Charlotte Knights 5, Indianapolis Indians 4
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The Indianapolis Indians began an 8-game road trip with a loss to the Charlotte Knights in Knight Stadium in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC. 2B Josh Harrison’s late-inning home run was not enough for the Indians to catch up to the Knights.
Pirates’ C Ryan Doumit (photo), who has been working his way back after an ankle sprain, joined the Indians today to continue his rehab process. The initial plan was to have Doumit catch for 7 innings, but he ended up behind the plate for 8 innings, and seemed to have no problems.
The Indians began the game by jumping all over a shaky-looking Joe Bisenius, who made the start for Charlotte. With one out, Harrison started the rally with a line drive into left field for a single. LF John Bowker doubled into right field, moving Harrison to third base. Doumit bounced back to the mound, where Bisenius made a wild throw to first base. Harrison scored on the error, and the Tribe had runners on the corners with one out. Bisenius again threw a wild one, this time to the plate, and Bowker scored from third on the wild pitch. Back-to-back walks to 1B Matt Hague and 3B Andy Marte loaded the bases for the Indians. DH Jason Jaramillo’s sacrifice fly plated Doumit from third, and the Indians had a 3-0 lead.
Justin Wilson also struggled a bit in the bottom of the 1st. After a ground out, he gave up a single to SS Eduardo Escobar, who then moved to second on former Pirate/Indian LF Lastings Milledge’s ground out. A walk to 1B Dallas McPherson and a single by Indiana native C Josh Phegley drove in Escobar, to put Charlotte onto the scoreboard, 3-1. A line drive single by RF Jordan Danks loaded the bases with Knights, but Wilson got another former Indian 3B Gookie Dawkins to ground out to third, ending the inning.
Both pitchers settled down after that, retiring the side in order in the 2nd inning. The Indians also went down in order in the top of the 3rd. The Knights scored again in the bottom of the 3rd, when Escobar led off with an infield single to short, and McPherson smacked a 2-run homer over the center field wall. That tied the score at 3-3.
Unfortunately for the Indians, their bats went all but silent for the rest of the game. They went down in order in the 4th, for the third straight inning. Mercer walked with one out in the 5th, but he was left on base. After that inning, the only Tribe batter to reach base was Harrison, when he blasted a solo home run to left-center in the top of the 8th. The Indians recorded only 3 hits — two by Harrison and one by Bowker.
Wilson went on to retire the Knights in order in the 4th, but got into trouble again in the 5th. Milledge walked with one out and promptly stole second base. He scored on Phegley’s line drive single into left field drove in Milledge from second base to break the tie, 4-3. A walk and a wild pitch put two Knights into scoring position, but Wilson got out of the inning by striking out Dawkins. Wilson had thrown 95 pitches (51 strikes) in 5 innings, and allowed those 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 5 strikeouts.
Jose Ascanio relieved Wilson to begin the bottom of the 6th. He gave up one more run to Charlotte in that inning — a walk to 2B Andrew Garcia, a stolen base, and an RBI single by Escobar (his 3rd hit of the game) added an insurance run for the Knights. Ascanio retired the next 7 batters in order to finish the game for the Indians. He struck out 6 batters in his 3 innings of work.
Indians Hitting Gem of the Game: Harrison’s 3rd home run of the season, which gave the Tribe a chance to stay close in the late innings.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Six strikeouts by Jose Ascanio — 3 in the 6th, when he gave up a run, one in the 7th, and 2 in the 8th.
Pedro Ciriaco was a late scratch from the starting line-up due to hamstring tightness. Corey Wimberly was also “not available” tonight, because of a leg injury while pinch-running in last night’s game. Don’t know what that was — I didn’t see it happen, and he was not on the basepath for long.
The Knights didn’t quite have a late scratch from the line-up, but with one out in the top of the 1st and in the middle of the Indians’ rally, Charlotte’s CF Alejandro De Aza was suddenly removed from the game. A few days before the trade deadline, and the highest batting average among current league players at .322 (Alex Presley still leads all players with .336) — not hard to guess why De Aza might have been pulled.
(photo by Nancy)