INDIANAPOLIS – Despite Indianapolis Indians starting pitcher Trevor Williams‘ best effort, the Norfolk Tides were able to break through offensively and steal the series from the Tribe.
Williams threw six shutout innings for Indy on Sunday, but when he left the ballgame Norfolk went off for four runs in the seventh on their way to a series-deciding 4-1 win at Victory Field.
The Indians held the early lead in Sunday’s contest, plating a run in the bottom of the second against Tides starter Andy Oliver. Jason Rogers got things going with a leadoff single and after advancing to third on a balk and a groundout, Willy Garcia drove him in with a RBI double to put Indianapolis up 1-0.
Oliver would ultimately get through five innings of work, giving up one run on six hits and three walks.
Williams, on the other hand, kept rolling with another solid start for the Tribe. The right-hander blanked Norfolk over six innings pitched, surrendering four hits and walking five batters. With his performance on Sunday added in, Williams has now allowed only four earned runs in his last six starts, with three of those four runs coming in his July 26 outing against the Gwinnett Braves.
Momentum would shift in favor of the Tides as Williams was replaced on the hill for the seventh, though, as Kelvin Marte entered the game for the Indians. Norfolk came up with a single and a groundout versus Marte before breaking the game open against A.J. Schugel.
Schugel gave up four singles in the frame, with two of those hits going for RBIs, as the Tides put four big runs up on the scoreboard to take the 4-1 lead.
Norfolk’s bullpen held the Tribe in check from that point, as a trio of relievers combined to shut out Indy on one hit and three walks in the game’s final four innings.
The Indians will look to rebound from back-to-back losses when they travel to Columbus for a big four-game set that gets underway on Monday. The Clippers currently hold a 5 1/2 game lead over Indianapolis in the International League West division standings. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Chad Kuhl (6-2, 2.55 ERA) slated to start on the mound for the Tribe.
Infielder Max Moroff was promoted to the Pittsburgh Pirates, with pitcher Steven Brault optioned to Indianapolis. Moroff made his major league debut with the Pirates on Sunday by pinch hitting, making him the tenth Tribe player to be called up and play in their first big league game this season.