By Josh Cook
Wednesday night was anything but a stinker for Matt Klinker.
Making his fourth start with the Louisville Bats the right-handed pitcher gave up just one hit over six innings, leading them to a 6-1 win over the Indianapolis Indians at Louisville Slugger Field.
Klinker got plenty of help from the Bats' bats. Louisville (42-46) pounded out 14 hits on the way to its sixth win in its last seven games, including five of six over Indy. The Indians (45-43), who have lost nine of their last 10, finished with two hits.
Klinker, who started the season with Double-A Carolina and pitched two games for the Bats before returning to the Mudcats, made his second straight start for Louisville on Wednesday. And it was, by far, his best outing.
The only hit he gave up was a second-inning single to Brandon Moss, who was immediately erased when left fielder Todd Frazier threw him out trying to stretch it to a double.
Klinker also got plenty of run support. In the third inning Ryan Hanigan - who was batting leadoff for Louisville - doubled with one out. Zack Cozart followed with an RBI-single to make it 1-0.
The Bats put up a five-spot in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Daniel Dorn led off with a double, moved to third on Chris Valaika's single and scored on Michael Griffin's RBI-single. Then Klinker helped his own cause with a sacrifice bunt that advanced Valaika and Griffin before Hanigan's single scored them both. Cozart followed with his 11th homer of the season off Indy starter Hayden Penn (4-4) to make it 6-0.
Klinker (3-1) walked two and struck out seven over six innings to lower his earned-run average to 3.91.
Jared Burton pitched a perfect seventh inning before Aroldis Chapman came on in the eighth and once again the $30 million man struggled with his control.
It began when Chapman walked Jonathan Van Every with one out. Then after striking out Erik Kratz he threw a wild pitch to Doug Bernier that moved Van Every to second. Bernier followed with a single to score Van Every. Bernier stole second on defensive indifference, then moved to third on a passed ball. Chapman then hit Brian Bass with a pitch, which prompted a coach's visit to the mound, before walking Kevin Melillo.
Daniel Ray Herrera replaced Chapman and got Akinori Iwamura to fly out to end the threat. Herrera pitched a perfect ninth to notch his first save of the season.
Dorn led Louisville at the plate, going 3-for-3, to raise his batting average to .331. Hanigan, Cozart, Yonder Alonso, Frazier and Griffin added two hits apiece.
The Bats begin a two-game series against Toledo at 7 p.m. Thursday night. Louisville right-hander Jesus Delgado (2-1, 2.96 ERA) will face Mud Hens left-hander Ryan Ketchner (3-3, 3.08). Fans take note, though, Thursday's usual Budweiser "Happy Hour" at Slugger Field has been moved to Friday night.
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