INDIANAPOLIS – After getting swept by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders last weekend, the Indianapolis Indians were able to get some revenge on Friday night.
Kyle Lobstein, who made the start for the Tribe after Wilfredo Boscan was called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, was solid in his Indianapolis debut with four scoreless innings pitched. Josh Bell and Pedro Florimon got the job done for the Indians at the plate, factoring into all five Indians runs, as the Tribe defeated the RailRiders by a score of 5-1 at Victory Field.
Indy’s left-handed starter was scheduled to throw 50 pitches on Friday and ended up tossing 57 in his four shutout innings of work. In his first action since May 8, Lobstein did not walk a single batter and held Scranton/WB to just two hits and a strikeout.
As for the RailRiders, Dietrich Enns made his second career Triple-A start, both coming against the Indians. Enns threw six scoreless innings versus Indianapolis at PNC Field back on May 15 and after blanking the Tribe in three more frames on Friday, Bell connected for a home run.
Bell, Pittsburgh’s third ranked prospect, led off the fourth against Enns with a powerful solo shot to left to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. The homer came from the right-handed hitter’s batting box, Bell’s first of the year from that side of the plate after hitting three as a left-handed batter to start the season.
John Kuchno, who was added back to the Tribe’s roster on Friday, took over for Lobstein with a scoreless fifth inning. In the sixth, however, Aaron Judge capped a Scranton/WB rally and tied the score at 1-1 with a two-out RBI single to left.
Indianapolis did not take long to reclaim their advantage, as the Indians traded a pair of outs for a run against Enns in their half of the sixth. Bell doubled and Jason Rogers singled to get the inning started, with Bell later scoring to make it 2-1 when Willy Garcia grounded into a double play.
Enns would not return for the seventh, leaving him with a final line of two runs allowed on four hits and two walks in six innings pitched.
It would remain a 2-1 game until the bottom of the eighth, when the Indians scored three big insurances runs.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Indy against RailRider reliever Diego Moreno, who came within an out of escaping trouble before Florimon broke the game open. The Tribe’s left fielder ripped a three-run triple to left with two gone in the frame, giving Indianapolis some breathing room before trying to lock up the win in the ninth.
Jorge Rondon threw up zeroes for the Indians in the seventh and eighth before Curtis Partch took the mound in the ninth, working around a one-out single to secure the 5-1 victory for the home team.
The middle game of this three-game set will take place at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday night. Chad Kuhl (3-0, 0.91) will look to keep his hot start to the season going as he takes the hill for the Tribe.
With Starling Marte back in Pittsburgh off of paternity leave, utility man Alen Hanson was sent back down to Indy and returned to the Indians lineup on Friday. Hanson picked up his first career major league base hit while he was with the Pirates, as he went 1-for-2 in minimal action. Also, Kuchno’s spot in the Tribe bullpen opened up due to Guido Knudson’s assignment to extended Spring Training.