COLUMBUS, Ohio – Endy Rodriguez launched his first career Triple-A home run and 25th overall for the season, and Evansville, Ind. native Hunter Owen – Indianapolis’ 2021 home run leader – clubbed his first long ball of the 2022 campaign, but the solo shots weren’t enough as the Indians lost
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Endy Rodriguez launched his first career Triple-A home run and 25th overall for the season, and Evansville, Ind. native Hunter Owen – Indianapolis’ 2021 home run leader – clubbed his first long ball of the 2022 campaign, but the solo shots weren’t enough as the Indians lost their season finale 11-3 to the Columbus Clippers on Wednesday night.
Trailing 9-1 through four innings, Owen cleared the wall in left-center with one out in the fifth for his 25th career home run with the Indians. The switch-hitting Rodriguez followed suit from the right side of the plate in the sixth, launching a two-out blast into the left field bleachers.
Travis Swaggerty helped Indianapolis (74-75) push a run across in the opening frame. The 25-year-old worked a leadoff walk, stole second – his 20th in 25 attempts – and later scored on a wild pitch.
Indy’s lead was short-lived. Mike Burrows, who was activated off the injured list prior to the game, retired the first two batters before Columbus (85-64) exploded for seven runs with two outs, six coming on a pair of three-run homers by Nolan Jones and former Indian Mitchell Tolman. The Clippers tacked on in the third on a run-scoring single by Tolman, and Gavin Collins made it 9-1 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Oscar Mercado split Owen and Rodriguez’s solo blasts with a two-run homer off Hunter Stratton in the fifth.
Burrows (L, 1-5) was charged with six earned runs on five hits and one walk. Left-hander Konnor Pilkington (W, 3-5) yielded three earned runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Indianapolis was outscored 35-5 in the three-game series, lost its last five games and dropped 11 of its final 15 contests to finish below .500 for a third consecutive season, the longest since a stretch of four straight sub-.500 seasons from 2007-10. Indy’s pitching staff compiled nine strikeouts to push the new single-season record to 1,256 punchouts, 12 more than the previous high of 1,244 in 2019.
The Indians open the 2023 season at Victory Field on Friday, March 31 against the Omaha Storm Chasers. Season tickets may be purchased by calling the Victory Field Box Office at (317) 269-3545 or visiting IndyIndians.com.