NORFOLK, VA - The Indians scored first in their eighth and ninth straight games with a pair of two-run opening frames on Thursday against Norfolk but couldn't hold the lead in both to split the doubleheader. The Tides mounted a sixth inning, three-run comeback in game one to hand Indy a 3-2 loss, but the Tribe came back and broke a 2-2 tie in the second game for their own 3-2 win.
Indianapolis had lost five straight contests when scoring first before coming back to win in the final game of the series. Indy also tied its season-high losing streak of five games with the game one loss, the last of which came from June 26-30, also against Columbus and an IL South opponent (Gwinnett).
The Tribe (57-58) opened the second game with back-to-back two-out singles by Ke'Bryan Hayes and Jason Martin to take a 2-0 lead.
Norfolk (46-69) cut its deficit to one run in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a leadoff single that came around to score on a stolen base, groundout and sacrifice fly. Mason Williams opened the Tides fourth inning with a solo home run to tie the game at two and erase Indy's early advantage.
In the sixth, Hayes reached on an error to extend the inning. Martin then sent a long fly ball off the center field wall to score Hayes from first and give the Tribe their second lead of the game.
Jake Brentz (W, 1-0) pitched two innings in relief after Tribe starter Eduardo Vera surrendered the team's 2-0 lead. Montana DuRapau earned his team-leading ninth save of the season by shutting down the Tides in the ninth, despite giving up a two-out double.
Only one of the three runs Chandler Shepherd (L, 1-10) gave up was earned over his six innings of work. Norfolk's two errors led to two of the Tribe's runs.
The Indians opened the doubleheader with their first two-run frame of the day. Jake Elmore came home on a wild pitch and Kevin Kramer drove in Will Craig with a two-out single.
Norfolk inched within one following a leadoff triple in the sixth and took its 3-2 lead on a two-out, two-run single by Ademar Rifaela with runners on second and third.
Cam Vieaux made the start for Indianapolis and held the Tides to five hits in five scoreless innings. With the score knotted at 1-1, Dovydas Neverauskas (L, 3-2) came close to getting out of a bases-loaded jam with a 1-2-3 double play, but couldn't put away Rifaela to suffer his first blown save of the season.
Matt Wotherspoon (W, 5-2) allowed just one hit over two innings to shut down the Tribe. Dillon Tate (S, 1) entered in the seventh to keep the Norfolk lead.
The Indians continue their road trip with a weekend series against Durham, beginning Friday in a 7:05 p.m. ET start. Lefty Brandon Waddell (1-4, 8.64) is set to make the start against right-hander Jose De Leon (1-1, 3.43).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.