LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Dioner Navarro's pair of hits in his first two plate appearances couldn't have been more different. One didn't have the distance to reach third base and the other, on many a night, would have soared into the seats. The similarity was they both produced the same result.
Navarro had a set of RBI base hits to stake the Bats to an early lead and those knocks, coupled with an outstanding pitching effort led by Chad Reineke, helped propel Louisville to a 4-2 victory over the Indianapolis Indians on Monday night at Louisville Slugger Field.
Reineke, who spent some time last season with the Cincinnati Reds, made sure the Bats (7-12) ended their 11-game homestand on a strong note. After losing five straight, Louisville regrouped to win its last two contests, with the first coming in exhilarating fashion on a three-run walk-off homer by Daryl Jones. This time Reineke (1-0) fired six innings without allowing an earned run while giving up four hits and three walks. In two victories over Indy (7-10), the Bats pitchers yielded only nine combined hits.
Reineke, who struck out four, recorded his first win after his three previous starts resulted in no-decisions. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, and the only run Indy plated against him came in the sixth when Nick Evans reached on a two-base error and scored on Jordy Mercer's RBI double. Nick Christiani and Ron Mahay both pitched one inning of scoreless relief before Jordan Smith earned his first save after finishing off Indy after allowing one run on two hits in the ninth.
Louisville opened the scoring in the second inning off Indy starter Justin Wilson (1-3). Paul Janish pounded a double to left and, along with Bill Rhinehart, advanced a bag on a wild pitch. Navarro then brought Janish in with a dribbler down the third base line that went for an RBI single.
Two innings later, after Janish and Rhinehart both walked, Navarro drilled a double to left that one-hopped the wall. A fierce wind blowing in from left prevented Navarro's drive from leaving the ballpark. Chris Valaika pushed Louisville's lead to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to deep right.
Had the wind not been so stiff, Janish may have homered twice. Instead, the Bats shortstop settled for two doubles. His second came in the seventh and caromed off the wall in left. It brought in Neftali Soto, who had singled ahead of Mike Costanzo's single, and staked Louisville to a 4-1 advantage.
Janish was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI for the Bats. Navarro had two hits and two RBIs, and Soto chipped in two hits. Rhinehart walked three times. Mercer went 3-for-3 for Indy.
The Bats and Indians will conclude their five-game split series in Indianapolis starting at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday and ending at 11:05 a.m. on Wednesday. Louisville's Andrew Brackman (1-2, 9.28 ERA) is set to oppose Indy's Jeff Locke (1-1, 4.80) on the mound on Tuesday night.