INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - Starter Justin Wilson tossed 6.1 perfect innings and eight no-hit frames before heavy rain caused the contest between the Indianapolis Indians and the Charlotte Knights to be called in a historic 3-0 victory for the Tribe on Thursday night at Victory Field.
Wilson's historic effort will go into the International League record books as a no-hitter, amazingly the second that he has been a part of this season with the Indians. The southpaw starter also tossed 7.1 no-hit innings as part of a combined no-no on April 29 in Durham.
The outing by Wilson was also the first no-hit performance at Victory Field since Ian Snell blanked the Norfolk Tides in Indianapolis on May 15, 2005.
Before the rains ended the contest, Wilson was brilliant, using pinpoint control to set down the first 19 Charlotte batters in order. Knights CF Dewayne Wise then stepped to the plate with one out in the top of the seventh and drew a four-pitch walk to end Wilson's bid for perfection.
Wilson would not let the free pass rattle him, however, as on the very next pitch he induced an inning-ending double play from LF Conor Jackson. As the contest entered the eighth inning, rain began to fall at Victory Field, but Wilson once again kept his composure and, with some sound infield defense behind him, was able to work a 1-2-3 top of the eighth in what proved to be the last action of the contest.
The Indians offense provided the rain-shortened victory for Wilson with a single score in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth.
3B Yamaico Navarro began what proved to be the game-winning rally when he ripped a triple to lead off the bottom of the fifth before scoring one batter later on a double down the left-field line by LF Drew Sutton. The RBI two-bagger for Sutton was his first hit and RBI in an Indians uniform this season and gave him a hit and RBI with six different International League teams in his career.
The Indians then added what proved to be two unnecessary insurance tallies with a two-out rally in the following frame. DH Jeff Clement began the rally with a base hit to center before moving to third when Navarro followed with a line-drive double to left.
C Tony Sanchez then brought Clement and Navarro home with a clutch base hit to center that gave the game its final score of 3-0. Despite not scoring or driving in a run, Tribe CF Alex Presley collected two base knocks in his first contest back in Indianapolis since being optioned by Pittsburgh.
With the victory, the Indians salvaged the final game of the four-game series with the Knights and also extended their advantage in the IL West division back to nine games as the second-place Columbus Clippers fell to Durham 12-2.
The Tribe will now head on the road for a key three-game matchup in Columbus beginning on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Rick VandenHurk is expected to make the start for the Indians, while the Clippers are scheduled to send RHP Roberto Hernandez to the mound.
The game will be carried on WNDE 1260 AM-WFBQ-HD2, WNDE.com and via iheartradio, a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones with Howard Kellman and Will Flemming on the call. The pre-game show begins at 6:45 p.m.
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