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Kingham Delivers Big Start, Tribe Avoid Postseason Elimination

 

Team introductions prior to Friday’s Game 3. (Photo: Cory Dawson/ISR)

INDIANAPOLIS – With their season on the line, the Indianapolis Indians needed a boost on Friday night. Starting pitcher Nick Kingham provided one.

Kingham tossed seven shutout innings in Game 3, leading the Tribe to a season-saving 5-0 win over the Durham Bulls at Victory Field. It was the first-ever playoff shutout at the Vic for the Indians.

The win serves as step one in Indianapolis’ quest to dig out of a 0-2 hole and advance to the Governors’ Cup Finals. The Tribe have successfully overcome a 0-2 deficit just once in the Victory Field era, besting the Buffalo Bisons in five games back in 2005.

Indy’s right-hander came into Game 3 struggling a bit, surrendering 12 runs in his previous two starts, but it did not show on Friday.

Durham failed to score versus Kingham, picking up just four hits and drawing three walks off of the righty in his seven innings of work. This was Kingham’s second shutout of the year and the win he earned extends his winning streak to a career-high seven straight games. The 25-year-old has not been hit with a loss since July 19 when he lost to, fittingly, the Durham Bulls.

Out of the bullpen, Edgar Santana and Brett McKinney preserved the shutout. Santana surrendered consecutive one-out singles in the eighth, but survived to put up a zero. McKinney then walked a batter in the ninth, but worked around it to lock up the win for the home team.

The Indians gave Kingham the run support he needed in the third.

Joey Terdoslavich celebrates after scoring in the third inning. (Photo: Indianapolis Indians)

Bulls starter Burch Smith came unraveled in that third frame, serving up hits to each of the first three batters he faced. Joey Terdoslavich‘s two-run double rounded out that trio of knocks. Jacob Stallings later put a cherry on top of the big frame for Indianapolis, scoring Terdoslavich with a sacrifice fly.

Smith’s night came to an end after a two-out walk in the fourth, leaving him with a final line of three runs allowed on four hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings pitched.

Durham’s bullpen held the Indians in check for most of the evening, but Indy broke through for two runs of insurance in the eighth.

The Bulls appeared to have an inning-ending double play in their hands, but shortstop Willy Adames botched the grounder and allowed a run to score. Anderson Feliz followed with a run-scoring knock, bringing us to our final score of 5-0.

Game 4 is slated to get going from the Circle City at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. Drew Hutchison (9-9, 3.56 ERA) gets the ball for the Tribe. Brent Honeywell (12-8, 3.64 ERA), the Tampa Bay Rays‘ top ranked prospect, is expected to pitch for the Bulls.

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