INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday night, it was the lucky thirteenth inning that gave the Indianapolis Indians the lift they needed to defeat the Louisville Bats.
Backup catcher Wilkin Castillo took the mound and escaped a jam in the top half of the inning and Keon Broxton ended the game in the bottom half with a walk-off single, as the Tribe notched a 3-2 win in extra innings over Louisville at Victory Field.
After a scoreless first, the Tribe got on the board in the second against Bats starting pitcher Josh Smith. With one out, Tony Sanchez was hit by a pitch and Dan Gamache walked before Gustavo Nunez shot a RBI single to right to make it 1-0.
Indianapolis starter Wilfredo Boscan held the Bats in check through his first three innings on the hill, but a pair of doubles in the fourth allowed Louisville to tie the game. Juan Perez was first, leading off with an extra-base hit before Ramon Cabrera‘s one-out double evened the score at 1-1.
Boscan ultimately made it through 5 2/3 innings of work, as he was pulled after giving up back-to-back two-out singles in the sixth. Jeremy Bleich replaced the righty and got the Indians out of trouble, leaving Boscan with a final line of one run allowed on six hits and six strikeouts.
Nunez’s RBI single served as the Tribe’s only hit against Smith through five innings, but Indianapolis’ offense came to life in their half of the sixth to give the home team the lead again. The Indians struck quickly, as Jaff Decker led off with a single and scored a batter later when Broxton drove a RBI double to left.
Smith worked eight strong innings for the Bats, surrendering two runs on three hits and three walks. Louisville’s starter struck out nine batters and threw 116 pitches on Monday, both of which go down as season highs for the right-hander.
Bleich tossed a scoreless seventh to keep the Tribe’s lead intact, but a rough eighth for rehabber Rob Scahill allowed Louisville to tie the game again. Scahill gave up a single and a walk, but it was a two-out throwing error from Alen Hanson on a slow grounder that let the tying run score. Kyle Waldrop chopped the ball to Hanson, who rushed his throw to first and saw it sail over Josh Bell‘s head.
Indianapolis and Louisville then exchanged shutout innings until the thirteenth, when things really got interesting.
With five relievers already used on the night, the Tribe called on Castillo to keep the game tied up. A pair of walks and a single loaded up the bases for Louisville with just one out, but the Indians’ catcher was able to avoid trouble by getting Sean Buckley to ground out and Hernan Iribarren to line out.
Castillo picked up the win in the end, his second victory in the month of August. The position player has actually tossed a total of 4 2/3 scoreless innings this season, surrendering only two hits and three walks in his time on the mound in 2015.
The Tribe’s offense then took advantage of the score remaining even by putting an end to the game against Bats reliever Carlos Contreras. After Gorkys Hernandez struck out, Hanson doubled, prompting Louisville to intentionally walk Decker to set up a possible double play. Broxton came to bat next and walked off, ripping a RBI single to center to give the Indians the 3-2 victory.
Following Monday’s lengthy game, the Indians and Bats will meet up on Tuesday for game two of the three-game series. First pitch from downtown Indianapolis is set for 7:05 p.m. with Brad Lincoln (6-1, 3.40 ERA) scheduled to pitch for the Tribe.