The Indianapolis Indians gave the crowd at Victory Field something to cheer about on Friday night, and it wasn’t just the free fireworks after the game. The Tribe jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead by the end of the third inning, before costing to an easy 6-1 victory of the visiting Louisville Bats. The win pushes the Indianapolis Triple-A club to an over all record of 6-10 on the season.
The Indy Indians got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning when catcher Erik Kratz hit a tow-run screamer over the new LED video board attached to the Vic’s left field fence. The home run was the second of the season for Kratz.
As with most things in life, some is good but more is better. Providing more for the Indianapolis sports baseball franchise was second basemen Neil Walker. Walker added three more runs in the home half of the third inning with a bases-clearing double that had the crowd going wild. Even though Walker was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple, the damage was done.
Walker added an RBI single in the fifth to bring his game total to 4 runs batted in, and his season total to 9. His 9 RBIs are good for second best on the team. He trails only the power-hitting Indians third basemen Pedro Alvarez, who has 12 RBIs on the early season.
The Tribes starting pitcher Kevin Hart (5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) improved to 1-0 on the season after a strong performance that saw him fan five Louisville players for a season total of 16 strike outs. The one-run outing also lowered Hart’s ERA to a team low 3.52.
The loser for Louisville was Justin Lehr, (4.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO) who has had a tough time so far this season. This latest loss gives him a record of 0-3, with a 8.16 ERA.
The Indians often unsure bullpen looked good in the 6-1 victory as left-handed Will Ledezma (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO) threw a scoreless sixth inning, and Steven Jackson went the final three frames for the save. Jackson (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) was dealing Friday night, as he struck out six.
Severe weather threatened to washout the game for most of the day. But by the time the Hoosier hardballers were done scoring in the fifth inning, the sky had cleared and all was well in the Circle City.
After the game, the Indians franchise treated their fans, and much of the downtown Indianapolis area, to a free fireworks display. This is a regular staple of every Indians Friday night home game.
The Indians hit the road for a 10-game road trip over the next 11 days. The Tribe wont be bak home until May 6, when they start a 4-game series with the Buffalo Bisons.
Extra Game Notes
Indianapolis Indians left fielder Jose Tabata extended his season long on-base streak to 13 games Friday night with three hits. The streak is also a career high for Tabata. In not so great news, Jose also extended his getting picked-off record to two games as he was caught napping on second base by Louisville cathcer Corky Miller.
Former Indians pitcher Chris Jakubauskas, who was just called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates before Friday’s game, was placed on the 15-day DL after getting hit in the head by Houston Astros power-hitter Lance Berkman on Saturday. The incident occurred in the first inning of the Pirates/Astros game. Jaubauskas suffered a concussion and head contusion from the incident, but is said to be feeling better.
Jakubauskas told Pittsburgh manager John Russell on Sunday that he was feeling better and that the dizziness he experienced on Saturday night had subsided.
“He’s doing pretty good,” Russell said. “He’s feeling OK, a little tired obviously. We were fortunate. It could’ve been a lot worse. It’s looking like it’s working out pretty good for him. He was in pretty good spirits.”
Jakubauskas also received a call from Berkman on Saturday night, who was relieved to find out the pitcher will travel with the Pirates for their next series in Milwaukee.
“He was still a little woozy but he was coherent, and I was glad to see he was conscious and was doing good,” Berkman told MLB.com. “It’s just a scary deal, but hopefully there’s no lasting impact from it and he’ll just continue with his career.”
Finally, Saturday night’s final game of the three-game series between the Indians and Bats was cancelled due to inclimate weather. The game will be made up on July 5th as part of a double-header between the two teams here in Indianapolis.