INDIANAPOLIS - Cole Tucker hit his third home run of the season, but the long ball wasn't enough for the Indians in a 3-2 loss to the Bats on Friday night. Louisville scored three runs in the first inning en route to the series-opening win.
The Bats (7-9) took advantage of an error and a misplayed line drive to tally three runs against Eduardo Vera. Phillip Ervin hit a leadoff single and stole second before Nick Longhi laced a triple over Gregory Polanco's outstretched glove in right. Two batters later, Christian Colon singled to left to make it 2-0. Tucker later committed a two-out throwing error, extending Indy's deficit to three.
As Vera settled in, the Tribe (9-5) plated single runs in the fourth and fifth to creep within one. Tucker opened the fourth with a 394-foot drive to right and one inning later, Ke'Bryan Hayes scored from third on a throwing error by Colon at short.
The Indians put two runners on with one away in the seventh inning, but Sal Romano escaped the jam on an Eric Wood double-play ball to third.
Geoff Hartlieb and Dovydas Neverauskas combined for 4.0 scoreless innings in relief.
Vera (L, 0-1) was tagged with the loss after yielding three runs (two earned) on six hits in 5.0 innings pitched. He struck out four. Odrisamer Despaigne (W, 1-0) tossed 6.0 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) while striking out seven. Anthony Bass (S, 4) pitched around a leadoff single by Jake Elmore in the ninth for the save.
The Indians and Bats continue their weekend series at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. Right-hander Rookie Davis (0-1, 6.48) will oppose righty Lucas Sims (0-0, 3.77). Indians players and coaches will sign autographs on the Victory Field concourse from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.