Memorial Day weekend saw your Indianapolis Indians head to Rochester, NY for 4 games with the Red Wings. Coming off a series loss to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Indians found themselves in an even split fueled by quality pitching.
Star prospects Austin Meadows (seven hits, four RBI, two doubles, two steals) and Max Moroff (four runs, three RBI, three hits, two walks) continued to heat up, and reliever Dan Runzler picked up a relief win and a save to stand out for Indy.
GAME 1: Indians 11, Red Wings 6
The Indians jumped out to a quick lead in this one, with a seven-run fourth inning against Red Wings starter Nick Tepesch (1-3) sealing the deal for good. Home runs by Meadows and Moroff and a two-run double by second baseman Chris Bostick provided the bulk of Indy’s scoring, and a trio of relievers led by Runzler (1-2) steadied the ship after Indians pitchers Cody Dickson and Edgar Santana gave up 10 hits and 5 runs in the first 4 innings.
Rochester outfielders Niko Goodrum and Daniel Palka both homered, but the damage had already been done and Indy’s lead proved to be insurmountable.
GAME 2: Red Wings 3, Indians 2
This game stayed close all throughout, resulting in a 2-2 tie that spilled over into extra innings. Not wanting to overextend their bullpen, the Indians put first baseman Joey Terdoslavich (0-1) on the mound in the bottom of the 12th for his first career pitching appearance.
It went about like you’d expect for a 28-year old career infielder, with Terdoslavich facing 5 batters and giving up a run, a walk, and two hits. On the plus side, he had contributed a solo home run of his own earlier in the game, and the Indians got two hits each from Meadows and third baseman Eric Wood.
Rochester setup man Drew Rucinski (2-2) kept the game locked down with 3 shutout innings in the extra frames, and designated hitter Leonardo Reginatto scored the game-winning run on a fielder’s choice. Palka went 3 for 4 with an RBI single to lead the Red Wings’ offense.
GAME 3: Indians 2, Red Wings 1
This game was all pitching from start to finish, as the Indians’ staff combined to limit Rochester to 4 hits and a run. Starter Nick Kingham (2-1) surrendered a tidy 3 hits, one run and one walk through 6 1/3 innings in his third start since being promoted to AAA. Meadows once again buoyed the offense, going 3 for 4 with an RBI double.
The bats stayed pretty quiet for the Red Wings in this one, though the pitching staff did the best it could– apart from six hits and two runs given up by starter David Hurlbut (2-3), which turned out to be just enough for Indy to take this one.
GAME 4: Red Wings 5, Indians 3
This game started off very well for the Indians, with a two-run homer by catcher Elias Diaz powering a 3-1 lead through the first eight innings. But when reliever Dovydas Neverauskas (0-2) stepped in to pitch the bottom of the eighth, Rochester exploded with four more runs to seize the lead for good.
Rochester reliever Michael Tonkin (1-1) closed the game with three shutout innings to put a stop to Indy’s scoring, and designated hitter John Ryan Murphy’s line drive single turned into the game-tying and go-ahead runs after Indians center fielder Danny Ortiz’s throwing error.
Now sitting at 27-22, the Indians moved up to a five game lead at the top of the International League West division. From now until Thursday, they’ll face off against the IronPigs, who have the IL’s best record at 35-15. The series marks the beginning of a six-game homestand at Victory Field, and promises to be an intense showdown between two of Minor League Baseball’s best squads.