SYRACUSE STEALS SERIES FINALE OVER INDIANS 11-4
Chiefs Swipe Six Bases, Pound Out 17 Hits To Earn Victory
INDIANAPOLIS — The Syracuse Chiefs’ offense stole six bases and scored multiple runs in the third, fourth, fifth and ninth innings as second baseman Danny Espinosa, third baseman Seth Bynum and center fielder Michael Martinez combined to collect nine RBI to lead the Chiefs to a series-splitting 11-4 win over the Indianapolis Indians on Monday night at Victory Field.
With the loss, Indianapolis falls to 62-62 on the season, while the win improves Syracuse’s record to 64-59 on the year. Despite the defeat, the Indians close out the eight-game season-series with the Chiefs with a 5-3 record after the Tribe took three of four contests on the road at the end of July.
Before Syracuse rallied for the come-from-behind victory, the Indians’ offense opened the contest with a bang when LF Kevin Melillo hit the second pitch from Chiefs’ starter Erik Arnesen out to right field for his eighth home run of the season and a quick 1-0 advantage. The Tribe then took a two-run edge one inning later when 2B Brian Friday scored from third base on a wild pitch.
With the Chiefs’ still trailing by two runs in the top of the third inning, Bynum kicked off his three RBI evening with a two-run blast to deep left field to tie the score at 2-2. The one-out home run, which was the third baseman’s 12th long ball of the season, allowed Espinosa to score from first base after he reached on a force out.
Indianapolis regained the advantage at 3-2 in the bottom of the third when C Jason Jaramillo’s two-out infield single allowed 1B John Bowker to scamper home from third base. With one out in the inning, Bowker lined the fifth pitch of his plate appearance out to deep right field for his first triple in an Indians’ uniform.
Syracuse later erased its one-run deficit in quick fashion when the Chiefs’ offense plated three runs in the fourth, before tacking on two more in the fifth to take a 7-3 advantage. With runners standing at second and third with one out in the fourth, former Indians’ infielder Brian Bixler tied the contest with a single to left field, before a sacrifice bunt by Espinosa gave the Chiefs their first lead of the evening at 4-3.
Bynum then capped the scoring in the frame when the infielder collected his third RBI in the contest on a line drive single to left. The Chiefs then padded their lead with two more runs in fifth as following back-to-back singles and a double steal of second and third base, Martinez laced a single to center field to plate both RF Pete Orr and LF Leonard Davis and give Syracuse the 7-3 edge.
Indianapolis pulled to within three runs of Syracuse on Bowker’s second home run in a Tribe uniform in the fifth, but the Chiefs regained their four-run cushion with a single score in the top of the seventh inning.
Syracuse put the contest out of reach in the top of the ninth when Espinosa collected his first hit of the evening, a three-run blast to deep right center field. The home run, which gave Espinosa four RBI in the contest, plated LF Boomer Whiting and Bixler to give the Chiefs the decisive 11-4 edge.
Indians’ starter Joe Martinez (4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) was strapped with his first loss of the season after allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings of work, while Chiefs’ RHP Erik Arnesen (5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) improved his record to 5-7 on the season despite giving up four runs in five innings of work. Syracuse relievers Collin Balester (2.0 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO) and Josh Wilkie (2.0 IP, 0 R, 1 SO) closed out the contest for the Chiefs with two scoreless innings apiece.
In a game that saw Syracuse collect 17 hits – 13 of which were singles – six Chiefs’ batters recorded at least two base knocks on the evening, while Espinosa (1-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB), Bynum (2-for-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI) and Martinez (2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB) each tallied at least two RBI in the contest. Offensively for the Tribe, Bowker (2-for-3, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB) and Jaramillo (2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB) each smacked two hits for the home team.
Following an off-day, Indianapolis hits the road for three games against the Toledo Mud Hens beginning on Wednesday, August 16 at 7:00 p.m. The Tribe has yet to announce a starting pitcher, while LHP Charlie Furbush is the probable starter for the Mud Hens.
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.