Indianapolis starter Daniel Cabrera allowed just one run in six innings but took the loss Wednesday night as Lehigh Valley starter Scott Elarton tossed six shutout innings and the IronPigs beat the Indians 1-0 at Coca-Cola Park.
Cabrera (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) threw his third-straight quality start for the Tribe, scattering five hits while recording a season-high five strikeouts, but fell to 1-1 on the year as the Indians offense was held scoreless for the second night in a row. Elarton (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) was just slightly better than Cabrera, allowing two fewer hits and zero runs, and improved to 5-1 on the season.
After the clubs played to a scoreless tie through five-and-a-half innings, the IronPigs finally broke through against Cabrera in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, 2B Kevin Fransden singled up the middle before moving to second when former Indians C Eric Kratz was hit by a pitch. With runners on first and second, Cabrera induced a groundball off the bat of LF Michael Spidale. Indians 2B Jordy Mercer and SS Chase d’Arnaud hooked up to force Kratz out at second, but Spidale beat the relay throw to first to avoid having hit into an inning-ending double play.
With two outs and runners on the corners, 1B Cody Overbeck slapped a line-drive single into left field to plate Fransden. Cabrera struck out the next batter to end the inning, but Lehigh Valley had a 1-0 lead that would stand up as the game’s final tally.
Indianapolis appeared to be forming a rally in the top of the eighth but was foiled by a triple play, the first in Lehigh Valley franchise history. After C Jose Morales and RF Brandon Boggs led off the inning with back-to-back singles, Kratz caught a popped-up bunt attempt in fair territory and fired to SS Andres Blanco to double off pinch runner Brian Friday at second base before Blanco threw to Fransden at first to triple off Boggs and complete the trifecta. It was the first triple play in the International League since the Gwinnett Braves turned one during the 2010 season.
The pitching duel carried beyond the teams starters as Indianapolis relief pitcher Bryan Morris (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K) and IronPigs reliever Jeremy Horst (3.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) combined for five scoreless innings out of their respective bullpens. Horst earned his first save of the season for his effort.
Lehigh Valley (22-16) hosts the Indians (22-16) again on Thursday night in game three of their four-game series. Looking to right the ship, Indianapolis will likely send LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (5-0, 2.25) to the mound while the IronPigs are expected to counter with RHP Dave Bush (2-3, 3.93).