By Josh Cook
The Louisville Bats won despite losing Saturday night.
That's because although Louisville lost 4-1 at Indianapolis it clinched a playoff berth with Syracuse's 8-2 loss to Rochester.
Additionally the Bats (78-63), who have clinched at least the International League wildcard playoff berth, still have a shot at their third straight IL West title thanks to Toledo's 6-4 win over Columbus on Saturday. The Clippers (79-63) lead Louisville by a half-game in the division with two games remaining in the regular season.
The Bats host Indy for a pair of games starting Sunday, while Columbus continues to play at Toledo.
Saturday night the Indians (70-72) scored single runs in the first, fourth, fifth and six innings to hand Louisville its seventh loss in its last 11 games.
In the bottom of the first Kevin Melillo led off with a double against Bats starter Matt Klinker in what was the beginning of double trouble for Louisville. Melillo later scored on Brandon Moss' two-out triple.
Then in the fourth Klinker walked Moss start the inning. He stole second, then scored on Brian Friday's two-out double.
In the fifth Akinori Iwamura doubled with one out, moved to third on Alex Presley's single, then scored on Moss' sacrifice fly.
The Bats, who stranded eight baserunners in the game, finally broke through in the sixth. Zack Cozart hit into a fielder's choice, moved to second when Danny Dorn reached base on an error, then scored when Todd Frazier reached on a throwing error by Iwamura - Indy's third baseman.
That was the only blemish on an otherwise solid start by Jeremy Powell (11-9), who allowed six hits while striking out six over six innings.
In the bottom of the inning Pedro Ciriaco doubled with one out off Klinker (4-4). That was it for the right-handed starter, who gave up four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five over 5 1/3 innings.
Reliever Enerio Del Rosario then got Jason Jaramillo to ground out before Brian Friday singled home Ciriaco.
Dave Sappelt led Louisville's nine-hit attack with three hits, while Kris Negron added two.
The same two teams take their split five-game series to Louisville Slugger Field starting at 6:05 p.m. Sunday (the series finale is at 1:05 p.m. Monday).
As part of a special promotion Sunday the Bats are partnering with six local Kentuckiana hospitals to raise money for cancer. For each ticket purchased through this offer a $2 donation will be made to the local cancer center of your choice. Tickets for this event are $8 in advance.
Sunday is also free Bats hat day as well as $1 hot dogs and Pepsi products at Slugger Field. There will also be post-game fireworks to celebrate Labor Day.