INDIANAPOLIS – After struggling at the plate in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Indianapolis Indians on Thursday, the Louisville Bats had it going on Friday.
A four-run first inning fueled the Bats, as Louisville put up nine runs on 15 hits in a dominating 9-3 win over the Tribe at Victory Field.
Frank Duncan, who was named Indians Rookie of the Year before Thursday’s double dip, had a rough outing on Friday night. It began with the top of the first, where Louisville sent eight batters to the dish.
The first three batters of the frame singled, with Hernan Iribarren making it 1-0 with his RBI knock, before a two-out rally broke things open. A run-scoring throwing error by Indy catcher Jacob Stallings gave the Bats their second run, before a Carlos Triunfel RBI double and a Chris Berset RBI single shot Louisville ahead 4-0.
Indianapolis responded in the bottom of the second, plating a couple of runs versus Bats starter El’Hajj Muhammad. Five straight Indians batters reached with two outs against Muhammad, with Duncan and Max Moroff each driving in runs to make it a 4-2 contest.
The rest of the night would belong to Louisville, though, beginning with another run scored on Duncan in the fifth. Jesse Winker‘s one-out double set up another two-out RBI single from Berset, handing the Bats a 5-2 advantage.
Duncan exited the game following the fifth, leaving him with a final line of five runs allowed on ten hits and three walks.
Louisville put the finishing touches on a good night of offense against Tribe reliever Josh Smith in the ninth, when they recorded a second four-run inning. Winker came up with the big hit in the frame, a three-run double, while Triunfel added a RBI double.
The Bats’ bullpen got the job done following three innings of work from Muhammad, using three relievers to hold the Indians to just one run over the course of six innings.
Louisville’s Josh Smith gave up a solo homer to Danny Ortiz in the sixth, but was able to turn in three solid innings in relief. A.J. Morris and Kevin Shackelford did the rest, pitching two innings and one inning respectively to guide the Bats to a 9-3 victory.
Indy will wrap up the home portion of their 2016 season schedule when they host Louisville at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday evening. Drew Hutchison (6-6, 3.76 ERA) is set to start on the hill for the Tribe in the Victory Field finale.
Infielder Jason Rogers was recalled by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.