Presley Helps Propel Tribe Past Chiefs 8-5

Indians CF Goes 3-for-4 With Two Runs And Two RBI In Win

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Center fielder Alex Presley went 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBI, a walk and a stolen base, and had a hand in all four Tribe scoring rallies as the Indianapolis Indians pulled  to with-in one half game of  Syracuse in the International League Wild Card race with a 8-5 victory over the Chiefs on Tuesday night at Alliance Bank Stadium.

The victory for Indianapolis improves their record to 54-51 on the season, while with the loss Syracuse falls to 54-50.  The win also helps the Indians move to with-in one half game of the Chiefs and Louisville Bats in the International League Wild Card race.

After Syracuse jumped out to an early lead with single runs in the first two frames on an RBI double by 1B Jason Botts and solo shot by former Tribe C Carlos Maldonado, the Indians surged ahead with two runs in the third and four more in the fourth.

Starting pitcher Charlie Morton began the Indians’ first offensive rally with a line drive single to right, before Presley drew a key two-out walk to set the stage for RF Brandon Moss, who plated both Morton and Presley with a double to center.  Moss continues to be an RBI machine for the Tribe as after adding another RBI in the fourth, the left handed slugger has now driven in a team best 66, which ranks him second to only Durham’s Dan Johnson for the most in the IL.

After evening the score at 2-2, the Indians exploded for four runs in the fourth to pull ahead for good.  1B Jonathan Van Every started the fourth inning fireworks, when he led off the frame with his ninth home run of the season and sixth in the month of July.

The Tribe would then load the bases when following singles by C Luke Carlin and SS Argenis Diaz, Morton would reach on a force out of Carlin at third and 2B Brian Friday would draw a base-on-balls.  After 3B Akinori Iwamura then drew a bases loaded walk to force in Diaz, Presley again came through with a key base knock as he lined a single to left to plate Morton, before Moss tied up the frame with an RBI groundout that gave the Tribe a commanding 6-2 advantage.

After bridging the rally in the fourth, Presley then sparked an insurance rally in the seventh, when he led off the frame with a base hit and following walks to LF Jim Negrych and Van Every came around to score on single by Carlin.  However, the Triple-A rookie was not finished as he tacked on the final Tribe tally in the eighth with a run scoring base hit that brought home SS Doug Bernier.

Overall, Presley finished the night having reached base in four of six plate appearances and was joined by Friday (2-for-3, 1 R) and Carlin (2-for-4, 1 RBI) in posting multi-hit efforts for the Tribe.  On the Syracuse side, Maldonado (3-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI) led the way with three base knocks, while Botts (2-for-4, 1 RBI) also came through with multiple hits.

Despite Syracuse drawing to with-in striking distance with two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth as well as loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians’ bullpen was able to shut the door and give the Tribe the victory.

Indianapolis starter Charlie Morton (6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) earned the victory to improve to 3-4 on the season after allowing four runs and striking out five over 6.2 innings of quality work.  Tribe left handed relievers Corey Hamman (1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO) and Daniel Moskos (1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 SO) then held the Chiefs to just one run over the final two frames with Hamman earning his first hold of the season and Moskos notching his first Triple-A save.

Syracuse starter Shairon Martis (3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 6-6 on the season after allowing six runs on six hits and four walks in just 3.1 innings of work.

Indianapolis continues their four-game series with the Syracuse Chiefs on Wednesday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m. RHP Mike Crotta is the expected starter for the Indians, while Major League veteran Jason Marquis is the probable starter for the Chiefs.

The contest will be carried by WXLW-950 AM and with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley on the call. The pre-game show begins at 6:40 p.m.

Post-game quotes — OF Alex Presley

(on what has been working for him lately)
“I am just trying to put balls in play, especially with two strikes.  I was in a couple of two-strike counts tonight and I just tried to put the bat on the ball.”

(on what stands out about the Indians’ excellent offensive play as of late)
“We just play good team offensive baseball.  We don’t have a ton of home runs, we do have our share, but we often need to manufacture runs.  Moss (Indians’ OF Brandon Moss) is swinging a hot bat and he has given me good protection in the lineup, which has allowed me to see more fastballs and when I do get on base I know have a good chance of scoring with him behind me.”

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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