INDIANAPOLIS – Different ballpark, same result for the Indianapolis Indians (32-29) against the Columbus Clippers (30-31) on Saturday.
A night after the Clips triumphed over Indy at Huntington Park, Columbus took it to the Tribe for a 8-4 win at Victory Field. It was an evening full of offense, as the Clippers outhit Indy 14-12.
The Indians’ losing streak is now at four games and their lead over the Clippers in the division standings has been trimmed to two.
Things got off to a rocky start for Indianapolis, as starting pitcher Clay Holmes could not get out of the first inning.
Holmes gave up four runs on five hits and walk in just 2/3 of an inning, with three of the four runs coming with two outs. Brett McKinney was called upon out of the bullpen to get the Indians out of trouble, as Holmes hit the pitch limit for a single inning at 35.
Saturday’s outing was Holmes’ second two-out game of the season. The right-hander also reached the pitch limit after just 2/3 of an inning in his second start of the season, a loss in Toledo.
McKinney ended up tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Holmes and turned out to be the only pitcher of five to take the mound and not surrender a run.
The Tribe never recovered on Saturday, but did get close for a moment.
Barrett Barnes doubled home Indy’s first run in the second before a two-run fourth cut the Clips’ lead to 4-3. Barnes picked up RBI number two with a sacrifice fly and Gift Ngoepe kept it going with a RBI double, making it a one-run contest.
Columbus responded quickly, though, scoring two runs of their own in the top of the fifth. Nellie Rodriguez recorded a sacrifice fly and Abraham Almonte added a RBI single, pushing the visitors ahead 6-3.
Tomas Morales came up with a run-scoring single for the Indians in the sixth, but the Clips answered again.
Former Indian Erik Kratz hit a solo homer in the seventh and Richie Shaffer singled home an eighth run in the eighth, as Columbus reclaimed a four-run cushion at 8-4.
Despite the loss, Indianapolis did show signs of life. The Tribe only collected 14 hits in their past three games and just fell two knocks shy of that mark on Saturday alone. Jason Rogers and Erich Weiss each recorded three apiece.
The Tribe aim to avoid a sweep in Sunday afternoon’s series finale. Game time from the Vic is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. with Tyler Eppler (4-2, 3.30 ERA) slated to pitch for Indy.
Relievers A.J. Schugel and Edgar Santana were recalled by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. Right-hander Pat Light has been designated for assignment and righty Jason Stoffel has been transferred from Short-Season A West Virginia to Indy, but placed on the disabled list.
Reliever Dovydas Neverauskas rejoins the Indians and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow returns to Indianapolis for the first time since August 28 of last year.