Starter Brandon Cumpton tossed seven two-hit innings to earn his first career Triple-A win, while second baseman Josh Harrison scored three runs including a perfectly executed steal of home in the bottom of the third inning as the Indianapolis Indians (16-7) earned a 5-1 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (8-13) on Friday night at Victory Field.
On most nights the exceptional two-hit effort from Tribe starter Brandon Cumpton would be the top highlight, however on this evening 2B Josh Harrison provided Indians fans with a baseball rarity that harkens back to both Jackie Robinson and The Sandlot.
In the bottom of the third inning CF Alex Presley and Harrison led off the frame with back-to-back walks, before groundouts from SS Jordy Mercer and 1B Matt Hague scored Presley and put Harrison at second. The Tribe second baseman then forced an error on a pickoff attempt to move up to third, where he later made history by stealing home to single handily extend the Indians’ advantage to 3-0.
The steal of home was the Indians first since INF Brian Friday accomplished the feat in the third inning on August 19, 2010 in Toledo off current Tribe starter Andy Oliver. It was also one of three scores on the evening for Harrison, who came home on a Mercer triple in the first frame and crossed the plate on a Hague groundout in the seventh.
Harrison also added an RBI on a fielder’s choice in the seventh to finish out the night with a full stat sheet which included three runs, two hits, an RBI and two steals.
Overshadowed by the base stealing stylings of Harrison was a fantastic effort by Cumpton (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO), who earned his first career Triple-A victory with 7.0 scoreless innings. The right hander dominated throughout the evening, tossing three no-hit frames to begin the contest and ultimately surrendeered just two singles.
Following Cumpton, Major League veteran Jose Contreras (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER) allowed the lone Lehigh Valley score on a solo home run off the bat of C Tommy Joseph in the top of the eighth. RHP Duke Welker (1.0 IP, 2 BB, 2 SO) worked around two walks with two strikeouts to finish out the Tribe victory.
Lehigh Valley starter B. J. Rosenberg (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO) suffered a tough-luck loss after allowing just two earned runs over 6.0 innings pitched. Following Rosenberg, IronPigs reliever Mike Stutes (2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) allowed two scores over 2.0 innings of relief.
With the victory, the Tribe earned a 3-1 series win over the IronPigs, just their second series win over Lehigh Valley at Victory Field since the IronPigs came were formed in 2008.
Indianapolis will now welcome in Gwinnett for a four-game series starting on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Gerrit Cole (1-1, 2.76 ERA) is expected to make the start for the Tribe, while the Braves are scheduled to send LHP Yohan Flande (1-0, 3.31) to the mound.
1978 NL MVP and former Pittsburgh Pirates great, Dave Parker, will be on hand to sign autographs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the PNC Plaza located in center field.