INDIANAPOLIS - Phil Ervin smoked a two-run double off Edgar Santana with one out in the ninth to send the Louisville Bats to a 6-5 comeback win Sunday afternoon at Victory Field. The two-bagger spoiled Indy's bid at a series victory after the Tribe had rallied for four runs in the sixth.
The Bats (37-56) rallied past the Tribe on three hits in the final frame to hand Santana his first blown save of 2017. Alex Blandino snuck Santana's first offering down the left-field line for a leadoff double. The right-hander then retired Adrian Nieto on a fly out to center, but he walked Darnell Sweeney on five pitches before Ervin cleared the bases with a drive to the alley in left-center.
The Indians (52-41) brought the winning run to the plate in the home half of the ninth after Starling Marte notched his third hit of the game with a one-out single. Danny Ortiz and Christopher Bostick both flied out to left, however, to seal the Tribe's fate.
Louisville built a 3-0 and 4-1 lead early on against Tribe starter Tyler Eppler. An RBI single by Chad Wallach preceded a Blandino two-run triple that made it 3-0 in the second.
Indianapolis got its first run against Amir Garrett in the third. Bostick singled and advanced to third on a two-base pickoff error by Garrett. Moments later, Garrett bounced a curveball between Wallach's legs, allowing Bostick to race home.
Sweeney cracked his fourth long ball of the season off the right-field foul pole in the fifth to push Louisville's lead back to three.
Indy mounted a comeback in the sixth, scoring four times to take its first lead of the day. Bostick singled and scored on a Jordan Luplow double. Joey Terdoslavich then doubled to right-center to make it 4-3. A walk to Eric Wood and bunt single by Gift Ngoepe loaded the bases and knocked Garrett out of the game. Kevin Shackelford then struck out Jacob Stallings for the first out, but Erich Weiss smacked a pinch hit two-run single to right to put Garrett on the hook for the loss.
Louisville's ninth-inning rally instead gave Jimmy Herget (1-0) his first win, while Santana (1-2) suffered the loss.
Indy has lost four games this year when leading after eight innings, tied with Charlotte and Pawtucket for the most in the International League.
The Indians head to Durham for a three-game series beginning Monday night. The Tribe will send southpaw Steven Brault (7-4, 2.00) to the bump. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET, and the broadcast can be heard on Fox Sports 97.5 or AM 1260.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.