LOUISVILLE, Ky.-The Louisville Bats (6-8) avoided the sweep, earning a 9-1 win in the series finale over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (6-7) Thursday evening at Louisville Slugger Field.
The RailRiders got on the board early in the top of the second, but their lead did not last long. Six-consecutive Louisville batters reached with two outs in the bottom half of the inning. The Bats did receive some help courtesy of a RailRiders error and two bases loaded walks to Dilson Herrera and Sebastian Elizalde. The second inning would end with Louisville leading, 3-1.
Moving to the bottom of the fourth, the Bats continued to add to their lead with Juan Perez picking up an inside-the-park home run on a blast off the center field wall, giving Louisville the 4-1 advantage. It was the first inside-the-park homer since Perez accomplished the feat on August 21 of last year against Indianapolis.
Perez would homer again to lead off the sixth inning, a 370-foot blast that put the Bats up, 7-1. Perez became the second Louisville hitter to hit multiple home runs in a game this season with Phil Irvin accomplishing the feat earlier in the year.
"The wind was blowing out so I tried to use that to my advantage," Perez said of tonight's eruption at the plate. "I just wanted to hit it in the air to dead center and hoped it went over."
Two more runs would come around in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Bats a 9-1 lead, which would be the game's final score.
"It started with our work this morning," manager Delino DeShields said of the team's offensive explosion tonight. "The guys had some quality conversations and came to grips with some things they were struggling with. I saw some good swings tonight because of it."
In his second start of the season, left-hander Nick Routt allowed just one run on four hits, but did not qualify for the win, going just four innings deep. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre right-handed starter Luis Cessa also only lasted four innings, giving up six hits and five runs with one earned.
On in relief, right-hander Evan Mitchell picked up the win for Louisville after throwing three innings of shutout baseball, allowing just three hits. With three strikeouts in his outing, Mitchell is tied for the International League lead among relievers with 14 punch-outs on the season. Mitchell moves to 1-1 on the year, maintaining an earned run average of 0.00.
The Bats begin a three-game set with the Durham Bull Friday evening at Louisville Slugger Field. Right-hander Sal Romano (0-0, 1.38) gets his first start for Louisville since an MLB appearance with the Reds last week. On the mound for the Bulls will be lefty Justin Marks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.