With the win, Indianapolis improves to 52-49 on the season, while the loss drops Rochester's record to 37-62. The victory also gives the Tribe a 1-0 series lead over the Red Wings, as well as a 3-2 advantage in the season series. With the large Friday night crowd, Indianapolis has now averaged 10,053 fans over their last 22 games at Victory Field.Following a lead-off single by 3B Pedro Alvarez and an intentional walk to C Dusty Brown, Hernandez stepped up to the plate with two outs in the tenth and drove the first pitch he saw through the hole in the right side of the infield for a base hit. Alvarez charged home from second and slid past the tag of Red Wings C Danny Lehmann to end the contest and cue the celebration.
Rochester had drawn the game even at 4-4 with a two-out rally in the seventh. 3B Chase Lambin got the Red Wings offense started in the frame with a single and then came home on a double to right from RF Brian Dinkelman to close the gap to one, while 2B Toby Gardenhire subsequently scored Dinkelman with a single to left to even the game.
Indianapolis struck first in the second with a three-run two-out rally. All-Star 1B Matt Hague led off with a single, moved to second on a free pass and third on a fielder's choice, before coming across on C Jason Jaramillo's fielder choice for the Tribe's first run. Following a double from RF Miles Durham, Hernandez laced a two-run two-bagger down the left field line to bring in both Jaramillo and Durham and give the Indians the early 3-0 lead.
Entering the top of the sixth frame down 3-0, Rochester brought the game to within a tally with help from an Indians defensive miscue. Dinkelman led off the frame by reaching on a Tribe error, while Gardenhire followed with a walk prior to CF Brandon Roberts' RBI double down the left field line, which plated Dinkelman. Gardenhire would then come across when SS Matt Tolbert hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 3-2.
Indianapolis made it 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth thanks to Hernandez's third RBI of the contest. DH Andy Marte drew a base-on-balls to begin the frame and then took second on C Jason Jaramillo's single, before a sacrifice bunt moved them each 90 feet. Hernandez would then drive in his third run of the game when he dribbled a single down the third base line that bounced over the bag to plate Marte.
Hernandez (3-for-4, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 HBP), along with Durham (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B), Alvarez (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB) and 2B Jordy Mercer (2-for-5, 1 2B) all collected multiple hits for the Indians, while Roberts (2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 2B) was the lone Red Wings player to record two base knocks. Indians SS Pedro Ciriaco saw his team-high 12 game hitting streak snapped, while Hernandez has now recorded a hit in five straight contests.
Including tonight's contest, ten of the Indians' last 11 games have been decided by two runs or less. The Tribe in those games has compiled a 6-4 record.
Indians starter Garrett Olson (5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) was solid in his 5.2 innings, facing the minimum through the first five frames and ultimately relinquishing just two unearned runs on only three hits. Reliever Daniel Moskos (3.0 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO) earned his first victory of the season after firing three no-hit innings, and giving up only one walk.
Rochester starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 SO), who played at nearby Greenfield Central High School, did not figure in the decision after giving up four earned runs on seven hits in five frames. RHP Kyle Waldrop (3.0, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 SO) was strong in his three innings in support of Gibson, allowing only two hits in three frames, while RHP Jim Hoey (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 1-2 after surrendering an earned run on two hits in 1.2 frames.
Indianapolis squares off again with Rochester on Saturday evening for the second game of their four-game set, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Indians have yet to announce a starter, while former Tribe RHP Eric Hacker is slated to get the nod for the Red Wings.