MOOSIC, Pa. – After the Indianapolis Indians could not get anything going in the first eight innings of Game 3 on Friday, the Tribe’s offense came to life just in time for a series-winning victory.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starting pitcher Kyle Davies threw eight shutout innings, but Indianapolis got to the RailRiders bullpen for four ninth inning runs to earn a stunning 4-2 win at PNC Field. The comeback gives the Tribe the three-game sweep of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and moves them into the Governors’ Cup championship series against the winner of the Columbus Clippers/Norfolk Tides series.
The RailRiders took control of Friday’s game early, as they scored a run against Indianapolis starter Tyler Glasnow to go ahead 1-0 in the first. Slade Heathcott led off with a single, moved up to second on an Ali Castillo groundout and scored when he stole third and came home on a throwing error on the play from Indians catcher Tony Sanchez.
In the fifth, Glasnow came within an out of getting out of trouble, but Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was able to double their lead with a big hit. Ben Gamel singled and Gary Sanchez walked to get the inning started, but a Kyle Roller groundout and an Aaron Judge fly out left runners on the corners with two gone. Cole Figueroa batted next and made it 2-0, though, with a clutch RBI single up the middle.
Glasnow completed the fifth for his last inning of work, leaving him with a final line of two runs allowed (one earned) on seven hits and three walks.
While the RailRiders put a pair of runs on the scoreboard against Glasnow, Davies dominated the Tribe on the mound. The righty gave up just two hits and a walk in his eight inning pitched and the Indians were unable to get any of those baserunners past second base.
Johnny Barbato took over for Davies and looked for the save in the ninth, but Indianapolis knocked around the reliever to go in front late. A walk and a pair of singles opened the frame, allowing for a Gorkys Hernandez run-scoring hit by pitch and a Josh Bell sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2. John Bowker came to the plate next and capped the big inning, as he shot a two-run single to center to give the Tribe a 4-2 advantage.
Indianapolis’ would not put the finishing touches on their comeback without some drama, however, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre loaded the bases in their half of the ninth. Indians closer Blake Wood gave up two singles and a walk to put RailRiders at every base with two outs, but was able to get Gregorio Petit to ground out to shortstop to get the Tribe their series-clinching victory.
With their ticket to the International League championship already punched, the Indians will have to wait to hit the field again. The Governors’ Cup Finals are not scheduled to get underway until Tuesday, with the first two games taking place in either Columbus or Norfolk (series is tied at 1-1 as of Friday).