INDIANAPOLIS - Facing a near must-win situation, the Indians overcame an early 1-0 deficit to beat the Bats on Saturday night, 5-2. Eric Wood led the offense with three hits, two runs scored and a stolen base, and Brandon Waddell delivered 6.0 innings of one-run ball to earn his first win since July 13.
The Indians (72-66) used a four-run second inning and never looked back en route to their 40th home win of the season. The Tribe sent 10 batters to the dish in that frame, as Kevin Kramer, Wood, Jason Martin and Max Moroff all collected singles off Juan Martinez. Martin's infield knock came with two outs and the bases loaded to even the score at 1-1, and Moroff's base hit up the middle gave Indy a 3-1 lead. An error and dropped third strike allowed the Indians to plate their final run of the inning.
The Tribe extended their lead to 5-1 in the third thanks to a Jerrick Suiter sacrifice fly. Wood had singled, swiped second base and advanced to third on a groundout prior to Suiter's flyout to deep left.
Waddell (W, 5-8) cruised with the four-run cushion and never faced more than four batters in any of his six innings pitched. His lone blemish came against Louisville leadoff hitter Josh VanMeter in the first, who tripled and scored on a Steve Selsky sacrifice fly. Suiter added an exclamation point to Waddell's outing when he threw out VanMeter at the plate on a Brian O'Grady flyout in the sixth. Waddell allowed one run on four hits and one walk with two punchouts.
The Bats (60-75) battled late and brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth, but Buddy Boshers (H, 2) struck out both O'Grady and Preston Tucker to strand two runners.
Michael Feliz (S, 2) struck out the side in the ninth for the save.
Martinez (L, 0-1) surrendered four runs - three earned - on five hits in 2.0 innings of work. He walked one and struck out five.
The Indians continue their split series with the Bats in Louisville on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. EDT. The Tribe will send right-hander J.T. Brubaker (8-3, 2.95) to the bump, opposite Bats left-hander Justin Nicolino (5-6, 4.77).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.