By Josh Cook
A trio of home runs and solid outing from Travis Wood propelled the Louisville Bats to a 5-1 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees on Sunday afternoon at Louisville Slugger Field.
Todd Frazier broke out of a hitting slump, hitting a pair of solo homers, while Wilkin Castillo added a solo shot of his own to help Louisville (20-24) win for the sixth time in its last seven games.
Bats starter Travis Wood (2-4) had his second solid outing. The left-hander followed up his 11-strikeout, no-decision performance at Lehigh Valley last week by holding Scranton to just four hits and one earned run over six innings. He also walked three and struck out five. Jesus Delgado and Jared Burton provided three innings of scoreless relief.
The Bats' batters gave Wood all the run support he would need with a two-run first inning. Chris Burke, Zack Cozart and Yonder Alonso had back-to-back-to-back singles off Yankees starter Jason Hirsh (4-5). Alonso's single scored Burke before Drew Sutton's sacrifice fly brought in Cozart, who had stolen his team-high 11th base of the season along the way.
Frazier's fourth homer of the season, in the bottom of the second, made it 3-0 Louisville.
Scranton (26-17) scored its lone run in the third. Jeff Natale walked with one out, advanced to third on Curtis Granderson's single and scored on Eduardo Nunez's single.
But the Bats answered in the fourth with back-to-back homers by Castillo and Frazier.
Cozart, Alonso, Castillo and Frazier, who entered the game batting just .190 this season, led Louisville's 10-hit attack with two apiece.
The two teams meet at 11:05 a.m. Monday morning in Game 3 of the four-game series.
One development for the parent Cincinnati Reds on Sunday could affect the Bats, though. Starter Homer Bailey left in the third inning of the Reds' game against the Cleveland Indians with tightness in his right shoulder. That could open the door for the call-up of highly-touted prospect Aroldis Chapman to join the Reds' pitching rotation. Chapman is 4-2 with a 3.98 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings pitched in eight games thus far with the Bats. If it does happen it doesn't look like it will happen immediately, though. Chapman will miss his scheduled Monday start with a blister on his left middle finger. He was pulled from his last start, last week at Lehigh Valley, because of the blister after he threw 5 2/3 innings.
Left-hander Ben Jukich (1-3, 5.63 ERA) will start Monday in his place.