Buffalo at Indianapolis: Tribe Talk
This is the Bisons lone trip to Victory Field this season. Ironically, the Herd has a better record against the Indians in Indianapolis (27-21) than when hosting Indy at Coca-Cola Field (24-23). Buffalo has split their four-game series at Victory Field each of the past two seasons.
Tonight also starts an eight-game roadtrip for the Herd. Buffalo is coming off a 6-2 homestand that featured four comeback wins. The Bisons are 6-6 on the road this season, while the Indians are 3-5 at home.
More on the Indy-Indians:
ALVAREZ COMES ALIVE:
3B Pedro Alvarez has driven in at least one run in each of the Indians last five games (April 30 to May 4), while also posting three multi-hit and three multi-RBI efforts during that stretch. Overall, Alvarez is batting .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs and 10 total RBI during his five-game offensive outburst. The third baseman’s RBI total ranks second to Rochester’s Dustin Martin for the most in the International League during the five-game stretch. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ No. 1 overall prospect (according to Baseball America) also continues to come through in the clutch for the Tribe this season as he is batting .421 (8-for-19) with three home runs and 14 RBI with runners on and two outs, and is batting a ridiculous .521 (6-for-11) with 3 home runs and 13 RBI with runners in scoring position and two outs.
LEADING THE WAY:
Tribe CF Jose Tabata has reach base and scored to lead-off the game in each of the last five contests in which he has played and is now batting .382 (13-for-34) when he leads off an inning. Before his five-game lead-off streak, Tabata struggled in the first inning as he went just 1-for-14 with two walks in the 16 games in which he led-off the game for the Indians. Overall the Indians as a team have scored in the first inning in six of their last seven games after having only scored two times in the 19 games prior. Indianapolis also scored eight of their 12 total first inning tallies during their recent 7-3 road trip and are now 5-3 when they score in the first inning and 12-7 when they score first.
Since the season began, the Indians have added three left-handed relievers to their bullpen: Wil Ledezma, Corey Hamman and Justin Thomas. The trio has combined for a 1-1 record, four saves, a 1.90 ERA (5 ER in 23.2 IP), six walks and 25 strikeouts over 17 appearances. Ledezma has earned a save in three of the Tribe’s last four victories and has yet to allow a run over his 5.2 innings of work out of the Indians’ bullpen this season. Including a four inning, one hit, six strikeout save against Pawtucket on April 27, Thomas continues to lead the Tribe with an 11-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio, while Hamman, who has posted a 2.57 ERA on the season, also turned in a four inning relief appearance of his own on April 26 at Louisville.
The Indians recently completed a 10-game road trip during which time they posted a 7-3 record. The seven wins were the most for the Tribe since they went 7-5 on a 12-game road trip from May 17 to May 28 in 2005. Overall the Indians are 10-8 on the road this season with their 10 wins tied with Durham and Oklahoma City for the most road wins in all of Triple-A Baseball and tied for third with several teams for the most road victories in all of Minor League Baseball.