TIDES STORM BACK FOR 11-6 VICTORY OVER TRIBE
Former Indians’ OF Salazar Launches Game-Winning Home Run
NORFOLK, Va. — Former Tribe outfielder Jeff Salazar snapped a 6-6 tie with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Norfolk Tides scored 11 runs over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to defeat the Indianapolis Indians 11-6 on Sunday night at Harbor Park.
The loss drops the Indians’ record to 56-54 on the season, while the victory improves the Tides’ mark to 52-58 on the year. Indianapolis’ defeat, coupled with wins by both Louisville and Syracuse, drops the Tribe to third place in the Wild Card race, one half game behind the Chiefs and 3.5 games back of the Bats.
With a runner standing at first base with one out in the home half of the eighth inning, Salazar dug in at the dish with the contest tied at 6-6. After taking the first pitch of his plate appearance for a called strike, the Tides’ outfielder launched the second offering of his at-bat out to deep right-center field for a two-run home run and an 8-6 Norfolk lead.
The Tides later put the contest out of reach when LF Nolan Reimold blasted a three-run home run to right field with two outs in the eighth to give Norfolk the decisive 11-6 lead.
Before Salazar and the Tides’ offense plated five runs in the game-changing eighth inning, the Indians’ offense exploded for four runs of its own in the top half of the third to take an early 4-0 advantage.
Indianapolis plated its first run of the inning on a bases loaded force out at second base, before an errant throw by Tides’ SS Robert Andino allowed Indians’ SS Brian Friday to scamper home from third base and up the Tribe’s lead to 2-0.
Indianapolis capped its four-run, fourth inning rally when DH Brandon Moss launched the first pitch of his plate appearance out to deep right field for a two-run home run and a 4-0 Tribe lead. The blast was Moss’ team-leading 19th home run of the season and accounted for the slugger’s 75th and 76th RBI on the year, a mark which gives him the second-most RBI in the International League.
Norfolk later cut the Indians’ lead in half at 4-2 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. 1B Michael Aubrey opened the frame with an infield single before a fielding error at third base put runners at first and second with no outs in the inning.
Following a strikeout, an infield single by Reimold and an Indians’ throwing error allowed both Norfolk base runners to touch home plate and pulled the Tides to within two runs of the Tribe at 4-2.
Norfolk took its first lead of the contest with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to jump out to a 6-4 advantage. With runners standing at the corners and one out in the inning, Aubrey hit a line drive double to deep left field to cut Indianapolis’ advantage to 4-3.
A looping line drive single to center field by Andino plated Salazar from third base to tie the contest at 4-4, before a single to left field by 3B Scott Moore gave the Tides their first lead at 5-4. A run-scoring groundout by Reimold closed out Norfolk’s scoring in the inning and gave the Tides a two-run advantage at 6-4.
Norfolk’s 6-4 lead was short-lived, however, as the Tribe evened the score at 6-6 with two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Moss kicked off the frame with a line drive single to center field and later moved to third on a double by RF Mitch Jones one batter later. A groundout by LF Jim Negrych pulled the Indians to within a run of the Tides, before a double down the right field line by 1B Jonathan Van Every tied the score.
In a game that eventually became a battle of the bullpens, neither starting pitcher figured in the contest’s final decision. Indians’ RHP Charlie Morton (6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 2 SO) allowed one earned run on three hits in six innings of work, while Tides’ LHP Zach Britton (4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) gave up four runs in four frames.
Norfolk reliever Jim Hoey (0.2 IP, 2 SO) improved his season record to a perfect 3-0 after striking out both batters he faced in the eighth inning, while Tribe LHP Daniel Moskos (1.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) was strapped with his fourth loss of the year after he allowed five runs on two home runs in the bottom of the eighth.
At the plate, Moss (2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and Jones (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B) were the only Tribe batters to record multiple base knocks in the contest, while five different Norfolk hitters each collected two hits, with both Salazar (2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and Reimold (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB) tallying at least two RBI on the evening.
The Indians continue their four-game series with the Norfolk Tides on Monday, August 2 at 7:15 p.m. RHP Mike Crotta is expected to get the start for the Tribe, while RHP Rick VandenHurk is the probable starter for the Tides.
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 6:55 p.m.