Tribe Stops Sweep With 5-3 Win Over Tides

Powell Tosses Five Perfect Frames, Bowker Goes 3-for-4 In Debut

NORFOLK, Va. — Starting pitcher Jeremy Powell began the game with five perfect innings and went on to earn the victory, while in his Tribe debut first baseman John Bowker went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI to lead the Indianapolis Indians over the Norfolk Tides 5-3 on Tuesday afternoon at Harbor Park.

The win improves the Indians’ record to 57-55 on the season, while the loss drops the Tides’ mark to 53-59 on the year.  With the victory, Indianapolis prevents Norfolk from the four-game sweep and helps them stay with-in four games of West Division rival Louisville in the International League Wild Card race.

After falling just one out away from a complete game shutout in his last outing on July 29 in Syracuse, Powell (5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) continued to dominate on the mound as he set down the first 15 Norfolk batters he faced in order.  The right handed veteran would lose his perfect game bid when he surrendered a walk to 1B Brandon Snyder to lead-off the sixth inning, and despite going on to allow three runs in the frame, Powell was able to come away with the victory and improve to 8-7 on the season.

Following Powell’s strong effort, the Indianapolis’ bullpen, which had struggled over the first three games of the series against the Tides, stepped up and held Norfolk scoreless over the final 3.1 innings.  Southpaw specialist Corey Hamman (0.1 IP, 1 SO) started the strong relief effort and earned his third hold of the season when he struck 3B Scott Moore to end the Tide’s scoring rally in the sixth, before in his Indians’ debut RHP Joe Martinez (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 SO) came on and tossed three scoreless frames to earn the save.

Martinez joined the Tribe after being acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from San Francisco in the trade that sent LHP Javier Lopez to the Giants.  Also coming to the Indians as part of the Lopez deal was Bowker, who helped lead the Tribe offense in his first game since being acquired.

Bowker’s afternoon began when came through with a clutch base hit that scored CF Alex Presley for the Tribe’s third of four runs in the first.  The rally began when LF Kevin Melillo led off the game with a double to center, moved to third on a Norfolk wild pitch and quickly came around to score when another recent acquisition, SS Pedro Ciriaco, roped a single to right.

Then, in his second game since being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a five-person July 31st deadline trade, Ciriaco showed off his speed by swiping second before moving to third on a sharp single by Presley.  The red-hot Brandon Moss would then plate Ciriaco with a double to deep right field, before Bowker’s base hit plated Presley and a throwing error allowed Moss to come plateward as well.

After the Indians’ four-run explosion in the first, Bowker, outside of a single by Melillo in the fourth, would collect the Tribe’s only base hits, until they broke out with an insurance run in the eighth.  The left handed slugger first belted a double to right in the third, before connecting on another two bagger in the fifth to finish the afternoon with a game-high three hits.

Norfolk would mount a comeback attempt off Powell in the sixth when, following the lead-off walk to Snyder, former Indians’ C Michel Hernandez lined a single to left that ended the no-hit bid.  Then after 2B Paco Figueroa moved Synder and Hernandez to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, CF Matt Angle and former Tribe OF Jeff Salazar brought them home with a single and sacrifice fly.

Though the Tides would draw to with-in one later in the sixth, when Angle stole second and came plateward on a clutch two-out single by SS Robert Andino, the Indians would tack on a insurance run in the eighth to put the game out of reach.  3B Jim Negrych began the eighth inning rally when he drew a one out walk and stole second to set the stage for C Luke Carlin, who came through with a clutch base knock to center to give the Indians a 5-3 advantage.

Negrych finished the afternoon as one of five different Tribe batters to score, while Carlin was one of four Indians’ hitters with one RBI.  Along with Bowker’s three-hit afternoon, Ciriaco (2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB) and Melillo (2-for-5, 1 R) also collected multiple base knocks for the Tribe, while Angle (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB) and Andino (2-for-4, 1 RBI) posted multi-hit efforts for the Tides.

Norfolk starter Chris Tillman (5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO), suffered the loss to fall to 8-7 on the season after allowing four runs on nine hits in just five innings of work.  The Tides continued to receive excellent work from their bullpen as RHP Armando Gabino (2.0 IP, 1 BB), RHP Pat Egan (1.0 IP, 1 H) and RHP Jim Hoey (0.2 IP) combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

After a day off the Indians head to Durham for a four-game series with the IL South Division leading Bulls beginning on Thursday, August 5 at 7:05 p.m. RHP Brad Lincoln is the anticipated starter for the Tribe, while RHP Richard De Los Santos is the probable starter for the Bulls.

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 6:45 p.m.

Post-game quotes — 1B John Bowker

(on his first game in an Indians’ uniform)
“It has been a crazy 48 hours.  I had to say goodbye to a lot of great teammates.  I was with the Giants’ organization for six years.  Now, I am over here trying to help the Pirates’ organization.  I am happy to be here and definitely think it’s a good situation.”

(on how it feels for him and RHP Joe Martinez to come and contribute in their first game with the Tribe)
“It feels good.  Joe is probably feeling the same things I am.  Everything is new and the teammates are new, but they are friendly and it seems like a great group of guys.”

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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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