First baseman Mike Hessman blasted a three-run first-inning homer and right fielder Josh Fellhauer added a two-run shot in support of right-hander Greg Reynolds, who tossed 7.0 scoreless innings to lead the Louisville Bats (58-59) to a 7-0 shutout victory over the Indianapolis Indians (66-51) on Sunday afternoon at Victory Field.
Louisville caught some early breaks and took advantage with a pair of big swings as they blew away Indianapolis 7-0 to take the first two games of the West Division series matchup.
Cincinnati top prospect CF Billy Hamilton led off the game with a swinging bunt that took a Louisville bounce, staying just fair to allowing the speedster to reach first. Fellhauer then followed with a soft single that fell just in front of Tribe LF Jerry Sands, before another bloop single from LF Felix Perez later in the inning loaded the bases.
2B Henry Rodriguez then began the scoring for the Bats when he lifted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Hamilton to give Louisville a 1-0 advantage. Hamilton came across for the games first score despite a beautiful throw from Sands that beat him to the plate, but he was able to touch home just before the tag came from Tribe C Ali Solis came down.
Following the close play, Hessman came through with a backbreaker as he launched a three-run home run over the left-field fence to extend the Bats lead to 4-0. The longball for Hessman was his team-leading 22nd on the season, moving him into the top five in the International League in dingers this season.
Louisville used another mammoth blast to extend their lead in the top of the second as after a lead-off single from C Matt Kennelly put a runner on base, Fellhauer connected on a clutch two-out two-run roundtripper later in the frame. The smash for Fellhauer was just his fourth of the season and pushed the Bats’ advantage to a commanding 6-0. Louisville tacked on one more tally in the sixth to give the game it’s final of 7-0 when Reynolds laid down a sac bunt in front of a leadoff walk by SS Kristopher Negron that put a threat on second for Hamilton, who lined a two-out RBI base knock to center. While Hamilton finished the night with two hits, a run and an RBI, Fellhauer led the Bats’ bats going a game-high 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.
The seven scores by Louisville were more than enough for Reynolds (7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO), who cruised through seven innings after entering in the second inning in relief of rehabbing right hander Jonathan Broxton (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 SO), who worked a scoreless first. With his impressive outing, Reynolds improved to 11-2 with an excellent 2.41 ERA in 20 appearances (18 starts) with the Bats this season.
Bats reliever Jose Arredondo (1.0 IP, BB, 2 SO) struck out two in the final frame to finish out the 7-0 win and hand the Tribe their sixth shutout loss of the season.
Despite allowing a season-high seven runs on nine hits, starter Stolmy Pimentel tied his career high with eight strikeouts, but fell to 2-4 with the defeat. Following Pimentel, relievers Atahualpa Severino (2.0 IP, H, 4 SO) and Duke Welker (1.0 IP, BB, 3 SO) combined for seven strikeouts over 3.0 scoreless innings of relief to match the team season-best mark of 15 strikeouts.
Indianapolis will now look to bounce back in game three against Louisville set for Monday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Daniel Corcino (5-11, 6.00 ERA) is expected to take the mound for the Bats, while the Indians have yet to name a starter.
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