INDIANAPOLIS - Kevin Kramer homered and clubbed two doubles as part of a four-hit, four-RBI performance, but the visiting Bats overcame 2-1, 4-2 and 5-4 deficits to rally past the Tribe on Friday night, 6-5. The loss capped a 12-17 month of August for Indy, nine of those losses coming by a single run.
The Bats (60-74) handed the Indians (71-66) their league-leading fifth loss when carrying a lead into the ninth inning. Steve Selsky doubled and Josh VanMeter followed with an RBI single to make it 5-5. Damien Magnifico then walked Brian O'Grady before starting what looked like a 1-6-3 double play. Max Moroff fielded the turn at second base but his throw to first was wide of the bag, allowing VanMeter to hustle home for the game-winning run.
Jose Osuna and Kramer collected consecutive two-out hits in the home half of the ninth as Indy mounted a potential comeback of its own, but Kevin Quackenbush (S, 25) retired Ryan Lavarnway to escape the threat.
The back-and-forth affair was a thrilling ballgame from start to finish. Louisville led 1-0 after a half-inning thanks to a Preston Tucker RBI single, but Jordan Luplow tied the game with a single and Kramer doubled him home to give Indy a 2-1 advantage after one inning of play.
O'Grady looped a two-out single down the right-field line in the second to even the score. The Indians regained the lead with two more runs in the third, however, both coming on a smash by Kramer to second baseman Taylor Sparks, a play that was ruled a double. The sharp grounder kicked off Sparks' chest into shallow right field, and heads-up baserunning to the plate by Jose Osuna gave Indy a two-run lead.
Sparks hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Mitch Keller to even the score at 4-4, but Kramer's team- and career-high 15th homer opened the bottom of the eighth that gave the Tribe their final lead.
Magnifico (L, 3-4) retired the side in both the seventh and eighth before the Bats' final push. Tanner Rainey (W, 7-2) served up two walks after allowing Kramer's long ball but was credited with the win.
The Indians play their final 2018 regular-season home game on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. EDT. Neither the Indians or Bats have named a starting pitcher for the contest.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.