COLUMBUS, OH – The Indianapolis Indians (59-49) led 5-2 after 7.5 innings on Tuesday. They led 5-3 after 8.5. Even after the Columbus Clippers (56-51) tied the game in the ninth and sent the game into extras, Indy erupted for four runs in the tenth. The Tribe still wound up losing.
Columbus knotted Tuesday’s game right back up with a four-run tenth of their own and went on to walk off in the twelfth, picking up a crazy 10-9 victory at Huntington Park.
The Indians grabbed the early lead, plating two runs in the top of the second. Kevin Kramer led off the frame with his 12th home run of 2018, which is a team high. A two-out rally later in the inning made it 2-0, as a walk and back-to-back singles doubled the visitors’ advantage.
Columbus did respond versus Tribe starting pitcher Clay Holmes, though, scoring runs in the second and fourth to tie things up. Mike Papi blasted a solo homer in the second, while three straight one-out singles in the fourth evened the score at 2-2.
Holmes ended up working five innings for Indianapolis, keeping the Clips to two runs on seven hits and three walks. The righty also recorded seven strikeouts, the third time in his last four outings with seven or more punchouts. Also, thanks to what Indy’s offense did in the fifth, Holmes was put in line for a victory.
The Tribe’s bats came alive in the top of the fifth, with a one-out Kevin Newman double getting the ball rolling. Jason Martin dug in next and went deep, homering to right center to give the Indians a 4-2 lead. Next, Jacob Stallings walked and Ryan Lavarnway singled to bring Kramer up with a couple of runners on. Kramer came through, singling home Stallings to push Indy ahead 5-2.
Following Holmes’ five solid innings and working with a newfound lead, Indianapolis’ bullpen aimed to wrap up the W. It didn’t quite work out that way.
Montana DuRapau took over for Holmes in the sixth, tearing through the Clippers’ lineup with two perfect innings. He then returned for the eighth and was able to get two outs, but Adam Rosales‘ RBI double made it a 5-3 game and signaled the end of DuRapau’s night.
Tanner Anderson entered for DuRapau, walking the first batter he saw before ending the eighth with a strikeout. In the ninth, the Clippers quickly drew within a run versus Anderson thanks to back-to-back doubles that started the inning. Anderson answered with consecutive groundouts, but a walk and a single from Papi tied the game with two outs in the ninth.
On to the tenth, Indy jumped back in front in no time.
Lavarnway led off with a single to put runners on the corners, with Kramer following with a double to make it 6-5. Wyatt Mathisen added a double of his own next, scoring two more runs and giving the Tribe a 8-5 edge. Then Jerrick Suiter singled, driving in Mathisen to make it a four-run tenth.
Unfortunately for the Indians, Columbus also pieced together a four-run tenth.
Anderson remained on the bump for the Tribe and was hit hard, allowing three of the four batters he faced to reach and bring the Clips within two at 9-7. Dovydas Neverauskas took over for Anderson, but could not close the game out. Eric Haase laced a clutch two-out, two-strike, two-run double to even things back up and send Tuesday’s marathon to an eleventh inning.
Neither side was able to score in the eleventh, but the Clippers were able put the finishing touches on a thrilling win in the twelfth after Indy put up a zero in the top of the frame.
A sacrifice bunt put the winning run on third base and after an intentional walk, Neverauskas looked for a ground ball double play. He got his grounder, getting one out at second, but the throw to first was not in time. As a result, the winning run was able to score for Columbus.
Indy will look for a series victory in Wednesday’s rubber game, as the calendar flips to August. Tyler Eppler (10-5, 3.54 ERA) gets the nod for the Indians in the 7:05 p.m. contest.
MLB Trade Deadline news
The Pittsburgh Pirates made big news on Tuesday afternoon, dealing for Tampa Bay Rays star pitcher Chris Archer. In order to land Archer, Pittsburgh traded former Indians standouts Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow to Tampa.
Meadows played parts of the past three seasons with Indianapolis, including hitting .279 with 21 RBIs this year. Glasnow spent all of 2018 up with the Pirates, but went 19-6 with a microscopic 1.95 ERA in 43 career starts with the Tribe.