Bats Break Out as Indians Snap Funk

Max Moroff blasts league-best fifth home run

The Indians celebrate after a victory. (Photo by Adam Pintar)

By Cheyne Reiter / Indianapolis Indians | April 19, 2017 5:08 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Indians broke an early-season funk by tallying 11 hits en route to an 8-5 triumph over the Durham Bulls on Wednesday afternoon at Victory Field. The Indians entered the contest having lost four straight and nine of their last 10 overall.

A two-run homer by Jason Rogers - his third of the season - turned the tide for Indy in the fourth. Trailing 2-1 and facing 22-year-old Brent Honeywell in his Triple-A debut, Rogers received the green light on a 3-0 pitch and sailed it over the wall in right.

The Tribe (4-9) tacked on three runs in the seventh against Neil Wagner, extending their advantage to four. A walk, sacrifice bunt and single set up a run-scoring groundout off the bat of Max Moroff. On the ensuing play, Durham's Pat Leonard booted a grounder at third, allowing Danny Ortiz to score. After Austin Meadows was hit by a pitch, Rogers drove in another run with an infield single to second base.

Durham (8-5) responded with a three-spot of its own in the top of the eighth against Dan Runzler. With two outs, Granden Goetzman played long ball with a drive off the flag pole on the left-field concourse, bringing the Bulls back within one at 6-5.

Less than a day after blowing a 5-1 lead and losing in 11 innings, the Indians' Christopher Bostick added much-needed insurance with a two-out, two-run bloop double to right to cap the scoring.

Moroff opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a leadoff homer, his second such home run of 2017 and fifth overall for the season. Michael McKenry gave Durham its only lead of the game with a two-run shot in the second.

Tyler Eppler (2-0) lasted six innings for a second consecutive start, yielding two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts. His scoreless-innings streak was snapped at 12.0 frames on McKenry's second-inning homer. Honeywell (0-1) suffered the loss in his Triple-A debut after surrendering three earned runs on six hits over six innings. Edgar Santana recorded the final four outs for his second save of the season.

The Indians and Bulls play the finale of their three-game series with an early 11:05 a.m. start Thursday morning at Victory Field. Right-hander Clay Holmes (0-1, 11.57) will start for the Tribe, opposite Bulls southpaw Ryan Yarbrough (0-2, 5.56).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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