CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In a Father’s Day matchup full of offense, it was only fitting a huge ninth inning propelled the Indianapolis Indians (38-30) to victory.
Danny Ortiz homered twice on Sunday, with his second long ball capping a winning five-run ninth, as the Tribe came back and held on for a 12-11 win over the Charlotte Knights (30-38) at BB&T Ballpark.
Charlotte built an early 4-1 lead, but the Indians took a 5-4 lead in a very active sixth inning.
Three straight singles got Indy within two runs and then Chris Bostick later blasted a three-run homer to give the visitors the advantage. That lead was short-lived, though.
The Knights exploded for five runs in their half of the sixth, knocking Indianapolis starting pitcher Tyler Eppler out of action. In all, six Knights reached base in the frame as the home team reclaimed the lead at 9-5.
Eppler finished with a disappointing final line of seven runs allowed on ten hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings pitched.
Eric Wood and Ortiz led off the eighth with back-to-back homers, pulling the Indians within one run before Indy broke out in the ninth.
Three consecutive one-out singles allowed the Tribe to tie the game in the top of the frame, before Ortiz went deep. His three-run bomb to left center shot the Indians ahead 12-9. Sunday went down as his fourth career multi-homer game.
Charlotte did make things interesting in their half of the ninth, getting runs on a sacrifice fly and a single, but fell just short in a 12-11 defeat at the hands of Indianapolis.
The Indians make their return to Victory Field for a three-game set against the Toledo Mud Hens beginning on Monday night. Drew Hutchison (3-2, 3.93 ERA) goes to the mound for the Tribe in the 7:05 p.m. contest.