The Louisville Bats are inching closer towards shameful recognition. The Indianapolis Indians completed a three game sweep of the Bats with a 4-2 win Friday night at Victory Field to drop the Bats a season-low 35 games under the .500 mark.
Dallas McPherson’s two-run homer in the fifth gave the Indians a 4-0 lead and turned out to be the game-winning hit.
Louisville got an RBI double from Chris Valaika and an RBI single from Neftali Soto in the eighth for their only runs of the night.
Pedro Villarreal (3-11) started for the Bats and gave up all four of Indy’s runs. Villarreal gave up nine hits in his five innings of work while walking one and striking out two. He was laboring through every inning, averaging 19 pitches per inning, because Indy got the leadoff batter on in every inning Villarreal pitched.
Jeff Locke (10-5) started for Indy and was again masterful against the Bats. Locke pitched six shutout innings giving up just four hits while striking out six and walking just one. In five starts against Louisville this year, Locke is 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA. In 32-1/3 innings against the Bats, Locke has struck out 34 and walked just 6.
The loss dropped the Bats to 4-16 against the Indians this season, including a dismal 1-10 at Victory Field. The Bats are now 21-47 on the road this season, leaving them just two losses short of the franchise record set by the 1997 Redbirds.
The Bats, who lost their fifth straight, also dropped to a franchise-low 31.5 games back in the division. Louisville (50-85) will have to at least three of their remaining nine games to avoid tying the franchise mark for most losses in a season.
Louisville travels to Toledo for the start of a brief two-game series with the Mud Hens starting Saturday. Chad Reineke (5-9, 4.70 ERA) will be on the mound against Toledo’s Adam Wilk (6-11, 2.86 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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