INDIANAPOLIS – Earlier on this homestand, the Indianapolis Indians (27-27) endured a 21-inning scoreless stretch. After ending that dry spell with eight runs on Saturday, Indy picked up right where they left off on Sunday.
The Tribe exploded for six runs on nine hits, including two home runs, in the first two innings of Sunday’s contest. That hot hitting allowed Indianapolis to cruise to a rubber game victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (25-30), 7-3.
Indianapolis hit three homers in all and outhit Scranton 15-5, bringing their record back to .500 before hitting the road again.
Despite their early outburst at the plate, the RailRiders actually led first on this afternoon.
Tribe starter Tyler Eppler had a sluggish top of the first inning. First-pitch single. Five-pitch walk. Fielding error leading to a Scranton run. A sacrifice fly capped the RailRiders’ opening frame, giving them a quick 2-0 advantage.
Eppler settled in following the messy start to his day, giving up one run over his last five innings, allowing Indy’s bats to get to work.
The Indians hit Scranton starter Josh Rogers hard, beginning with Chris Bostick leading off the bottom of the first with a homer to right. Max Moroff and Jose Osuna each got hits later in the inning, but Rogers was able to keep the damage at one. He wasn’t able to do the same in inning number two.
After a strikeout to open the frame, six consecutive Tribe batters collected hits. Ryan Lavarnway’s two-run shot gave Indianapolis the lead, with two doubles to end the rally pushing the Indians ahead 6-2. Moroff’s double scored two, while Jordan Luplow’s two bagger plated the final run of a five-run second.
Rogers was yanked following Luplow’s hit, leaving him with a rough final line of six runs allowed on nine hits in just 1.1 innings of work.
Nestor Cortes Jr. replaced Rogers and stopped the bleeding in the second. Indy got right back to work in the third, however.
Eric Wood mashed the home team’s third long ball in as many innings, leading off by taking Cortes Jr. deep to right to hand the Indians a 7-2 lead.
Indianapolis was blanked the rest of the way, but their pitching kept the RailRiders in check.
Eppler surrendered a run in the fifth, but that was it for the visitors. He gave up four hits and three walks over the course of his six frames, but held Scranton to two earned runs. Jesus Liranzo, Bo Schultz and Dovydas Neverauskas each turned in scoreless innings behind Eppler. The trio didn’t issue a walk and Liranzo was the only hurler to give up a hit, as Indy’s bullpen wrapped up a win to close out the homestand.
Monday will serve as a day off for the Indians before the club returns to action on the road in Rochester on Tuesday. Brandon Waddell (0-1, 27.00 ERA) is expected to pitch for Indianapolis.