Norfolk starter Chris Tillman set down 11 straight Indianapolis batters, including six in-a-row by strikeout before the Indians broke through with three straight hits in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a two-run base knock from center fielder Gorkys Hernandez as the Indians nailed down a 4-1 win over the Tides in front of a crowd of 10,159 on Friday night at Victory Field.
Tillman (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO) completely dominated the Indians offense over the first five innings on Friday night, holding them to just one hit while striking out eight. However, the Tribe would break through in the bottom of the sixth, beginning with a leadoff single from RF Miles Durham.
SS Chase d’Arnaud then continued his torrid pace of late with a double to left to put runners on second and third with the equally-hot Gorkys Hernandez stepping to the plate. Hernandez, who entered the contest with three straight multi-hit efforts, came through with a clutch two-run base knock to center to give the Indians their first lead of the contest at 2-1.
Gorkys Hernandez would also leadoff the eighth with a base hit which was followed immediately by another base hit from 1B Matt Hague. Then, after a passed ball advanced runners to second and third, a wild pitch would allow Gorkys Hernandez to trot home for the Tribe’s third run before a sacrifice fly from C Jose Morales plated Hague to extend the Indians advantage to 4-1.
Norfolk had taken the initial lead with a single run in the top of the fourth when 1B Joe Mahoney led off the frame with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and came plateward on a sacrifice fly from RF Jai Miller. It would, however, be the only score for Norfolk, who managed just a single tally on eight hits
Indians starter Daniel Cabrera (6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) scattered seven hits over six innings to earn his first victory in an Indianapolis uniform. Following Cabrera, Tribe relievers Tim Wood and Doug Slaten combined for three scoreless innings of relief.
Wood (2.0 IP, 3 SO) tossed two perfect frames to earn his second hold of the season, while Slaten (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO) struck out two in the ninth to earn team-leading sixth save. Over his last five outings, Wood has not allowed a run in 10.0 innings of work, while Slaten has put together an even more impressive streak, having not allowed an earned run in his last 14 appearances.
With the victory, the Indians improve to 20-14 on the season and 6-1 on their current 10-game homestand, while the loss for Norfolk drops them to 15-19 and gives Indianapolis a 3-2 lead over them in the season series.
The Indians and Tides continue their four-game series on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. International League wins leader Jo-Jo Reyes (5-0) goes for his sixth win of the season for the Indians, while the Tides are expected to counter with RHP Jason Berken.