NORFOLK, Va. – After an off day on Monday, the Indianapolis Indians (34-29) returned to action with authority on Tuesday.
The Tribe started a six-game road trip at Harbor Park with a big night at the plate, scoring seven runs on 16 hits on their way to a 7-3 win over the Norfolk Tides (27-37).
Indy jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on Tuesday, plating runs in the third and fourth against Tides starting pitcher Jordan Kipper.
Consecutive singles to lead off the third put the Indians in business, with an Austin Meadows run-producing groundout and an Eric Wood RBI double giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage. Indianapolis pushed their lead to three runs in the top of the fourth, as two more knocks to get the frame started resulted in a Gift Ngoepe RBI forceout.
Drew Hutchison climbed the mound for the Indians on Tuesday and after three straight scoreless frames to start the night, Norfolk tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.
A hit by pitch, a single and a walk left Hutchison in a sticky situation and Norfolk’s Logan Schafer made the right-hander pay. The Tides’ center fielder ripped a clutch two-out triple, clearing the bases and giving us a new ballgame at 3-3.
Hutchison settled in following the fourth, turning in his longest start of 2017. He went seven innings for the Tribe, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks.
Kipper pitched into the seventh for the home team, but he did not find results similar to Hutchison’s.
Indy retook the lead quickly, making it 4-3 in the fifth. Erich Weiss did the job, driving in Wood with a single to center field.
The Indians then chased Kipper from the contest in the seventh. Chris Bostick led off with a double and Austin Meadows followed with a two-run home run, his fourth long ball of the season. Jason Rogers singled later in the inning, forcing the Tides to call on their bullpen.
Kipper finished with a final line of six runs allowed on a career-high 14 hits and one walk. The righty was fresh off of a 12-hit performance in his last outing and the Tribe took advantage on Tuesday night.
Indianapolis added one more run in the eighth, as Bostick doubled and took us to our final score of 7-3.
Behind Hutchison, Indy’s bullpen was fantastic. Antonio Bastardo and Josh Lindblom each tossed a perfect inning, as the Indians picked up a second consecutive win.
Nick Kingham (2-2, 4.73 ERA) gets the start for the Tribe on Wednesday in game two of this three-game set. First pitch from Virginia is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.