COLUMBUS Ohio — The Indianapolis Indians (59-34) plated five runs on five hits off Columbus catcher Omir Santos in the top of the 12th inning, while Tribe relievers Jose Contreras, Vic Black and Duke Welker combined for 5.0 hitless innings of relief in an 8-3 rain-soaked extra-inning win over the Clippers (41-52) on Monday night at Huntington Park.With the score tied 3-3 heading into the top of 12th, the Columbus Clippers ran out of arms in the bullpen and were forced to turn to catcher Omir Santos on the mound. Indianapolis took quick advantage of the position player’s pitches, plating five runs on five hits on their way to earning the victory.
SS Josh Harrison began the 12th with his International League leading 29th double of the season, before quickly coming around to score when DH Alex Presley followed with base hit to center to give the Indians the 4-3 lead. CF Felix Pie then ripped a double to center to put runners on second and third for 1B Matt Hague, who plated Presley with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3 in favor of the Tribe.
Indians All-Star C Tony Sanchez continued the rally with an RBI single to left, before moving to third when 3B Jared Goedert reached on a two-base Columbus error. RF Andrew Lambo finally capped the scoring with his second double of the night a two-run smash to right that scored Sanchez and Goedert to give the games it’s final 8-3 score.
While the Indians offense ended up with eight runs on 16 hits, including a season-high seven doubles, the Indianapolis bullpen was the star of the night as Tribe relievers Jose Contreras (2.0 IP, 3 SO), Vic Black (2.0 IP, 3 SO) and Duke Welker (1.0 IP, BB, 2 SO) combined to strike out eight over 5.0 hitless frames of relief. Contreras tossed two perfect frames to lower his ERA to 1.15, while Black went two hitless to earn his first career Triple-A win and Welker finished off the 12th to notch his fifth save of the season.
The game began as a back and forth battle with Indianapolis getting on the board first with two scores in top of the fourth. Presley began the rally by leading off the frame with a single to center and stealing second, before Hague moved him to third with base hit of his own. C Tony Sanchez then plated the games first run with his 25th double of the season, scoring Presley to give the Tribe a 1-0 advantage.
Longtime Columbus Clippers infielder Goedert then pushed the Indians’ lead to two when he lined a single to left to bring home Hague. Following Goedert, Columbus escaped any further damage by inducing one of its three double plays on the evening.
The Clippers evened things up with two tallies of their own in the bottom half of the sixth. DH Matt Carson began the scoring attack with a one out walk, before a hit by pitch by 3B Juan Diaz and single by SS Luis Hernandez loaded the bases and forced Indians starter Brandon Cumpton from the contest.
Recently returned reliever Ryan Reid (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, SO) then surrendered a two-run base hit to Clippers 2B Nate Spears, scoring Carson and Diaz to make the score 2-2. Reid, however, would escape any further damage by striking out RF Ezequiel Carrerra and forcing a groundout from CF Tim Fedroff to end the threat.
Indianapolis quickly took the lead back again in the seventh thanks to the red-hot bat of 2B Ivan DeJesus. After RF Jerry Sands, who was today activated from the Tribe DL, led off the frame with a double to right, DeJesus followed with a two -bagger of his own to give the Indians back the advantage at 3-2.
Columbus, though, had another answer as they tied things up with a run in the bottom half of the seventh. After LF Jeremy Hermida drew a one-out base-on-balls and moved to second on a groundout by Carson, Diaz brought him plateward with a double to center to even things up at 3-3.
Prior to being forced to use a position player, the Columbus bullpen also turned in a superb effort as relievers Clay Rapada (0.2 IP, SO), C.C. Lee (1.1 IP, BB, 4 SO), Nick Hagadone (1.2 IP, BB, 3 SO) and Bryan Price (1.0 IP, H, 2 SO) combined to allow just one hit and strikeout 10 over 4.2 innings pitched.
As both teams put together late inning scoring rallies neither starter figured in the final decision. In his first start since being optioned back from Pittsburgh, Tribe RHP Brandon Cumpton (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) tossed 5.0 scoreless innings to begin the game, ultimately surrendering just two runs on six hits over 5.1 innings of work. On the other side, Columbus starter Trevor Bauer (6.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) worked around 10 hits by inducing three double plays and ended up allowing only three runs over 6.1 innings pitched.
The Indians and Clippers will now face off in game two of the series on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Graham Godfrey (6-4, 4.73 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Indianapolis, while Columbus is scheduled to counter with LHP TJ House (1-9, 5.86 ERA).
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