INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - The Indianapolis Indians plated eight runs on 15 hits, including a 4-for-5 effort from shortstop Chase d'Arnaud, a 3-for-5 performance from second baseman Brock Holt and home runs from designated hitter Dallas McPherson and catcher Tony Sanchez, in an 8-5 victory over the Columbus Clippers on Monday night at Victory Field.
Every Tribe batter reached base, six scored at least one run and six drove in at least one run as the Indianapolis offense exploded for 15 hits including six-extra base knocks on their way to earning a 2-1 series victory over Columbus.
d'Arnaud remained red hot for the Indians, leading off the bottom of the first with a base hit before stealing second and coming plateward on a double by CF Alex Presley to give the Tribe a quick 1-0 advantage. After Columbus evened the score at 1-1 on an RBI forceout by Tim Fedroff in the top of the third, d'Arnaud once again sparked a rally in nearly the exact same way.
d'Arnaud led off the bottom of the third with another base hit, stole second again and came plateward on a base knock from Holt. Batting 1-2 atop the Tribe order, the dynamic duo of d'Arnaud and Holt combined for seven hits, four runs and two RBI on the night.
Columbus would take their only lead of the game in the following frame on back-to-back RBI doubles by SS Juan Diaz and former Indians C Luke Carlin. However, it would be short-lived as the Tribe's offense broke out with two more scores in the bottom of the fourth before putting the game away with three more in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Indianapolis would break out the home run bats to surge ahead of Columbus beginning with a solo blast to straightaway center field by C Tony Sanchez to lead off the bottom of the fourth. The longball was the eighth on the season for Sanchez and his sixth at Victory Field.
The 1-2 punch of d'Arnaud and Holt would combine for another score later in the fourth as d'Arnaud lined a two-out double to center before coming home when Holt rolled a single up the middle. During his seven-game hitting streak, d'Arnaud is now batting .457 (16-for-35) with 11 runs and eight RBI, while Holt now has 31 hits in 20 games with the Tribe this season.
McPherson then continued the power outburst in the following frame when he connected on a two-run longball to left-center, plating 1B Matt Hague, who led of the fifth with a base-on-balls. 3B Anderson Hernandez would then tack on another score in the fifth frame with a two-out single that scored RF Brandon Boggs to extend the Tribe's lead to 6-3.
McPherson then continued to roll in the sixth as he plated another score with a two-out two-bagger that brought home Holt, who led off the frame with a single. In just 13 games with the Indians this season, McPherson has 17 hits, five home runs and 15 RBI.
Though Columbus got a single score back in the top of the seventh on an Indians wild pitch and one more in the top of the ninth on a single by 2B Cord Phelps, Indianapolis reliever Daniel McCutchen (2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) would close out the victory to earn his third save.
Tribe starter Chris Leroux (6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) picked up the victory to improve to 4-0 on the season after striking out seven over 6.2 innings. On the other side, Columbus starter Matt Packer (4.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 0-4 after surrendering seven runs on nine hits and four walks over just four innings of work.
The Indians (83-54) will now head on the road to Toledo (58-79) to begin a three-game series on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. Indianapolis is scheduled to send RHP Phil Irwin (1-0, 2.70) to the mound, while the Mud Hens are expected to counter with LHP Duane Below (0-1, 5.14).
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 6:10 p.m.
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