POWELL, NEGRYCH LEAD TRIBE TO 4-1 WIN OVER CHIEFS
Starter Tosses 8.2 Strong Innings, Third Baseman Drives in Two
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Starting pitcher Jeremy Powell allowed one run over 8.2 innings of dominant work and third baseman Jim Negrych turned a 12-pitch at-bat into a clutch two-out, two-run double as the Indianapolis Indians remained one half game out of the Wild Card lead with a 4-1 win over the Syracuse Chiefs on Thursday night at Alliance Bank Stadium.
The victory for Indianapolis improves their record to 56-51 on the season, while Syracuse has now lost nine consecutive games to fall to 54-52 on the year. The win also propels the Indians to a 1.5 game lead over the Chiefs in the International League Wild Card race, where they now stand only one half game behind West Division rival Louisville.
Powell (8.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) carried a shutout into the bottom of the ninth inning and finished the contest with only one run charged to his credit in 8.2 innings of work to earn his seventh win of the season. In his outing, the Indians’ right-hander allowed only one base runner to reach second before Syracuse scratched across a run on three hits in the game’s final frame.
Tribe reliever Justin Thomas (0.1 IP, 0 R) closed out Powell’s gem and earned his fourth save of the season after inducing a ground ball out to first base with two outs and runners at second and third to end the game.
After the Indians jumped out to an early 1-0 lead courtesy of a sacrifice fly by RF Brandon Moss in the top half of the first inning, Negrych gave the Tribe a little more breathing room in the third.
With runners standing at second and third with two outs in the inning, Negrych stepped to the plate looking to give Powell some additional run support. After quickly falling into an 0-2 hole, Negrych worked the count even at 2-2 before fouling off seven straight offerings from Syracuse starter Matt Chico. Then, on the 12th pitch of his at-bat, the Indians’ third baseman lifted a fly ball out to deep center field for a two-run double and a 3-0 Indianapolis advantage.
The Tribe later tacked on an insurance run with two outs in the top half of the seventh inning. With 2B Brian Friday standing at second base with two outs in the frame, 1B Doug Bernier delivered a line drive single to right field to plate Friday and give the Indians the 4-0 advantage.
Syracuse scratched out its only run of the contest with two outs in the bottom of ninth to spoil Powell’s bid at a complete game shutout. After Powell struck out the first batter of the frame, 2B Chase Lambin reached first on a line drive single to right field, and later advanced to second base on defensive indifference. Following another strikeout, SS Seth Bynum plated Lambin with a single to center to break up the shutout bid and cut the Tribe’s advantage to the decisive 4-1 score.
Chiefs’ starter Matt Chico (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO) was strapped with his fifth loss after he allowed three runs on four hits in six innings of work, while relievers Dan Leatherman (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO) and Ron Villone (1.0 IP, 0 R, 1 SO) combined to work the final three innings of the contest for Syracuse.
In a game that featured only five total runs and 13 combined hits, Negrych (2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB) was the only batter to record an extra-base hit in the contest, while Bynum (2-for-4, 1 RBI) and Lambin (2-for-4, 1 R) were the only Chiefs’ hitters to collect more than one base knock on the evening.
The Indians look to complete the four-game series sweep of the Syracuse Chiefs with a victory on Friday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m. RHP Brad Lincoln is the expected starter for the Indians, while RHP Jeff Mandel is the probable starter for the Chiefs.
The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and www.IndyIndians.com with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley on the call. The pre-game show begins at 6:40 p.m.
Post-game quotes — RHP Jeremy Powell
(on his 8.2-inning, one-run performance against Syracuse)
“It feels great to keep the team on the winning side of things. I just went out and after the second inning I settled in there and got a little rhythm going. I had a pretty good sinker going and I was able to string together some fast innings out there and get deep into the game.”
(on losing the shutout in the ninth inning)
“I was out there emptying the tank. When you get past the seventh inning, it’s all about emptying that tank and giving it all you got. I wanted to finish that game off, but unfortunately for me I didn’t do it individually. (Indians’ reliever Justin Thomas) did a great job and got that last out.”