Louisville Holds on for Win

Gotay Leading Bat Offense

A 4-2 win by Louisville lifted them over .500 and they are currently in second place in their division. They have multiple players showing signs of readiness should the Reds need to make a call for organizational depth.

Louisville plated a couple of runs after their first three batters loaded the bases in the sixth inning and rode a strong outing from Jeff Francis for a 4-2 win over first place Indianapolis. The Bats got the scoring started early when Jason Bourgeois led off the game and scored on a double by Mike Wilson. The game-winning rally was started by a walk-single-walk by Ruben Gotay, Chris Nelson, and Wilson. In the ninth they added insurance when Kris Negron led off with a bunt single, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a groundout.

Francis got his third win by allowing two runs on seven hits over six-plus innings while striking out ten. Three relievers combined for two-plus scoreless frames including Jumbo Diaz who retired the final five Indian hitters for his fourth save.

The win brought the Louisville record up to 8-7 and pulled them to within three games of Indianapolis who are atop the International League West Division. The two teams will square off for the finale of their four-game series tomorrow afternoon at Indy.

Offensively Gotay has led the Bats by slashing a line of .353 AVG/.441 OBP/.745 SLG/5 HR over his first thirteen games this season. The 31 year-old journeyman played in the St. Louis system last year and has made appearances in over 300 major league games, though none since 2008. If he keeps hitting like he's started he could change that this year.

Bats veteran Corky Miller is 8-22 (.364) in seven games and another returnee, Felix Perez is sitting at .326 AVG. Chris Nelson was a minor league free agent that missed out on getting a utility infielder job with the Reds and he's still trying for it by batting .317 for the Bats. Bourgeios was brought in for a possible leadoff option if needed and he's at .276 with three stolen bases. Mike Costanzo has hit .286/.366 OB while trying to take ownership of first base.

Francis has led the rotation with a 1.99 ERA and right behind him is prospect Tim Crabbe at 2.30 after three appearances. Josh Smith is under three while working both in the rotation and out of the bullpen. The other two starters, Chien Ming-Wang and David Holmberg have been roughed during the first month of the season.

Diaz has been anchoring the back end of the bullpen and still has a zero ERA after six appearances. Ryan Dennick is also on zero after five outings. Chad Reineke has been a workhorse with almost thirteen innings pitched and a sub-three ernie. Returnee Pedro Villarreal is off to a solid start at 1.23 after seven games.

Louisville is coming off of a couple of lean years after Cincinnati had heavy turnover atop their system before the 2012 season. Now they've showing signs of reloading and fielding a more competitive team in the International League. Like all other AAA affiliates many of their roster spots are for organizational depth and are old enough to be considered more "suspects" than "prospects". Still, there are multiple Bats that appear ready for the call whether it's a return to the majors or a debut.

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