INDIANAPOLIS – Nick Gonzales hit a 450-foot, tape-measure home run in the first inning, doubled and tripled during an eight-run sixth and singled through the right side of the infield in the eighth to complete his first career cycle, and the Indianapolis Indians ran away with a 19-1 win over
INDIANAPOLIS – Nick Gonzales hit a 450-foot, tape-measure home run in the first inning, doubled and tripled during an eight-run sixth and singled through the right side of the infield in the eighth to complete his first career cycle, and the Indianapolis Indians ran away with a 19-1 win over the Rochester Red Wings on Tuesday night at Victory Field.
Hitting was contagious for Indianapolis (67-76, 34-35) from start to finish as eight of nine players in Indy’s lineup hit safely, including a 9-for-19 showing with runners in scoring position. Canaan Smith-Njigba (4-for-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI), Ryan Vilade (5-for-6, 2 R, 2B, 4 RBI) and Vinny Capra (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) joined Gonzales with monster nights at the dish. Gonzales’ cycle was the seventh for Indy since 1996 – six coming at Victory Field – and first by an Indian since Kevin Newman and Jacob Stallings both accomplished the feat on Aug. 7, 2018, vs. Lehigh Valley. Gonzales’ four-hit performance was his fourth of the season and ninth of his career, and he also tied season highs with five RBI and four runs, the latter also matching a career high.
After Rochester (64-77, 30-38) plated the first run of the game in the opening frame on a Derek Hill home run to left, Gonzales leveled the score in the bottom half with his longest home run of the season and second-longest by an Indian this year, trailing only a 466-foot blast by Josh Palacios on July 26 vs. Louisville. The moonshot bounced off the concourse beyond the grass berm in left-center.
Smith-Njigba put Indy in front for good two innings later with a two-run homer, pushing his career-high mark to 14 on the season. He then followed a bases-loaded walk to Gonzales in the fourth with a two-run double to make it 6-1 before hustling home on a two-run single by Vilade that capped the five-run burst.
Leading 8-1 through five, Indy sent 12 batters to the plate to double its run total. Chris Owings singled and took third on Gonzales’ two-bagger before Smith-Njigba singled up the middle. Vilade then reached safely on a run-scoring fielder’s choice that preceded back-to-back fielding errors, loading the bases for Vinny Capra, who drove in two with a single to left. Grant Koch joined the hit parade with a sharp RBI single to right, and Gonzales tagged a bases-clearing triple into the right-center alley. The eight-run frame matched Indy’s largest of the season set on May 31 vs. Toledo.
Vilade doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Domingo Leyba in the seventh, and the Indians tallied two more runs in their final trip to the plate on an RBI single by Vilade and Matt Gorski sacrifice fly.
Smith-Njigba’s four-hit night was his second of the season and sixth of his career. It was also his second five-RBI game of the season and third of his career. Vilade reached the five-hit threshold for the first time this season and third time of his career, and he also logged a career-high tying four RBI.
Indianapolis’ 21 hits marked the club’s most since logging a Victory Field era record 23 on April 27, 2018, at Columbus. The 21-hit total was also Indy’s highest mark at Victory Field since notching 22 on May 31, 2005, vs. Louisville. The Indians’ 19 runs tied the Victory Field mark previously set on May 6, 2004, vs. Charlotte, and the 18-run margin of victory was also the largest ever at Victory Field and second largest since 1996, the biggest being a 21-1 rout at Columbus on July 6, 2017.
Noe Toribio (W, 1-0) – promoted from Double-A Altoona to Indy prior to the game – threw 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Max Kranick, who yielded one earned run with strikeouts in 3.0 innings pitched. Mitchell Parker (L, 0-1) was charged with seven earned runs in 3.1 innings of work to suffer the loss.
The Indians and Red Wings continue the series on Wednesday at 1:35 PM ET. Rochester will send RHP Tommy Romero (5-6, 5.27) to the bump. Indy has not yet named its starter.