INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-Originally a 7:05 p.m. start time, the soggy Monday afternoon forecast produced a 52-minute rain delay to begin the game. However the weather didn't slow Louisville's bats down, as they scored five runs in the first three innings of the game, which proved to be more than enough for Greg Reynolds. With tonight's 5-2 victory, Louisville (42-43) handed Indianapolis (55-31) their first series loss at home this season.
After recording a no decision in his last appearance against Charlotte on June 26, Reynolds became the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season 10-0 on Monday. Reynolds currently leads the International League in ERA (2.44), innings pitched (114.1) and wins (10). Reynolds counterpart was Indianapolis' Brooks Brown (5-2, 4.99 ERA).
Emmanuel Burriss led off the game with a double down the left field line on the second pitch of the game. Henry Rodriguez followed with a single to score Burriss to record his 33rd RBI of the season. Mike Hessman hit a one-out single to left, advancing to Rodriguez to third. Felix Perez struck out, and Hessman stole on the pitch and was originally ruled out; however his slide jarred the ball loose on the tag allowing Rodriguez to score on the play.
The Indians would threaten in the bottom of the first, stringing together three hits in the inning. With one out in the inning, Ivan DeJesus, Jose Tabata and Matt Hague logged three consecutive singles to load the bases. Reynolds was able to avoid damage however, getting Andrew Lambo and Tony Sanchez to pop out and strikeout respectively.
Jared Goedert led off the home half of the second with a double off the wall in right centerfield, advancing to third base after a groundout by Oscar Tejeda. Reynolds was able to strand the Indianapolis runners once again, striking out Brown and Alex Presley to end the inning.
The Bats would add to their lead in the third, scoring three runs in the inning. With one out, Hessman belted a solo homerun to deep leftfield, his 18th homerun of the season and 402nd of his career.
Louisville wouldn't stop there; Perez followed with a single up the middle, and would go on to steal second. After a walk to Denis Phipps, Josh Fellhauer reached on an error by Hague to lead the bases. Corky Miller busted the game open with a single up the middle to score two runs, while simultaneously ending Brown's night. Atahulapa Severino relieved Brown, getting the Indians out of the inning without any further damage.
Brown's final line was 2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB and 2 K's.
Indianapolis got on the board in the fourth, cutting the Bats lead to 5-1. Lambo led of the inning with an infield single, advancing to second on the throwing error by Burriss. Sanchez flew out to advance Lambo to third, who later scored on a groundout by Goedert.
Reynolds maneuvered out of trouble yet again in the fifth inning. Presley tripled to deep centerfield, as the Indians would try to cut further into their deficit with one out in the inning. Reynolds struck out DeJesus for the second time of the evening, while getting Tabata to fly out to end the inning.
Louisville would record two hits in the sixth, but failed to push any runs across. Burriss led off the inning with a single his second hit of the night, but Rodriguez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to clear the base paths. Neftali Soto singled, but was left stranded.
The Indians would tack on another run in the home half of the sixth. Hague singled for his second hit of the game, and proceeded to steal second base. The stolen base would pay off, enabling Hague to score on the single by Sanchez, making the score 5-2.
The game got very interesting in the bottom of the seventh inning. Presley reached base on an infield single, narrowly beating out the throw at first. DeJesus, who struck out in his last two at bats, doubled down the left field line to give the Indians runners on second and third with the tying run at the plate. The double by DeJesus ended Reynolds' night, as Louisville turned to Kevin Whelan to get out of the jam. Whelan struck out Tabata, but walked Hague to load the bases with two outs. Zach Duke came in to face the pinch-hitting Felix Pie, and Duke got him to ground out to end the inning.
Reynolds went 6.1 innings, allowing 10 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB and 8 K's. Monday marked yet another quality start for Reynolds, his 12th such start in his last 16 games.
Burriss singled in the eighth, but was thrown out trying to stretch the single into extra bases. Burriss was 3-for-4 with a run in the game.
Indianapolis would once again get runners on base to no avail in the eighth. Sanchez led off with a single down the third base line, just out of the reach of Soto. After striking out Goedert, Duke induced an inning ending 1-4-3 double play.
Duke has not allowed a run this season in his seven appearances this season, began the ninth inning for the Bats. After allowing a leadoff walk, Duke got Presley to fly out before being relieved by Nick Christiani. Christiani came in to record back-to-back fly outs to end the game.
Louisville improved to 4-4 this season against Indianapolis, a team in which they have struggled mightily with in recent history. The Bats went just 4-18 against the Indians in 2012, including 1-10 at Victory Park.
Both teams will take the short bus ride back to Louisville tonight, as they begin a two-game series tomorrow night at Louisville Slugger Field. The Bats' Chad Reineke (7-4, 3.12 ERA) squares off with Indianapolis' Stolmy Pimentel (0-1, 3.50 ERA).