INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS (AAA)
Hart’s breaking ball looked good, getting several strikeouts, both swinging and looking. While it’s important to note that Toledo isn’t known for plate discipline, it should also be noted that the performance by Hart in the first four innings wasn’t all due to Toledo’s impatience. Hart threw 80 pitches, with 49 strikes and 31 balls. Hart was helped by seven runs in the first four innings, thanks to home runs from Neil Walker, Jonathan Van Every, and Brandon Moss.
Walker had the best day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with the homer, a double, and a single. Moss and Van Every each had two hits. Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-4, striking out in his first three at-bats, but delivering a two RBI single in his fourth at-bat, which ended up giving Indianapolis some much needed cushion later.
Justin Thomas made his Indianapolis debut to relieve Hart, going 2.1 innings with two runs on three hits, with a home run allowed. Thomas was the pitcher of record, getting the win. Jean Machi came on in the ninth inning for his second save of the season.
Altoona’s hitters had trouble against Andy Oliver, managing only three hits and one run in six innings. Altoona had the same results in the final three innings. Jordy Mercer had the best day at the plate, going 1-for-2 with an RBI double and two walks. Jim Negrych went 1-for-4 with a run. He scored in the first on a sacrifice fly by Miles Durham, who went 0-for-3.
The offense didn’t get going until the eighth inning, scoring three runs. Benjamin Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with a run. Evan Chambers went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Jesus Brito also went 1-for-3 with an RBI. West Virginia batters struck out 11 times in 32 at-bats today, which wasn’t good. The West Virginia bullpen was solid, with Maurice Bankston pitching two no-hit innings, allowing just a walk and a strikeout. Ryan Kelly pitched the last two innings, allowing just a solo homer and two hits, plus one strikeout.