For the second straight night, the Indians needed only one inning to do their damage.
On Thursday, Vance Worley delivered eight strong innings and No. 3 Pirates prospect Josh Bell contributed at the plate again as Triple-A Indianapolis topped Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 6-1, in Game 2 of the International League semifinals.
A day after a six-run opening frame led to a 7-3 victory in the opener, the Indians followed a similar script with a four-run frame in the fifth. Bell, who grounded a run-scoring single to center in the second, plated another with a groundout. Two more crossed the plate on Keon Broxton's single to left and Tony Sanchez followed with an RBI single to left.
"I think we really put it together tonight, the pitching and defense," said Indians skipper Dean Treanor. "Last night we had five double plays. Today, Gorkys Hernandez in center had two very long running catches. … [Dan] Gamache had a diving catch toward the line on a line drive and we turned a big double play.
"And we've pitched well. It's the pitching and defense, and then each night, we're able to throw a crooked number up there at one point in the game and make it a little bit easier for us."
Worley (1-0) took control on the mound. The 27-year-old right-hander held the RailRiders to an unearned run on six hits and one walk while striking out three.
"He really commands it to both sides of the plate," said Treanor. "He'll cut it, he'll sink it. I don't know what else he does to it, but the ball is always moving and he just seems to stay off the barrel.
"For the most part, he did that tonight. When we really needed a pitch from him, when he got into trouble a couple of times, he was able to make that pitch and get us out of some innings."
Bell, who had two hits in Game 1, keeps impressing his skipper. MLB.com's No. 33 overall prospect has been a key contributor for Indianapolis down the stretch.
"Since he's gotten here, this guy has really grown on me," said Treanor. "He's got a great idea at the plate. He doesn't try to do too much, he's got a great approach and we saw that last night and again tonight. He's right in the middle of order somewhere, and he's a big part of it for us."
The best-of-5 series shifts to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for Game 3 on Friday.
"I think we're confident and I want us to be confident, but we've got to go in there with focus," said Treanor. "This thing is far from over. … We're going to come out ready to play tomorrow and our intent is to try and get this done tomorrow night."
In other IL playoff action:
Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com.