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Brett Carroll’s grand slam highlights Tribe’s victory over Norfolk, 10-5

LF Brett Carroll  (ISR designated "Superman")
LF Brett Carroll
(ISR designated “Superman”)

It was a grand night at Victory Field last evening.

Indianapolis jumped ahead early and never looked back on Tuesday night as they earned the series victory over Norfolk and have still yet to drop a series at Victory Field this season.

In front of 11,662 fans (on a Tuesday night?) your Indianapolis Indians (45-22) schooled the Norfolk Tides (38-28) in offense opportunities.  The night was highlighted by a two-out grand slam by LF (and ISR designated “Superman”) Brett Carroll in the bottom of the first, along with the Tribe plating nine runs over the first two innings.

But again, Indy isn’t a baseball town…?

With the win, the Indians finish their eight-game homestand with a 5-3 record and continue to own the best home mark in all of baseball at 27-10.

It all began with DH Ivan DeJesus on a one-out walk, 2B Josh Harrison followed with a base hit to center and 1B Matt Hague drew a base-on-balls to load the bases. Then after a strikeout, Carroll “capped up” again, grabbed his bat and dug in at the plate.  “Superman” smashed a grand slam to deep left-center field to give the Indians a quick 4-0 advantage.  It was Carroll’s first grand slam since August 8, 2009 when he it one against Fresno, while with Triple-A New Orleans.

After only connecting on one grand slam all of last season, the Indians have now smashed three already in 2013, with Carroll’s connection joining blasts from outfielders Felix Pie and Jerry Sands.

The Indians early frame offensive outburst continued in the second inning as they tacked on five more scores, beginning with Sands singling to lead off the frame and coming plateward on a double off the bat of 3B Oscar Tejeda. Following the two-bagger, SS Chase d’Arnaud reached on an infield single that moved Tejeda to third, where he would come home to score the second run of the inning when DeJesus rolled an RBI groundout.

Harrison then kept the rally rolling when he smashed his 20th double of the season to center field to bring home d’Arnaud. Despite playing only 46 games with the Indians this season, Harrison now leads the team and ranks third in the International League with 20 doubles.

Hague followed up Harrison’s hit with his a hit-by-pitch, before multiple Norfolk bobbles on a dribbler from Carroll allowed both Harrison and Hague to come around to score and extend the Indians lead to a commanding 9-0. With their early inning offensive fireworks the Indians have now outscored their opponents 101 to 51 over the first two frames this season.

Norfolk chipped away at the lead with three scores in the fourth and two more in the fifth, but it proved to be too little too late. An RBI double from DH Russ Canzler and two run-homer from former Pirates C Chris Snyder plated the Tides three-runs in the fourth. Norfolk then tacked on two more tallies in the sixth with a sacrifice fly from 3B Zelous Wheeler and RBI base knock from 2B Buck Britton.

Tribe reliever Kris Johnson (3.0 IP, 1 BB) stepped in to shut the door, not allowing a hit over the final three innings and earning his second save of the season. Johnson saved it for starter James McDonald (6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO), who making his second rehab start with the Tribe, earned the win despite allowing five runs on eight hits over 6.0 innings of work.

After a well deserved day off the Indians will embark on an eight-game road trip beginning with a 7:05 p.m. contest in Durham on Thursday night. RHP Alex Colome (4-6, 2.89) is expected to make the start for the Bulls, while Indianapolis has yet to name a starter.

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