Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
Triple-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Indianapolis Indians Indianapolis Indians

Series Preview: Columbus Clippers vs. Indianapolis Indians, July 9-14

July 8, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians’ nine-game stretch at Victory Field continues with a new series starting Tuesday, July 9, against the Columbus Clippers, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians. The six-game set, which runs through Sunday, July 14, is the club’s ninth home series of the 2024 season, and is

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians’ nine-game stretch at Victory Field continues with a new series starting Tuesday, July 9, against the Columbus Clippers, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians. The six-game set, which runs through Sunday, July 14, is the club’s ninth home series of the 2024 season, and is the second of three series between the two teams in 2024. Below is a preview of both teams, notable promotions, first pitches and more.

Columbus Clippers (6-6, 38-48, 4.0 GB, T-8th)
2023: 68-79, 17th
International League Championships: 11 (1979-81, 1987, 1991-92, 1996, 2010-11, 2015, 2019)
Manager: Andy Tracy, 4th season (250-259, .491)
Top Prospects by MLB Pipeline: INF Kyle Manzardo (No. 2), INF Juan Brito (6), OF George Valera (7), LHP Joey Cantillo (10), OF Johnathan Rodriguez (16), RHP Andrew Walters (23), LHP Will Dion (24)

Seven of the Cleveland Guardians’ top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline fill Columbus’ roster. Despite losing both Angel Martínez (No. 9) and Jhonkensy Noel (25) to the big leagues since going 4-2 at Victory Field from June 4-9 – their first series win of the season – the Clippers have continued that success with a 13-11 record over their last 24 games. From June 9-14, they won five straight games and have since split six-game sets at Worcester (June 18-23), Triple-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, at home against Omaha (June 25-30), Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and in a home-and-home series against Toledo (July 1-6), Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. They finished in last place of the International League with a 32-42 first-half record but have only spent one day under .500 in the second half.

In the previous six-game set at the Vic, the Clippers outscored the Indians 62-30 thanks to a 23-5 drubbing on June 6. Johnathan Rodríguez hit .483 (14-for-29) with four doubles, four home runs and 16 RBI in the series, highlighted by a three-homer, nine-RBI showing in Indy’s second-worst loss in the Victory Field era. Columbus hit .370 (87-for-235) with 23 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and a 1.070 OPS in the set.

José Tena has been the leading force for the Clippers offense, ranking among International League leaders in hits (2nd, 94), total bases (2nd, 154), RBI (T-4th, 57) and batting average (8th, .302). Myles Straw leads the league with six triples, one more than Indy’s Matt Gorski. Juan Brito ranks among leaders in doubles (T-4th, 21), walks (5th, 55) and runs (7th, 56), while Rodríguez has the 10th-best OPS at .922. Connor Gillispie leads the Clippers’ pitching staff, racking up 80 strikeouts (T-7th in IL) and a .248 batting average against (10th).

As a team, the Clippers rank among IL leaders in OPS (2nd, .804), slugging percentage (3rd, .447), batting average (4th, .262), total bases (4th, 1282), RBI (4th, 457), hits (T-4th, 751), runs (5th, 478), walks (5th, 406), on-base percentage (5th, .357), triples (T-5th, 16) and home runs (T-5th, 117). They have also struck out 728 times, fourth-fewest in the league. On the mound, Columbus is third in the International League in fewest hit batters (35) and most strikeouts (839) and fifth in batting average against (.248) but has surrendered a league-worst 137 home runs.

Indianapolis Indians (5-6, 38-46, -4.5 GB, 14th)
2023: 70-78, T-12th
International League Championships: 1963, 2000
Manager: Miguel Perez, 3rd season (182-199, .478)
Top Prospects by MLB Pipeline: RHP Braxton Ashcraft (No. 5)

After losing five of six games against the Rochester Red Wings, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, at Innovative Field in Rochester, N.Y., the Indians came back with four wins in five games against the Louisville Bats, Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, last week. They swept the first two games at Louisville Slugger Field with a 3-2 comeback victory on Monday and an 8-2 slugfest on Tuesday. In the latter, home runs by Seth Beer, Matt Fraizer and Liover Peguero backed Quinn Priester’s 5.0 one-run innings and six strikeouts. Following a postponement on Wednesday, the two teams continued the series at Victory Field, with the Indians winning their third consecutive July Fourth contest 5-3. The Indians bullpen staved off a late comeback effort after the offense scored seven runs in the first two innings for their fourth straight win on Friday before Louisville took the series finale, 8-5.

Despite dropping four of six contests in the first head-to-head meeting against Columbus, Gilberto Celestino (6-for-16, .375, 1.212 OPS) and Jake Lamb (6-for-18, .333, .985 OPS) found success at the dish.

Andrés Alvarez (16-for-51, .314), Ji Hwan Bae (10-for-21, .476), Peguero (12-for-36, .333), Alika Williams (9-for-21, .429) and Beer (9-for-30, .300) are all riding hot streaks at the plate while Henry Davis is 23-for-66 (.348) with eight doubles, six home runs, 15 RBI and a 1.198 OPS during his 18-game on-base streak in Triple-A dating back to May 17. Matt Gorski ranks second in the International League in triples (five) and tied for fifth in extra-base hits (35). Ben Heller has led Indians relievers lately, fanning 10 across 7.1 hitless innings (six appearances) as part of his 12.0-inning shutout streak with Indianapolis over his last 11 outings. In the starting rotation, Braxton Ashcraft has allowed just one run across 18.1 Triple-A innings, Priester is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA (3er/16.0ip) in his last three starts, and Jake Woodford has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his first four starts with Indy, posting a 2.21 ERA (5er/20.1ip), 23 strikeouts and 0.89 WHIP.

The Indians lead the International League with a .265 batting average (727-for-2747) and rank second in triples (19).

Series Schedule
July 9, 7:05 PM: RHP Xzavion Curry (2-6, 6.58) vs. LHP Nick Dombkowski (2-2, 4.23)
July 10, 1:35 PM: LHP Doug Nikhazy (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Jake Woodford (1-4, 4.37)
July 11, 7:05 PM: LHP Joey Cantillo (0-1, 3.32) vs. RHP Domingo Germán (3-4, 5.68)
July 12, 7:05 PM: RHP Triston McKenzie (0-0, 5.06) vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (0-1, 6.14)
July 13, 7:05 PM: LHP Logan Allen (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Braxton Ashcraft (1-0, 0.49)
July 14, 1:35 PM: LHP Will Dion (2-2, 6.62) vs. TBD

What’s on the Menu
This week’s Hot Dog of the Homestand presented by Eisenberg is the NEW Buckeye Brat, a bratwurst in a pretzel bun and topped with sauerkraut, stone ground mustard and optional cheese sauce. Fans can find them at the Links and Drinks carts located behind Section 105 and 120.

If the Indians win at home, fans win at home, too! Thanks to a partnership with Chick-fil-A®, fans can claim a free Chick-fil-A® entrée on the Chick-fil-A® App the day after every home victory.

Can’t-Miss Promotions
The week kicks off with a classic – the Tuesday Dollar Menu presented by Eisenberg! Feed the whole family without breaking the bank as hot dogs, peanuts, potato chips, popcorn, Cracker Jack® and churros are all available for a buck each at all concession stands. In addition, the Indians will welcome the Jewish community of central Indiana to Victory Field for Jewish Community Night. Arrive early for a pregame Q&A segment starting at 6:15 PM with former Indian Ryan Lavarnway and Indians broadcaster Jack McMullen, who will talk about being Jewish, their respective broadcasting careers and life in the baseball industry.

On Wednesday, take a break from the office and spend the afternoon at the ballpark during a Wednesday Day Game presented by Elements Financial before you get the weekend started early with Thirsty Thursday presented by Sun King Brewery, when $2 fountain Pepsi products and $3 draft beers satisfy your thirst! Bark in the Park presented by All Pet Express, PetSuites and Tito's Handmade Vodka is sold out for Thursday, but you can still purchase tickets to bring your four-legged best friends to the last two Bark games on Aug. 13 and Sept. 15!

On Friday, we're celebrating Victory Field being a gathering place for all when we partner with Indy Pride and Stonewall Sports Indianapolis to welcome the LGBTQ+ community for Pride Night presented by Citizens Energy Group! Be one of the first 1,000 fans through the gates and receive an Indians-branded Pride Koozie giveaway. Special tickets that include a discounted Indians Pride baseball cap are available here. Be sure to stick around after the final out for Friday Fireworks presented by AAA Insurance and FOX59, too!

Come wearing your best cloaks and have your wands at the ready on Saturday and Sunday when Harry Potter Weekend transports you from Victory Field to the Wizarding World! Arrive early to receive a mystery Hogwarts House Hat giveaway (first 1,000 fans each day) and take a photo with Dobby the House Elf in the Center Field Plaza. The Indians will also wear specialty Harry Potter jerseys that will be auctioned off until the end of the seventh inning on Sunday. We solemnly swear that you will not want to miss this weekend!

Pregame on Saturday, former Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Jack Crist, 77, will marry his high school best friend, Jan. Jack, an infielder for six seasons in the minors from 1966-71, spent the last four seasons of his career with Triple-A Richmond in the International League. He and Jan, who went separate ways after graduating from Gardena (Calif.) High School in 1964, reconnected last fall after being apart for nearly 60 years.

And remember, Sunday is for the kids! All children 14 and under receive a free hot dog, bag of chips and Capri Sun® juice pouch on us during Kids Eat Free Sunday presented by Meijer. Knot Hole Kids Club members will also have their one chance to pick up the July giveaway item, a Rowdie baseball (first 250 members), and can run the bases after the game!

Notable First Pitches
July 9: Former Indianapolis Indians player Ryan Lavarnway
July 11: University of Evansville assistant men’s basketball coach and Butler basketball alum Roosevelt Jones, Butler Blue IV (first fetch)
July 13: Former Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Jack Crist

Single-game tickets are available for purchase, and group and premium reservations may also be made. For more on the Indians, visit or contact the Victory Field Box Office at (317) 269-3545 or [email protected].