With the loss, Indianapolis drops to 21-19 on the season, while the win improves Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's record to 24-15. The victory evens the series at one game apiece and improves the Yankees record to 5-4 against the Tribe over the last two seasons.
While Sanchez shut down the Tribe offense, the Yankees spread around the wealth as all but one batter collected at least one hit. Huffman and CF Reid Gorecki paced the Scranton attack, combining to go 5-for-7 with three runs and four RBI out of the seven and eight holes.
The Yankees jumped out to the early advantage as RF David Winfree and DH Jon Weber led-off the second inning with back-to-back base hits and each came around to score on a double play by C Jesus Montero and a clutch two-out double by Huffman. Scranton tacked on another tally in the third when LF Kevin Russo lined a lead-off double to left and came around to score on a base knock by SS Eduardo Nunez.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre then broke the game wide open with a four spot in the sixth as Weber, Montero, Huffman and Gorecki collected four consecutive base knocks and 2B Reegie Corona capped the offensive outburst with a one-out run scoring single later in the frame.
Weber began the attack with a single to right, before Montero lifted a double to center to put runners on second and third. Huffman then came through with a two-run base knock that pushed the Yankees lead to 5-0, followed immediately by a scorching triple off the bat of Gorecki, who later scored the final tally of the frame on the base knock by Corona.
This would be all the scoring that Scranton would get as Indians' relievers Justin Thomas (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 SO), Wil Ledezma (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO) and Jean Machi (1.0 IP) combined to allow just one hit over the final three frames and give the Indians' offense a chance to mount a comeback.
The Indianapolis offense was able to capitalize on the bullpen's shut down effort as they plated two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to pull to within striking distance at 7-4.
C Erik Kratz lined a one-out single to center to begin the Tribe rally in the seventh, followed immediately by a two-bagger by LF Kevin Melillo that put runners on second and third. SS Argenis Diaz then came through with the first RBI base knock of the game for the Indians, bringing home Kratz with a base hit to center, before CF Jose Tabata followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Melillo and move the score to 7-2.
3B Pedro Alvarez then initiated the Tribe's eighth inning rally when he lined a one-out double off the wall in right, and then touched home on a two-run blast to straight away center field by RF Brandon Moss that pulled the Indians to within three at 7-4. Indianapolis refused to go away quietly as they pulled to within two at 7-5 by plating just the fourth run of the season off Yankees' closer Jonathan Albaladejo (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO) as Melillo led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, before moving to third on a wild pitch and coming around to score on a groundout by Tabata.
However, despite getting the tying run to the plate after 2B Neil Walker ripped a two-out double to left, Albaladejo was able to shut the door to earn his International League-leading 12th save of the season.
The pitching staffs turned in exact opposite outcomes as Indianapolis starter Mike Crotta (5.0 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) allowed all seven Scranton runs and suffered the loss to drop to 2-2, before three Tribe relievers tossed four innings of scoreless relief. In an exact role reversal, Sanchez allowed no runs on just one hit starting for the Yankees, before all three Scranton relievers, RHP Grant Duff (1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 SO), RHP Zack Segovia (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 SO) and Albaladejo each surrendered at least one earned run in each of their outings.
Melillo (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 BB) and Moss (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI) turned in multi-hit efforts for the Indians, while Tabata (0-for-2, 2 RBI, 2 BB) walked twice and drove in two. Huffman (3-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB) paced all batters with three hits on the afternoon, while Gorecki (2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI) and Nunez (2-for-5, 1 RBI) also collected multiple base knocks for the Yankees.
The Indians continue their series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. RHP Jeremy Powell is expected to get the nod for the Tribe, while RHP Ivan Nova is the probable starter for the Yankees.
The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and broadcast live on Comcast and Bright House Networks digital channel 81 with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley on the call. The pre-game show on WXLW-950 AM begins at 6:40 p.m.