INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time in 2017, the Indianapolis Indians (11-16) are winners of three games in a row.
A big fifth inning was the difference on Monday, as the Tribe opened a seven-game homestand at Victory Field with a 5-3 win over the Charlotte Knights (14-15).
Charlotte struck first, though, plating the game’s first run in the top of the first. Jacob May‘s leadoff double hurt Indy starting pitcher Drew Hutchison, as May came around to score later in the inning when Danny Hayes hit a sacrifice fly.
Indianapolis would answer in the bottom of the second, evening the score at 1-1 against Knights starter Lucas Giolito. The Indians scored in similar fashion, as Danny Ortiz led off with a double and later scored on an Austin Meadows RBI knock.
Monday’s contest remained a 1-1 game thanks to some good pitching from Hutchison and Giolito, that is until the Tribe broke through for four runs in the fifth.
Five Indians reached base in the team’s half of the fifth, ensuring that Giolito’s night ended after the inning. Rehabbing Pittsburgh Pirate Adam Frazier and Jason Rogers notched RBI doubles, Erich Weiss picked up a RBI single and Eric Wood rounded out the scoring in the frame with a sacrifice fly.
Five runs scored in Monday’s game makes it seven straight contests with five or more runs scored for the Indians. Indianapolis did not have a six-game stretch of five or more runs since August 4-9, 2015.
Giolito, who drops to 0-5 on the season with the loss, surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks in five innings pitched. The Chicago White Sox second ranked prospect has yet to make it through a start yet this season without giving up at least three runs.
Hutchison, on the other hand, turned in possibly his best start of the year to date. The veteran right-hander went 6 2/3 innings, a new season-high, to earn his first win. He limited Charlotte to one run on four hits and four walks, with his one run allowed matching his season best.
The Knights did put a bit of a scare into the Indians, scoring a pair of runs against Indy reliever Edgar Santana in the eighth, but the home team would ultimately prevail for a 5-3 victory.
Indianapolis will look to make it four consecutive wins when these teams meet up again at the Vic on Tuesday. Game time is set for 11:05 a.m. with Clay Holmes (0-1, 3.72 ERA) scheduled to pitch for the Tribe.
Utility men Chris Bostick and Max Moroff were both promoted to the majors leagues on Monday. Elias Diaz and Phil Gosselin were optioned to Indianapolis to make up for the losses of Bostick and Moroff.
Frazier, who went 1-for-3 with a RBI in Monday’s Indians game, began rehabbing his strained left hamstring on Monday night. Justin Maffei was transferred from Indy to West Virginia as a result.