LOUISVILLE, Ky.-Cuban pitching phenomenon Aroldis Chapman earned his first win on Thursday night, as the Bats won 7-1 over the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field in front of a crowd of 5,462. Solo home runs by Wilkin Castillo and Juan Francisco, both their first of the year, led the Bats' offense.
Chapman (1-1, .60) had eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work for the Bats, and allowed only three hits and no earned runs. He hit 99mph only one time on a strikeout against Pedro Alvarez. Chapman also got his first hit of the season on a single to left field in the top of the fifth.
Indian Luke Carlin doubled on a line drive to center field to start the bottom of the second inning. He stole third and then reached home on a throwing error by Castillo to give the Indians an early 1-0 lead.
Castillo's home run came in the top of the third inning, evening the score.
Francisco hit a double for his first hit of the night on a line drive to center field in the fourth inning, which drove in Chris Heisey to put the Bats on the board once again. Chris Valaika, extended his hitting streak to four games, as he hit a single to third and brought home Francisco as the Bats increased their lead to 3-1.
Indian reliever Steven Jackson replaced starter Jeff Karstens in the top of the sixth, but only got in four pitches. Following a home run by Francisco, Zack Cozart was hit on the top of his left shoulder by the first pitch he faced from Jackson. Homeplate umpire Stephen Barga immediately ejected Jackson for the pitch.
Josh Anderson scored the fifth unanswered run for Louisville off a sacrifice fly by Heisey in the top of the seventh.
The Bats continued their offensive domination in the top of the eighth with three singles and the final two runs of the game. Francisco was the only Bat to register multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4.
The Indians looked to make a late comeback in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with only one out, but the Bats quelled the threat to preserve the 7-1 final.
The Bats' bullpen provided a solid performance throughout the game, as only one run and six hits were given up.
Karstens (1-2, 7.31) received the loss for Indianapolis. He allowed six of the Bats' 11 hits of the game and three of the Bats' seven runs.
The Bats continue the road series against the Indians on Friday night with a first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. RHP Justin Lehr (0-2, 7.20) will take the mound for Louisville, looking for his first win of the season. RHP Kevin Hart (0-0, 4.35) will be the starter for the Indians and also in search of his first win of the season. The Bats return home to continue the series against Indianapolis on Sunday night with a 7:05 start time at Louisville Slugger Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.