INDIANAPOLIS – After the Norfolk Tides (15-20) broke the Indianapolis Indians‘ (15-17) six-game win streak on Friday, the Tribe turned right around and started a new one on Saturday.
Indy starting pitcher Drew Hutchison fired six solid innings and Max Moroff homered in his return to the team, as the Indians picked up a 4-1 win over the Tides at Victory Field.
Hutchison, who struggled a bit early on this season, turned in his second straight quality start on Saturday night.
The right-hander surrendered two or more runs in four of his first five starts, but was able to earn his first win of 2017 by limiting the Charlotte Knights to one run over the course of 6 2/3 innings pitched on May 8. Hutchison was just as good on Saturday, holding Norfolk to one run on four hits and four strikeouts through six innings of work. His work got him a second consecutive win, pulling his season record to 2-1.
At the plate, the Indians were led by a pair of returning batters.
Moroff and Chris Bostick were both called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 8 and were both sent back to Indianapolis on Friday. Moroff went 1-for-9 in four games with the Bucs, getting his first big league hit and RBI with a run-scoring single against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 9. Bostick went hitless in four at-bats while up in the majors, but did draw a walk.
Indy and Norfolk were tied at one run apiece heading into the bottom of the fifth, where Moroff made his presence felt. The Tribe’s shortstop crushed a two-run shot to left with one out in the frame, his ninth of the year, scoring Bostick to give the home team a 3-1 lead.
Moroff’s homer allowed him to reclaim his International League lead in long balls, leaving three other hitters behind with eight each.
Bostick would not let Moroff hog the spotlight, though, as he shot the Indians ahead by three runs in the sixth with a RBI double. Indianapolis’ left fielder ended the night with four hits in five tries.
Indy’s hottest reliever, Edgar Santana, also had it going on Saturday. Santana extended his scoreless inning streak to 17 2/3 and grabbed a nine-out save with three shutout frames in relief of Hutchison. The righty’s ERA now sits at a microscopic 0.42 through 21 1/3 innings pitched.
The Indians will go for the series win, which would be their third in a row, on Sunday. The teams are slated for a 1:35 p.m. Mother’s Day matinee, with Clay Holmes (1-1, 3.42 ERA) expected to make the start for Indy.