A bases-clearing three-run double by first baseman Mike Hessman in the first inning was all that starter Jameson Taillon allowed in his Triple-A debut, but it helped lay the groundwork for the Louisville Bats (59-59) 6-4 win and series sweep of the Indianapolis Indians (66-52) on Monday night at Victory Field.
Making his Triple-A debut, highly touted right hander Jameson Taillon (5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) struggled through the first inning, but settled down to turn in a solid first start with Indianapolis. Despite striking out the side in the first, the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft also walked two, hit a batter and gave up a key bases-clearing double to Hessman that gave Louisville an early 3-0 commanding lead.
Bats 2B Henry Rodriguez began the lone scoring rally off of Taillon by drawing a one-out walk in the first, before a hit by pitch by Ryan Ludwick and second walk to 3B Neftali Soto loaded the bases. Up to the plate stepped long-time IL veteran Hessman, who came through with the clutch three-run base knock that gave the Bats the 3-0 lead and gave him six RBI over his last two games against the Tribe.
After allowing the key two-base hit to the veteran Hessman, Taillon regaind his composure, striking out the final two batters of the first, before allowing just two singles and striking out four over the next 4.0 frames. The 21-year-old would ultimately be pinned with the loss, but impressed with a fastball ranging from 94-97 to go along with a devastating breaking pitch which was tabbed by Baseball America as the best in the Pirates organization this year.
With Taillon in control after the first, the Tribe finally cut into the lead with a single score in the bottom of the fifth. LF Jerry Sands led off the frame by smashing his second triple of the season to deep left-center and eventually came home on an RBI groundout from C Lucas May.
Louisville, however, quickly got that run back in the following frame after a one-out walk by C Nevin Ashley and double steal set the stage for Bats starter Daniel Corcino, who helped his own cause with an RBI single to right. Along with his RBI base knock, Corcino (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, BB, 5 SO) also earned the victory to improve to 6-11 after allowing just a single score on five hits over 6.0 innings of work.
Though the Indians did manage to get another score back in the bottom of the seventh on a pinch-hit two out double by Chase d’Arnaud, the Bats once again answered with two scores of their own in the top of the eighth. Ashley led off the eighth with a mammoth solo shot to left before RF Josh Fellhauer lined a run-scoring single later in the frame to extend Louisville’s lead to 6-2
These two insurance scores proved to be key as the Indians plated two scores of their own in the bottom half of the eighth. After 1B Russ Canzler drew a two-out base-on-balls, RF Andrew Lambo blasted a two-run opposite field home run to cut the Bats lead to 6-4. The longball for Lambo was his 15th with Indianapolis and Pirates organization best 29th overall this season.
The Indians did make things interesting in the ninth as May and SS Robert Andino each drew walks to bring the potential game-winning run to the plate. However, former Tribe reliever, Jose Diaz (1.1 IP, 2 H) worked out of the jam to earn his ninth save and give Louisville the series sweep.
Indians 3B Matt Hague finished the night 3-for-4 to extend his International League leading hit total to 127 in 117 games this season.
Indianapolis will now head to Louisville for a short two-game set at Louisville Slugger Field beginning on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Brandon Cumpton (4-7, 3.69 ERA) is expected to make the start for the Indians, while the Bats are scheduled to send RHP Yohan Pino (4-5, 2.75 ERA to the mound.
The game will be carried on WNDE 1260 AM, WNDE.com and via iheartradio, a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones with Howard Kellman and Will Flemming on the call. The pre-game show begins at 6:45 p.m.
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