CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Danny Ortiz launched a three-run homer during a five-run ninth as the Indianapolis Indians stormed past the Charlotte Knights for a thrilling 12-11 win on Father's Day at BB&T Ballpark. Ortiz also homered in the eighth, giving him his fourth career multi-homer game.
Indianapolis (38-30) staged its rally from a 9-5 deficit via the long ball. Eric Wood and Ortiz went back-to-back in the eighth before Ortiz capped Indy's ferocious ninth-inning rally.
Phil Gosselin, who homered in the first to give Indy a 1-0 lead, worked a one-out walk in Indy's final at-bat to ignite the outburst. Jason Rogers followed Gosselin's walk with a single, ahead of back-to-back infield singles by Erich Weiss and Wood that pulled the Indians even at nine. Ortiz then skied his third home run of the road trip out to left, moving Indy in front, 12-9.
The Knights threatened in the bottom half against Angel Sanchez, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Yoan Moncada and RBI single by Jacob May to make it 12-11, but Sanchez nailed down his first save with a strikeout of Ronald Bueno.
Charlotte (30-38) answered an Indianapolis four-run burst in the sixth with a five-spot in the home half to go up 9-5. Christopher Bostick belted a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to put Indy on top, 5-4, but four hits, two intentional walks and three wild pitches led to Charlotte's five runs in the bottom half.
Rymer Liriano single-handedly put the Knights on his back early on, homering in the second to make it 1-1. He followed a two-run triple by Cody Asche in the third with a solo homer in the fourth that traveled 456 feet out to left.
Indy finished the road trip 5-1 and maintained its three-game lead on Columbus in the International League West Division.
Tribe starter Tyler Eppler took a no-decision after surrendering season highs in runs (7) and hits (10). Charlotte's Reynaldo Lopez was handed a no-decision as well after allowing three earned runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Antonio Bastardo (1-0) earned the win with a shutout inning in the eighth, while Knights reliever Bobby Parnell (0-1) suffered the loss.
The Indians return to Victory Field for a three-game set against the Toledo Mud Hens beginning Monday night. The Tribe will send right-hander Drew Hutchison (3-2, 3.93) to the mound. He'll be opposed by Mud Hens righty Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 4.60). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.