LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. - Jake Elmore clubbed his first home run of the season as part of a three-hit night, but the Gwinnett Stripers used a three-run fifth to take the opener of the series on Tuesday night, 5-2. Elmore's long ball, double, and two runs driven in were not enough in the setback.
Elmore gave Indianapolis (10-7) a brief lead with a clutch hit in the top of the second inning. Christian Kelley was on first base after being hit by pitch, and Elmore scored him after he ripped a double into the left-center field gap. It was his sixth double of the young campaign.
Gwinnett (9-9) would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Austin Riley doubled to left field to begin the frame. Adam Duvall then snuck a single through the left side of the infield to advance Riley to third, and he scored on Pedro Florimon's sacrifice fly.
The big inning proved to be the fifth, when Gwinnett tallied three runs. Luis Marte led off with a single, and two outs later he advanced to third on an infield hit. Both he and Andres Blanco scored when Riley smashed his second double of the game. Riley would come across the plate from third base on a balk later in the frame. The Stripers led 4-1 after five innings.
Ryan LaMarre reached on a fielder's choice to force home Florimon in the sixth that expanded Gwinnett's lead further. The deficit remained 5-1 until the ninth, when Elmore launched his first home run of the year. It pulled the Tribe back within three runs, but they would do no further damage in the 5-2 defeat.
After Tuesday's big night, Elmore is batting .426 (23-for-54) with six doubles and nine runs driven in. He has struck out only six times this season, and has seen action at second base, shortstop, and left field.
Kevin Newman returned to the Tribe as part of a rehab assignment from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played center field for the first time with the Indians and handled all three chances. Newman added a single and walk at the plate.
Kyle Wright (1-1) escaped three jams early to earn the win. He allowed just one run over five innings. Alex McRae (1-2) pitched into the fifth inning for Indy but was handed the loss after four runs crossed on his line.
Indianapolis will look to level the series on Wednesday night, first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. JT Brubaker (2-0, 1.69) is scheduled to start for the Indians. The club returns home to Victory Field on Monday, April 29.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.