ALLENTOWN, PA. - Dario Agrazal retired the final 18 batters he faced and fired eight innings of one-run ball, but the Indianapolis Indians had to hang on for the 6-5 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Friday night.
Agrazal (2-0) was named the International League's Pitcher of the Week on Monday, and he followed up the award with domination. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third, he allowed a lead-off double to Ali Castillo. Agrazal would go on to retire the next 18 batters in a row and exited with a 6-1 advantage.
Indianapolis (17-16) did most of its run damage in the fifth inning. Jake Elmore opened with a single, moved to second on a bunt by Agrazal, then came home when Jason Martin homered to left field. After Ke'Bryan Hayes and Will Craig reached, a passed ball plated Hayes. Jacob Stallings scored Craig with a double, and the inning was capped when Kevin Kramer smacked a double of his own to drive in Stallings.
The Indians led 5-1 in the ninth and scored what turned out to be a very critical insurance run. Martin opened the rally with a walk, then moved to third on a single from Hayes. Two batters later, Stallings sent Martin home with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The first five Lehigh Valley (19-14) batters reached to start the bottom of the ninth, and Luis Escobar was brought in to relieve Matt Eckelman. The IronPigs pulled within one run at 6-5 when a man crossed the plate after a throwing error on a steal attempt, but Escobar struck out Mitch Walding with the potential tying run at third to end the game.
Agrazal finished with just 81 pitches and struck out seven. He did not issue a single walk, and he induced 11 groundouts compared to just four flyouts. Escobar earned the save in his Triple-A debut.
Yacksel Rios (1-2) was handed the loss. He relieved starter Enyel De Los Santos in the fourth and allowed five of Indy's six runs.
The Indians will try for a third consecutive win on the trip on Saturday night, first pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. Eduardo Vera (0-3, 6.10) is scheduled to start for Indy. The club returns home to Victory Field on Tuesday, May 14.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.