DURHAM, N.C. - Despite allowing 11 hits, the Indianapolis Indians pitching staff worked out of jams and held the Durham Bulls to just one run in a 3-1 triumph on Saturday evening. Jake Elmore doubled twice to raise his league-leading batting average to .347.
The jams started in the bottom of the first, but Indianapolis (58-59) starter Alex McRae left the bases loaded and allowed just one run. Michael Perez singled home Kean Wong for the first score of the game, and Dalton Kelly was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. McRae then struck out Daniel Robertson and Rocky Gale to limit the damage.
Elmore smacked his first double of the game with one out in the third. After a walk to Christian Kelley, Cole Tucker sent Elmore home with a line-drive single through the right side. The Tribe would load the bases, but former Indiana University star Aaron Slegers entered the game and recorded the final two outs of the inning to keep the game tied.
The level score wouldn't last long as the Indians took their first lead of the weekend in the fourth. Jason Martin commenced the rally with a single and a steal of second base. One out later, the Bulls elected to intentionally walk Elmore. Kelley made Durham (66-52) pay for that decision as he rocketed a single up the middle that plated Elmore and put Indy ahead, 2-1.
Martin extended the lead with his second knock of the night in the fifth. Will Craig kept the inning alive with a single to right field. Trayvon Robinson followed the two-out hit with a single of his own to move Craig to second. Martin then clubbed a single to center to advance Craig across.
Each team threatened in the final four innings of the game, but neither side was able to score. Durham's biggest threat occurred in the bottom of the eighth, but with the bases loaded, Dovydas Neverauskas retired Wong and Nate Lowe to preserve the Indianapolis advantage. He worked around a one-out single in the ninth to convert his eighth save of the season.
McRae (7-6) fired four shutout frames after the run in the first, and he picked up the win. Slegers (4-6) allowed two runs and was handed the defeat. The two teams combined to leave 27 runners on base, with Durham accounting for 15.
The Indians will go for the series victory on Sunday evening, first pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. Dario Agrazal (4-3, 4.25) is the scheduled Indy starter. The Indians are on the longest remaining road trip of the season but return to Victory Field on Tuesday, August 13.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.