A week after dropping a road series to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs two games to one, your Indy Indians flipped the script and took two out of three in a rematch at Victory Field. Matched up once more against the team with the International League’s best record, the Indians came out on top in a series where one or two high-scoring innings per game made all the difference.
Indy second baseman Chris Bostick (three hits, two of the extra base variety) was the star at the plate, but the big story that continues to develop for the Indians is catcher Jacob Stallings. Indianapolis has won an astonishing 13 consecutive games with Stallings behind the plate, and with Elias Diaz’s recent call-up to the majors, that streak will get no shortage of chances to continue.
GAME 1: Indians 8, IronPigs 5
A two-run single by starting pitcher Tyler Eppler (4-2) led to three runs in the fourth inning, and a two-run homer by Bostick fueled another surge in the sixth as Indy outslugged the IronPigs and stayed ahead despite five runs and 11 hits from the Lehigh Valley offense. Shortstop Max Moroff and outfielder Danny Ortiz also chipped in multi-hit games for Indy.
The IronPigs got solo homers from center fielder Cameron Perkins and second baseman Pedro Florimon (formerly of the Indians), but couldn’t do enough to mitigate the damage done by starting pitcher Jake Thompson (2-5), who yielded nine hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings.
GAME 2: IronPigs 6, Indians 0
The Indians simply ran into a buzzsaw in this game, and that buzzsaw was Lehigh Valley starting pitcher Tom Eshelman (3-0). IronPigs right fielder Dylan Cozens had a 3-run triple to boost the bats, but Eshelman was the star of the show, pitching a complete-game shutout with only five hits and a walk against seven strikeouts.
Indians starter Cody Dickson (4-3) only yielded one run, but was pulled from the game after surrendering four walks and two hits on 67 pitches after only 2 2/3 innings. Bostick and Ortiz each hit a double amongst the meager output of offense for Indy.
GAME 3: Indians 5, IronPigs 0
This game was scoreless all around until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Indy struck hard and fast with two-run doubles by third baseman Eric Wood and outfielder Barrett Barnes to hang a loss on IronPigs reliever Hoby Milner (0-1).
Indians starting pitcher Steven Brault (3-3) was spectacular, with seven shutout innings, only five hits surrendered, and eight strikeouts. Aside from a three-hit game from IronPigs third baseman Hector Gomez, Indy faced very little resistance throughout the night.
The Indians have moved up to 29-23 on the season after the series win. They’ve gained half a game in the IL West standings, and now sit 5 1/2 games ahead of the Columbus Clippers for the division lead. They’ll spend the weekend finishing up the homestand as the Gwinnett Braves come into town.
Be sure to head out to Victory Field for tonight’s game in particular. Right-hander Jameson Taillon will take the hill for the Indians as he continues to rehab from surgery to treat suspected testicular cancer, and deserves all the love and support Indy fans have to give.