INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians (25-25) had a new face on the mound in Wednesday’s matchup with the Gwinnett Stripers (23-27).
23-year-old Brandon Waddell made his Triple-A debut with the Tribe, but it was short-lived thanks to a seven-run second inning. Gwinnett knocked Waddell out of action after 1.2 innings pitched, as the visitors rolled to a 11-4 win that pushes Indy’s season-worst losing streak to four.
Waddell pitched very well in Double-A (2-1, 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings), but surrendered a career-high tying seven earned runs in his most recent start with the Altoona Curve last Friday. He had given up just nine total earned runs prior to that outing. Unfortunately for Waddell, he wasn’t able to get back on track in his first start with the Indians.
The right-hander worked around a two-out walk and got three fly outs to complete a scoreless first, but everything came apart in inning number two.
Michael Reed singled. Rio Ruiz walked. Sean Kazmar Jr. doubled. That’s how the second inning began for Waddell, with the Stripers grabbing a 2-0 lead as a result. Consecutive one-out walks then loaded the bases, allowing a Danny Santana ground out to put Gwinnett ahead by three runs.
Waddell was lifted after that, ending his Triple-A debut after 1.2 innings of work. Casey Sadler took over for Waddell, needing just one out to end the frame. The Stripers didn’t cooperate.
Austin Riley took Sadler deep to left center, a three-run shot that quickly doubled Gwinnett’s advantage. Carlos Franco followed with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to cap a seven-run second for the visitors.
Waddell was charged with two of the runs scored on Riley’s homer, leaving him with a final line of five runs allowed on two hits and four walks in his short time on the bump. He threw 55 pitches to get only five outs, contributing to his quick hook.
Indy’s road to a comeback victory was long, but it started in the bottom of the second. Eric Wood singled to make it 7-1, notching his 19th RBI of 2018.
The Tribe played long ball in the fourth, trimming their deficit to 7-3. Erich Weiss and Pablo Reyes went back-to-back in the frame, with each homer coming with two outs.
Weiss picked up another RBI in the sixth, scoring Wood to make it 7-4 after he kept the inning alive with a two-out double.
But the Stripers finally answered in the seventh, scoring for the first time since their explosive second inning. Chris Stewart got the job done with two gone, singling home Reed to send the visitors ahead 8-4.
Gwinnett tacked on two runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth following a 42-minute rain delay, closing this one out deep into the Indianapolis night.
The Stripers aim for the sweep over the Indians on 7:05 p.m. on Thursday night. Alex McRae (1-4, 5.04 ERA) starts for Indianapolis and stands in Gwinnett’s way.