed a one-out double in the frame, but was forced out at second to end the threat after Erich Weiss made a fantastic catch on a line drive to first base.
Johnny Hellweg toed the rubber for Indy in the ninth. Hunter Jones led off with a single, but was neatly erased on the basepaths by a ground ball double play. Hellweg promptly ended the game from there, getting a fly ball to center.
Indianapolis closes out this homestand on Wednesday, looking to win five out of six. First pitch from the Circle City is slated for 1:35 p.m. with Clay Holmes (0-0, 4.50 ERA) serving as the Tribe’s probable starting pitcher.