ALLENTOWN, Pa. – As the Indianapolis Indians looked to stay on the winning side of things on Friday, starting pitcher Frank Duncan answered the call against the International League’s second best team.
Duncan tossed eight spectacular innings to earn his team-leading ninth victory of the year, as the Tribe defeated the 71-win Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Coca-Cola Park by a final score of 6-0.
The righty, who entered Friday’s contest with seven straight outings of two earned runs allowed or less, blanked the IronPigs on three hits and a walk. His eight innings pitched also goes down as a career best and snaps a stretch of six starts in a row without working past the sixth frame.
While Duncan dominated on the mound, Indy’s offense gave him plenty of support.
It started in the third against Lehigh Valley starter Ben Lively, as a pair of clutch hits sent the Indians in front. Alen Hanson and Austin Meadows each recorded two-out RBI singles in the frame, making it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Indianapolis struck again against Lively in the fifth, pushing their advantage to 3-0. Gift Ngoepe did the damage with a two-out solo shot, his seventh homer of the season and third since July 28.
Lively would make it through the sixth for the Pigs, finishing up with a final line of three runs allowed on five hits and six strikeouts.
The Tribe would not stop with Lively’s departure, though, putting three more runs up against Lehigh Valley’s bullpen.
In the seventh, Jacob Stallings crushed a two-run homer off of Hoby Milner to make it a 5-0 game. Then in the eighth, Jose Osuna chipped in to make it a six-run cushion with a RBI single versus Joely Rodriguez.
With Duncan out of the game after eight innings, Indianapolis called on Justin Masterson to get the game’s last three outs. The right-handed reliever would do just that, working around a walk with a line out double play to secure the 6-0 win for the Tribe.
Now winners of two consecutive games, the Indians will look for three in a row in Saturday’s matchup with the Pigs. Game time from Pennsylvania is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with Drew Hutchison (6-5, 3.64 ERA) penciled in as Indy’s starting pitcher.