Matt Hague went 2-for-5 with four RBIs Monday night to lead the Indianapolis Indians over the Louisville Bats 6-4 in a marathon 14-inning game.
After the Bats decided to intentionally walk Starling Marte to load the bases with nobody out, Hague took the first pitch he saw from Nick Christiani and put it into left field for a go-ahead, two-run single to break a 4-4 tie. In his last four games against Louisville, Hague is 9-for-21 with nine RBIs.
It was the Indians’ sixth straight win and the Bats’ sixth straight loss, a season high for the latter.
The teams were locked in a pitcher’s duel early. The Indians, for the second straight game, scored in the first inning of play, on Starling Marte’s RBI single. Marte, who finished the game with three hits, recorded his ninth straight multi-hit game and tenth in his last twelve games.
Bats starter Pedro Villarreal dueled with Indy’s Justin Wilson to a 1-0 score through the sixth inning. The Bats got just one hit off Wilson in his six innings of work. Wilson retired the final ten batters he faced. Things got crazy late in the game.
In the seventh, an error by Paul Janish forced Villarreal out of the game. Jordan Smith came in and got Marte to ground out for the second out of the inning. It was Hague who then stepped in and ripped a two-run double to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
The Bats picked themselves up off the mat in the bottom of the seventh. Indianapolis brought in Bryan Morris to start the inning and the Bats jumped on him, getting a solo home run from Neftali Soto and a two-run home run from Bill Rhinehart to quickly tie the game 3-3. It was Soto’s ninth homer of the season and Rhinehart’s eighth.
Tony Sanchez’s first career Triple-A home run in the top of the eighth gave the Indians a 4-3 lead.
The lead was short lived when Denis Phipps responded with his fifth home run of the season to knot the game again.
The score remained 4-4 until the 14th inning. The Bats had plenty of chances in the extra frames. The Bats had the winning run on base in four of the five innings between the ninth and 13th innings. They also had the tying run at the plate in the 14th but could not manage anything.
The Bats (31-55) went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position while the Indians (53-31) went 3-for-21 in the same situation. The Bats fell to 12-45 when their opponent scores first.
The teams continue their split six game series Tuesday night. It will be the final of four straight in Louisville before they head to Indianapolis for the final two. The Bats will send Sean Gallagher (6-5, 5.20 ERA) to the mound to face his former team. Gallagher will be opposed by Rick VandenHurk (7-0, 2.96 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05.