Indianapolis, IN - The Louisville Bats took an early lead Friday night in Indianapolis against the host Indians and never looked back. The Bats collected fifteen runs and eighteen hits, tying a season high in runs and setting a season high in hits, on route to an easy victory as they extend their lead in the division. There were 11,252 fans in attendance on a rainy night in Indy.
The Bats started the offensive onslaught in the top of the first when Juan Francisco singled in Scott Rolen, who is in the final game of his rehab assignment. Wes Bankston followed with a double to right field scoring Francisco and Heisey, who reached on a single.
Indianapolis managed to score a run in each of their first three innings. Jeff Clement sacrifice flied in the first, Argenis Diaz singled in the second, and Neil Walker singled in the third to drive in their runs.
Louisville continued their blitzkrieg in the top of the third with four runs on five hits. Sam LeCure singled in a run, while Chris Valaika doubled in a run. The other runs were scored via miscues by the Indians defense. An error on shortstop Diaz and a passed ball on catcher Erik Kratz put the Bats up early.
The Bats added insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Chris Heisey hit an inside-the-park home run in the fourth. The last Bat player to do so was Reggie Taylor on April 17, 2004 against Norfolk. Bolivar sacrifice flied and Michael Griffin singled to drive in the runs in the fifth inning, making the score 10-3 Bats.
Although, Indianapolis managed another run in the bottom of the fifth on a Walker single, the Indians never fully recovered from their defensive woes.
The relentless offense of the Bats added yet another couple of runs in the eighth on singles by Francisco and Bankston. Miller then hit a single with bases loaded to drive in two more.
Adding insult to injury, McDonald his a solo shot in the ninth to make it 15-4.
Though futile, the Indians managed to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a two-run single by Myrow. This made the final score 15-6 in a game that saw 30 hits.
Bats starter Sam LeCure did not get the decision as he struggled with his control and was removed in the fifth. LeCure went four-and-a-third innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while walking four and striking out six.
Enerio Del Rosario (1-0, 1.20) got his first Triple-A win going two-and-two-thirds shut out innings, giving up only one hit.
Louisville was led offensively by Heisey, McDonald, and Valaika, who all had three hits. Bankston drove in three, while Francisco and Miller drove in two. Bolivar, Griffin, Valaika, and LeCure also added runs.
The magic number for the Bats to clinch is now down to ten games.
The Bats finish up the series in Indy Saturday night at 7pm. Probable starters are LHP Travis Wood (3-1, 2.93) for the Bats and RHP Virgil Vasquez (7-3, 4.10) for the Indians.