INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - Tribe starter Kyle McPherson turned in an impressive effort in his Triple-A debut, striking out six over six stellar innings, but did not figure in the final decision as the Charlotte Knights scratched across two late scores to earn the 2-1 victory over the Indianapolis Indians on Wednesday afternoon at Victory Field.
McPherson (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) was spectacular in his first career Triple-A start, surrendering just three singles and no walks while striking out six over six innings pitched. The only blemish against McPherson came in the top of the seventh inning, when the right-hander allowed a leadoff bunt single to 2B Tyler Kuhn before being removed for reliever Daniel McCutchen.
McCutchen (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO) would immediately surrender a double to RF Conor Jackson that would plate Kuhn and pin McPherson with the lone earned run of his debut. Despite allowing the single score, McPherson continued an impressive show of control as he has now struck out 52 batters and walked just five over 54.2 innings combined between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
The single score for the Knights in the seventh tied the score at 1-1 after the Indians took the first lead of the contest with a single score in the bottom of the sixth. In just his second career Triple-A game, Indians 2B Brock Holt sparked the Tribe's lone scoring rally when he lined a one-out double off the top of the right-field wall and later scored on a clutch two-out base knock by 1B Matt Hague.
Charlotte would, however, take the lead of good with a single score in the top of the eighth as CF Jared Mitchell drew a leadoff hit-by-pitch, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by SS Tyler Saladino and eventually crossed the plate for the game-winning tally on a force out off the bat of Kuhn.
The Indians would mount one final comeback attempt in the bottom of the eighth when Holt singled with one out. However, former Indians hurler Donnie Veal (2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 SO) would strike out CF Jose Tabata and induce a groundout from Hague to end threat and eventually earn his seventh victory of the season.
Following Veal, Indiana State alum Brian Omogrosso (1.0 IP, 1 SO) would toss a scoreless ninth to pick up his seventh save and secure the series victory for the Knights. Charlotte starter Hector Santiago (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO), who began the year in the Chicago White Sox bullpen, turned in an impressive effort in his second start at the Triple-A level, striking out three over five scoreless innings.
Out of the Indianapolis bullpen, reliever Doug Slaten (0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO) would suffer the loss to fall to 3-2 on the season after surrendering Charlotte's eighth-inning score. Tribe closer Tim Wood (1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) worked 1.1 scoreless frames in a losing effort.
The Indians and Knights will wrap up their four-game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Justin Wilson (8-5, 4.14 ERA) is scheduled to make the start for the Tribe, while RHP Scott Carroll (2-4, 5.56 ERA) looks to give Charlotte the series sweep when he takes the mound in the finale.
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