MEMPHIS – Luis Ortiz recorded the first quality start by an Indians pitcher this season, and Grant Koch launched a tiebreaking home run – his first career blast in Triple-A – to help Indianapolis end a five-game slide while snapping the Memphis Redbirds’ 12-game winning streak in a 6-4 triumph Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park.
Tied at one in the fifth inning, Koch cranked a 3-2 fastball from Matthew Liberatore (L, 3-1) into the Redbirds’ bullpen beyond the wall in left-center. One out later, Chavez Young walked, took second on a passed ball and promptly stole third base before scoring on a Ryan Vilade groundout that pushed Indianapolis’ (8-13) advantage to 3-1.
Memphis (15-6) plated its second run off Ortiz in the sixth inning on a Juan Yepez single that brought home Kramer Robertson, but Miguel Andújar continued his hot hitting with a two-out, bases-loaded single to center field that scored two to push Indy’s lead to three.
Josh Bissonette, who matched his career high with three hits for a second time in the series and eighth time in four professional seasons, drilled a deep fly ball to center field in the eighth that twisted around Oscar Mercado, resulting in a triple that scored Koch from first base.
The Redbirds scored twice in their final at-bat and brought the potential tying run to the plate with two away against Colin Selby, but Robertson grounded out to Vilade at third.
Indy scored the game’s first run thanks to consecutive singles by Josh Palacios and Malcom Nuñez, and a sacrifice fly by Koch. The 1-0 lead held until the bottom of the fourth, when Yepez greeted Ortiz with his first home run of the season.
Ortiz (W, 1-1) induced 11 groundouts and yielded just two earned runs on three hits and one walk with a pair of strikeouts.
Koch’s towering drive in the fifth was his first homer since June 28, 2022, with Single-A Bradenton vs. Tampa. Andújar finished with two hits for a third straight contest, swiped two bases and had two RBI, giving him 12 ribbies over his last 16 games – 13 in which he’s hit safely with eight multi-hit performances. Bissonette’s three-bagger in the eighth was the third of his career and first since Aug. 12, 2019, with Rookie-Advanced Bristol vs. Bluefield.