With a strong six-inning outing, Polo Portela led the Evansville Otters to victory in their series opener against the Windy City ThunderBolts Tuesday night by a 3-1 final.
The Otters struck first in the opening frame, as back-to-back two-out hits from J.R. Davis and Riley Krane set the table for Elijah MacNamee, who drove in a run on a line drive, base hit to centerfield. Evansville then led 1-0.
Following a 1-2-3 inning for Otters starter Polo Portela in the bottom half of the first, Windy City would tie it up in their second turn at bat. Jack Strunc drove in Zac Taylor with two outs to knot the score at one.
From then until the sixth, Portela and T-Bolts southpaw Kenny Mathews traded scoreless innings.
The Otters broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth, when Elijah MacNamee drove in his second run of the day with an RBI groundout that scored Andy DeJesus from third.
Andretty Cordero extended Evansville’s lead in the following at-bat, lining a run-scoring single to right center that drove in J.R. Davis from second.
Polo would finish through six, having allowed the lone second-inning run on five hits and two walks, while striking out six.
Tyler Spring came into the ballgame to work perfect seventh and eight innings.
With a two-run lead, the Otters turned to their hard-throwing closer, Logan Sawyer, who struck out two en route to his eleventh save of the season.
Polo Portela earned his sixth win of the season in the 3-1 decision. Kenny Mathews took the loss.
Evansville will look to take the series Wednesday, as they send rookie right-hander Ryan O’Reilly to the rubber. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 a.m.