INDIANAPOLIS, In. - A solid night through seven innings for the Bats (66-75) was not enough as the Indians (80-61) walked off in the bottom of the ninth with a 4-3 victory.
Making his Triple-A debut for the Indians was righty Casey Sadler. The 23 year old spent all of this season with Double-A Altoona, similar to Bats' starter and his opposition Tim Crabbe, who made his Triple-A debut just five days ago.
The first inning did not go as smoothly as Sadler would've liked, as both Billy Hamilton and Emmanuel Burriss reached based with no out. Mike Hessman doubled home Hamilton with just one out, putting runners on second and third.
However, Sadler was able to recover and the Bats weren't able to do any further damage in the inning, moving ahead with their 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, Sadler reached base to begin the inning via the walk. Crabbe would pay the price, as Robert Andino drove home Sadler to tie the ballgame at one.
In the top of the fourth, walks would prove to haunt again, this time to Sadler's dismay. A leadoff walk to Corky Miller set the table for Kristopher Negron who muscled up and sent one out to straight away center field.
The homer was Negron's fifth of the season, and gave the Bats a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Crabbe once again walked the opposing pitcher, this time to load the bases with two outs. After a visit to the mound by Ted Power, Crabbe managed to retire the hot-hitting Alex Presley.
Crabbe exited after 5.1 innings allowing five hits and four walks, striking out four; despite allowing nine runners to reach base, he allowed just one run and it was unearned.
Kevin Whelan entered and finished out the sixth inning, and Crabbe was in line for his first Triple-A victory.
However, the 3-1 score would only hold until the bottom of the eighth inning as the Bats allowed three walks and a passed ball to tie the game without the Indians recording a hit. With the score tied at three, Alex Presley lined a double to left field to put runners on second and third.
Loek Van Mil (L, 0-1), the 7'1 righty, entered to escape the trouble and kept the score tied going into the ninth.
Kyle Farnsworth (W, 1-1) sat down the Bats offense in order in their half of the ninth, and the Indians seized the opportunity.
Travis Snider led off with a double against Van Mil, and an intentional walk to Matt Hague proved to be extraneous as Jared Goedert doubled home the winning run.
Despite his 0-1 record after his first two Triple-A starts, Crabbe has a 0.71 ERA with opponents hitting just .196 against him.
The Indians' bullpen combination of veterans Graham Godfrey and Farnsworth proved useful, as the two were perfect in three innings of relief.
The Bats will finish up in Indianapolis on Saturday before returning home to face Indians to cap off the season with a two-game series on Sunday. Louisville will send RHP Kanekoa Texeira to the mound (0-0, 2.86) to the mound to face the Indians in Saturday's contest. First pitch in Indy is scheduled for 6:05.