INDIANAPOLIS - Trayvon Robinson lined his 100th career home run in the second inning, Will Craig went deep for an 11th time this year in the fourth and the Indians overcame an early three-run deficit with a 6-5 win over Norfolk on Friday night. Six different Indians collected hits while Eduardo Vera won his second straight start.
Indianapolis (21-17) won for the sixth time in its last seven games by continuing its dominance over Norfolk (19-20). The decisive run came with one away in the seventh on a Ke'Bryan Hayes sacrifice fly to right. Prior to the sac fly, JB Shuck reached second base on a hustle-double and took third on a bunt single by Jason Martin before racing home on Hayes' game-winner.
Dovydas Neverauskas (S, 4) allowed just one baserunner over the final two innings of work for the save. Vera (W, 2-3) earned the win after yielding five runs on six hits with three strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched. He allowed five runs through the first three frames before facing one batter over the minimum in his last four innings.
The Tides grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the second on an RBI single by Zach Vincej and sacrifice fly off the bat of Jack Reinheimer. Indy responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half on Robinson's 329-foot line drive homer inside the right field foul pole.
Vera ran into trouble in his next half inning on the bump. He beaned Tides designated hitter Christopher Bostick - Indy's 2017 Team MVP - to begin the inning. Jace Peterson doubled to move Bostick to third and following a strikeout of Chance Sisco, DJ Stewart cranked a three-run homer to right-center to make it 5-2.
Indy's offense kept coming against Luis Ortiz. Craig's homer opened the fourth to cut the deficit to two. A walk to Kevin Kramer and double by Jacob Stallings led to a pair of run-scoring groundouts by Robinson and Pablo Reyes that leveled the score, 5-5.
Josh Lucas (L, 0-1) surrendered one run on two hits in two innings to take the loss.
The Indians and Tides play game two of the series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Rookie Davis (0-3, 6.30) will start for Indy. Gates open at 5:30 as the entire Tribe team will sign autographs on the 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.