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Homerun fest propels Tribe to victory in 13-3 win

RF Jerry Sands launched one of the Indians six home runs on Sunday night in Columbus. (Bill Gentry -
RF Jerry Sands launched one of the Indians six home runs on Sunday night in Columbus. (Bill Gentry –

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Shortstop Chase d’Arnaud, right fielder Jerry Sands, catcher Tony Sanchez, third baseman Jared Goedert, second baseman Ivan DeJesus and left fielder Brett Carroll all launched home runs as the Indianapolis Indians powered past the Columbus Clippers (29-28) on Sunday night at Huntington Park. With the win the Indians move to 20 games above .500 at 39-19 and extend their first-place lead in the International League West Division to a season-high 9.5 games.

The Indians’ continued their recent offensive outbreak with 13 runs on 15 hits to assure themselves of another series victory with a 13-3 win on Sunday night. With the run-scoring explosion the Indians have now scored double digit runs in three straight games for first time since June 9-11, 1999, and overall in the first three games of the series in Columbus have plated 34 runs on 47 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and nine home runs.

SS Chase d’Arnaud got the game started with a bang, as he led off the contest with his first home run of the season. The lead-off longball was the first time the Tribe has began a game with a blast since current Pirates 2B Neil Walker accomplished the feat on April 18, 2010 against Toledo.

The Tribe’s first lead was short lived, however, as Columbus responded with some fireworks of their own, when 2B Cord Phelps lifted a two-run shot in the bottom of the first to give the Clippers their only advantage of the night at 2-1. The Columbus lead did not last long as the Indians responded in the following frame with four scores that gave them a 5-1 advantage they would not relinquish.

CF Felix Pie began the rally by reaching on a Clippers’ miscue to begin the second, before stealing his team-leading 23rd base of the season, and trotting home on a double by C Tony Sanchez to knot to score at 2-2. With the stolen base, Pie is now tied with Louisville speedster Billy Hamilton for the most steals in the IL since May 1 with 15.

Following Sanchez’s RBI double, RF Jerry Sands stepped to the plate and connected on “Ruthian” blast that completely left Huntington Park and gave the Tribe a 4-2 lead. The shot for Sands was his fifth on the season and second over his last three games.

Later in the second, d’Arnaud walked and scored on an RBI groundout by DH Josh Harrison to push the Tribe lead to 5-2. With his two runs in the first two innings of the contest, d’Arnaud has now scored six times over his last three games.

After establishing a 5-2 advantage, Indianapolis continued to tack on the tallies via the longball as Sanchez lifted one over the left field wall with one out in the sixth, before 3B Jared Goedert connected on a two-out two-run shot in the seventh. The homer for Sanchez was his third in his last five games, while Goedert’s goner moved him into second on the team with eight homers on the season.

Some final frame fireworks tied a bow on the festivities for the Tribe as 2B Ivan DeJesus led off the ninth with his second home run of the season, before 1B Matt Hague ripped his second triple of the season to plate Harrison. Then after a walk to Goedert, LF Brett Carroll capped the home-run barrage, when he lifted his team-best 10th longball of the season to bring home Goedert and give the game its 13-3 final.

With their unbelievable offensive night, the Indians have now hit 40 home runs in their last 32 games after connecting on just 11 over their first 27 contests of 2013.

Overshadowed by the offensive explosion was Tribe reliever Zack Thornton (3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO), who in just his second outing with Indianapolis this season, allowed just a solo home run to Columbus DH Jeremy Hermida, while striking out five in 3.1 innings to earn the victory. Thornton came on in relief of Indians’ starter Charlie Morton (4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO), who allowed two runs on three hits over 4.2 innings, but surrendered just one hit after the first.

On the losing end for Columbus was their starter T. J. House (5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO), who allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits over 5.0 innings to suffer the loss and fall to 1-4 on the season.

The Indians will now look for the series sweep in the finale set for 7:05 p.m. Monday night in Columbus. The Tribe will send LHP Andy Oliver (3-2, 3.02 ERA) to the mound, while the Clippers are expected to counter with RHP Trevor Bauer (2-2, 5.05 ERA).


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