Indianapolis Indians starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up only a lone earned run on three hits in five innings, while relievers Daniel Moskos and Tim Wood combined for the final four frames and All-Star first baseman Matt Hague drove in an important insurance run in the eighth, to lead Indianapolis to a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Knights on Friday evening at Knights Stadium.
With the victory, Indianapolis improves to 56-52 on the season, while the loss drops Charlotte’s record to 52-56. With the win, the Indians split their series with Charlotte 2-2, while the Tribe finished the season series with a 5-3 advantage.
It was yet another close contest between the two squads, with seven of the eight games between Indianapolis and Charlotte this season decided by just one run. The Indians recorded a 5-2 mark in those seven meetings.
Ohlendorf (5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO) fired five solid innings as part of his Major League Rehab Assignment for the Tribe, while Moskos and Wood were strong in support. Moskos (3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 SO) received his third hold of the year after giving up just one earned run on four hits in three innings, while Wood (1.0 IP, 2 SO) pitched a perfect ninth to notch his 20th save of the season.
Knights RHP Dylan Axelrod (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) was pinned with the loss to fall to 2-1 despite a solid outing that saw him relinquish just two earned runs on five hits in six frames. RHP Gregory Infante (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER) allowed an earned run on two hits in his two frames of relief, while RHP Shane Lindsey (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO) fired a hitless final frame.
The Tribe took the lead in the first frame with a pair of two-out base hits. LF John Bowker singled to center before he was driven in on a triple to left field by DH Ryan Doumit, who was with Indianapolis on a Major League Rehab Assignment.
Charlotte countered in their bottom half of the inning courtesy of a clutch two-out hit of their own. After Tyler Kuhn led off with a single to center, 1B Dallas McPherson moved him over the second, before CF Jordan Danks drove in Kuhn to tie the contest with an RBI base knock to left.
The draw lasted until the third however, when Indianapolis grabbed a 2-1 advantage. CF Gorkys Hernandez doubled to center and moved to third on a groundout, prior to scoring on 3B Josh Harrison’s sacrifice fly to left.
The Knights nearly nodded the game at 2-2 after threatening in the sixth frame. SS Eduardo Escobar singled to begin the frame, and then stole second, before Danks singled to right. Escobar was waived home on the play, with RF Miles Durham firing a strike to home plate to nab Escobar and keep the Tribe’s lead.
It would become a two-run game in the eighth, when the Indians brought across a big insurance run on another two-out rally. Doumit singled to center, while All-Star 1B Matt Hague followed with a triple to right to bring home Doumit and make it 3-1.
The importance of that additional run became evident in the bottom half of the frame, when Charlotte cut their deficit to one. RF Lastings Milledge mashed a solo shot to right for his tenth home run of the year to make it 3-2, but the Knights were unable to plate another score.
Doumit (2-for-3, 1 3B, 1 RBI), Bowker (2-for-4, 1 R) and Hernandez (2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B) each collected two hits for the Tribe, while Danks was the only Knights hitter to accumulate multiple base knocks. The triple for Doumit , was his first since April 29, 2010, when he was with Pittsburgh. “You need to get off the snide, you know that was my first hit even though I hit some balls hard. It’s good to come in here and get the hit off your back and just go from there”, commented Doumit.
Indianapolis now heads to Gwinnett for a four-game set to complete their eight-game road trip, with first pitch for Saturday night slated for 7:05 p.m. RHP Erik Cordier is scheduled to get the nod for the Braves, while Indianapolis is expected to counter with LHP Rudy Owens.