A six-run fifth helped put Game 1 out of reach for the Tribe, as the Durham Bulls rolled to a 10-3 victory at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Seven of nine Bulls notched RBIs on Wednesday, while six of nine picked up hits.
Game 1’s pitching matchup featured Indy’s Clay Holmes and Durham’s Ryan Yarbrough and it was not the first time they faced off in 2017. Way back on April 20, Holmes fired six scoreless innings, while Yarbrough countered with seven frames of one-run ball. Durham ultimately won that contest, erupting for four runs in the ninth to prevent Holmes from earning a win.
This time around Holmes’ night got off to a disastrous beginning, as he threw more balls than strikes in the first. The righty issued four free passes in the frame, one of which walked home a run, and gave up a RBI single to Jake Bauers, as the Bulls jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.
Two more singles made it 3-0 in favor of Durham in the second, as Tampa Bay Rays number two prospect Willy Adames drove Johnny Field home after Field tagged up to move into scoring position on the previous play.
Indianapolis got on the board in the third thanks to an unlikely source. Anderson Feliz, who was just promoted from Double-A Altoona on September 3 and hadn’t homered since June 5, took Yarbrough deep to right to trim the home team’s lead to 3-1.
The Tribe flexed their muscle again in the fourth, this time with Joey Terdoslavich providing the pop. Terdoslavich hammered a 2-2 pitch off of Yarbrough over the fence in left, making it a one-run ballgame.
Yarbrough ended up going six innings for the Bulls, with those two home runs serving as Indianapolis’ only hits versus the lefty. Kevin Newman followed Feliz’s third inning long ball with a walk against Yarbrough, the Tribe’s only other baserunner during the southpaw’s time on the bump.
Indy’s one-run deficit would only last until the fifth, though, as Holmes was knocked out of action. Consecutive singles started the fifth for Durham, with a Patrick Leonard double making it three straight hits to start the inning and a 4-2 advantage for the home team.
Holmes was replaced by Johnny Barbato following Leonard’s two-bagger, but the right-handed reliever would not be able to stop the bleeding. Shane Peterson singled home another run and by the time Justin O’Conner and Field knocked in a runs of their own, it was 7-2. A two-run error from Indians second baseman Erich Weiss capped six-run fifth for the Bulls, handing them a 9-2 cushion.
Holmes finished with a final line of a season-high six runs allowed on seven hits and four walks in 4+ innings of work. The 24-year-old right-hander was dealt the loss, his first since July 27. It was also Holmes’ worst outing, run-wise, since allowing seven earned on June 11, 2016 while pitching in Double-A.
It wouldn’t get easier for Montana DuRapau, who took over for Barbato. DuRapau walked two batters in the sixth, leading to a RBI single for Taylor Featherston.
The Indians did get a run in the eighth, but it was far from enough for a comeback. Weiss redeemed himself a bit for the run-producing error with a RBI knock, but the Bulls had no issues holding on for the 10-3 win in the ninth.
Game 2 is scheduled to get underway from the DBAP at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday. Indy will turn to Tyler Glasnow (9-2, 1.93 ERA) on the mound, as the Indians aim to even the series. Durham will counter with Yonny Chirinos (12-5, 2.74 ERA).
Cory Dawson is the Indianapolis Indians Beat Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Indianapolis Indians with full media access. You can follow @corydawson3 and @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
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