INDIANAPOLIS – In the third game of a four-game set on Saturday night, it only took one inning of offense for the Indianapolis Indians to top the Durham Bulls.
Josh Bell‘s two-run single and John Bowker‘s RBI single in the fourth proved to be enough in a 3-2 Indians win over Durham at Victory Field.
Starting pitcher Vance Worley made his season debut for the Indians and his night got off to a rough start in the first, when Nick Franklin took him deep. Durham’s shortstop, only the game’s second batter, crushed a solo shot off of Worley to put the Bulls ahead 1-0 early.
Durham starter Bradin Hagens held the Tribe scoreless through his first three innings of work, but Indianapolis got to him in the fourth and recorded all the offense they would need for the night with a two-out rally.
Hagens retired two of the first three batters in the inning, but consecutive walks loaded the bases with two outs for Bell. The Tribe’s first baseman followed by shooting Indianapolis in front with a two-run single to left. Bowker came to bat next and tacked on another run that would prove to be important later, sending a RBI single to right to make it 3-1.
The Bulls’ starter ultimately allowed three runs on four hits and four walks in five innings pitched.
Worley also pitched five innings on Saturday and Durham was able to score a second run against the starter in his final inning of work. Corey Brown and Jake Elmore singled to put runners on the corners with one out for Ryan Brett, who cut the Tribe’s lead in half with a RBI groundout. Brett’s grounder was hit sharply to second, but Indianapolis was unable to turn an inning-ending double play when Jordy Mercer bobbled the ball as he prepared to throw to first.
Indianapolis’ starter ended up surrendering two runs on three hits and a walk, which was good enough to earn the right-hander his first win with Indianapolis since June 8 of 2014.
The Tribe’s bullpen held on to the team’s slim lead from there, using three relievers to secure the victory. A.J. Morris and Bobby LaFromboise combined to throw three innings, allowing two hits, before closer Blake Wood added to his league-leading save total by striking out the final three batters of the game for his 26th save of the year.
Indianapolis and Durham will wrap up their series on Sunday, when the teams will meet for the final time in the 2015 regular season. Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 1.69 ERA) is penciled in as the Indians’ probable starting pitcher for the 1:35 p.m. game.