INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Indians (64-53) starting pitcher Nick Kingham has been on fire lately. The Syracuse Chiefs (45-73) had no shot at putting that fire out on Thursday.
Kingham threw a complete game for the first time in his career, as Indy picked up a 3-1 win to start this four-game set at Victory Field. The right-hander becomes the first Tribe pitcher to toss a nine-inning complete game since July 6, 2014.
Kingham entered Thursday’s contest with three consecutive starts of at least seven innings and no more than a run allowed. This performance made those look average.
First off, he was pitch efficient. Kingham only needed 85 pitches to get through nine innings of work, with 60 of them going for strikes. He did not walk a batter on this night, either, but did strike out eight Chiefs. Lastly, he only surrendered two hits. One did go for a solo home run in the seventh, but the other was an infield single. That was it for Syracuse.
The 25-year-old was so sharp on this night that he only faced two three-ball counts for the entire evening.
Kingham’s night did not stop on the mound. He even helped his own cause at the plate in the fourth, picking up his first RBI of the year with a successful suicide squeeze bunt.
Indy had a decent night at the dish, three runs on eight hits, but made sure Kingham never had to worry about a lead. The Indians struck for two runs in the bottom of the first, using three straight hits to grab an early 2-0 advantage. Jordan Luplow capped the big opening frame, tripling home the ballgame’s first run.
This series between the Tribe and Chiefs continues from the Circle City at 7:15 p.m. on Friday. Tyler Glasnow (7-0, 1.61 ERA) gets the nod for the home team.
The Indians now own a 3 1/2 game lead in the International League West thanks in part to the Pawtucket Red Sox. The PawSox defeated the Columbus Clippers, 3-2, on Thursday.