Presley And Bowker Lead Indians To Snap Losing Streak

Indianapolis Indians  3,  Louisville Bats  2

[ box ]

Alex Presley had three doubles and a single tonight.

Seven hits, including 4 doubles, from LF Alex Presley and RF John Bowker, plus 10 innings and a throwing error, and the Indians snapped their 5-game losing streak with a win over the Louisville Bats at Victory Field tonight.  Presley and Bowker scored all of the Indians’ runs, and they took care of most of the team’s 11 hits.  The win puts the Indians back into a tie with the Bats for second place in the International League Western Division.  Both teams are 14 games behind first-place Columbus in the division standings, and are tied for third place (6 games back) in the IL Wild Card race.

Both starting pitchers tonight were named Thompson, and neither Thompson was involved in the decision.  Indians’ Aaron Thompson made his second start (and third appearance) since joining the Tribe from AA Altoona.  He pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed a hit in each of the first three — a single to Bats’ RF Jeremy Hermida in the 1st, a double to C Devin Mesoraco in the 2nd, and a double to Hermida in the 3rd.  He also walked LF David Cook in the 2nd, but all four of those base runners were left stranded.  Thompson struck out 4 batters.  After retiring the Bats in order in the 4th, he had reached a pitch count of 76 (47 strikes).  Since he is still in the process of being stretched out after working out of the bullpen in Altoona, that was as far into the game as Thompson was going to go tonight.

Aaron Thompson pitched 4 scoreless innings for the Indians.

Louisville’s Daryl Thompson pitched 6 innings and allowed one run by the Tribe.  He got himself out of two early-inning jams before allowing that run in the 5th.  Alex Presley led off the bottom of the 1st with a double into the left-center field gap, and advanced to third on a passed ball.  After two outs, Daryl Thompson walked both 1B Matt Hague and 3B Pedro Alvarez to load the bases.  He ended the inning with a pop out by SS Jordy Mercer.

Presley led off the 3rd inning with his second double of the game, a liner down the right field line that bounced into and out of the corner.  Thompson made up for it minutes later, when he picked Presley off second base.  2B Chase d’Arnaud walked and Hague grounded a single under Bats’ 3B Mike Costanzo’s glove and into left field, but Alvarez’s ground out left those two runners on base.

The Indians were the first onto the scoreboard.  With one out in the bottom of the 5th, Presley hit double #3 for the night, this one under 2B Chris Valaika’s dive, off the SS Kristopher Negron’s glove, and into center field.  He scored from second when Bowker lined a single into right field.

Aaron Thompson made his second start for the Indians.

The Bats answered back right away.  Chris Leroux had relieved Aaron Thompson and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th.  In the top of the 6th, Leroux got the first two outs, then gave up an infeld single to CF Denis Phipps, on a slow roller to the left side of the infield.  It got past Leroux, and Alvarez had trouble with the bare-handed pickup, but even if he’d made the scoop, he would not have had a play at first.  Mesoraco followed with a double just barely inside the third base bag and down into the Tribe bullpen for a double, with the speedy Phipps racing around from first base to score the tying run, 1-1.

The Tribe took the lead again in the bottom of the 7th.  Presley did not double this time, but instead hit “only” a 2-out single into left-center.  D’Arnaud moved Presley to second with a come-backer off reliever Jeremy Horst’s leg that trickled behind the mound, giving the Bats no play on d’Arnaud.  Bowker made it three consecutive hits with a looper single into left field.  Presley zoomed around third and slid across the plate with time to spare, giving the Indians a 2-1 lead.

Once again, the Bats came back to tie the score in the very next inning.  Chris Leroux had allowed one run on 2 hits in his 3 innings of work.  He was replaced by Tony Watson to begin the 8th inning.  Watson began by giving up a double down the left field line to Valaika, then hit Hermida with a pitch.  He got the next two batters out, then 1B Danny Dorn drove a liner into right field.  Valaika came in from second base to tie the score, but the throw in from Bowker in right field went to third base, where Alvarez tagged out Hermida as he slid into the bag, cutting short the Bats’ rally.

Justin Wilson earned the win tonight.

The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the 8th.  Justin Wilson took the mound for the Tribe in the  top of the 9th, and got himself into and out of a jam.  He walked Costanzo to begin the frame.  Cook bunted, intending to sacrifice to move Costanzo to second.  Hague charged in and made a quick scoop of the bunt, then whirled and saw that Costanzo was still quite a distance from second base.  But Hague was too rushed, and his throw to SS Pedro Ciriaco (who had come into the game in a double-switch) was well wide of second.  Costanzo reached third and Cook ended up on second base on the throwing error.  Both runners had to stay in place when pinch-hitter Michael Griffin grounded out to first.  Wilson struck out SS Negron, then intentionally walked Valaika to load the bases.  He left all three runners stranded when he struck out Hermida to end the inning — getting a standing ovation from the crowd for his performance.

Bats’ reliever Nick Christiani also got out of a jam in the bottom of the 9th (though obviously did not get a standing ovation from the crown for it).  CF Gorkys Hernandez led off with a grounder through the right side of the infield for a single.  Pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco dropped a bunt just a few yards in front of the plate, on the left side of the mound.  Christiani missed the pick-up, and Ciriaco was safe at first, while Hernandez moved to second base.  Christiani was the only Bats’ pitcher to retire Presley in the game — he got Presley to bounce into a double play, forcing Ciriaco out at third.  With Hernandez at third, d’Arnaud lined out to second base, to end the threat and send the game in to extra innings.

Wilson did not give the Bats much of a chance in the top of the 10th.  He gave up a lead-off single to Phipps, when d’Arnaud made a diving stop of Phipps’ grounder, but had his throw pull Hague off the bag at first.  Wilson solved that problem by getting Mesoraco to ground right to Ciriaco, who took three steps to touch second base before throwing on to first for a double play.  A strikeout ended the inning.

John Bowker doubled and had two RBI singles, and scored the winning run.

Then it was Bowker to the rescue.  He led off the bottom of the 10th with a line drive double into the right-center field gap, off the glove of RF Hermida.  Hague popped out to Christiani on a bunt attempt.  Alvarez was intentionally walked to set up a double play possibility.  Pinch-hitter Jeff Clement did just what the Bats had hoped for — grounded back to the mound for what looked like an easy double play.  Alvarez was forced out at second, but the relay throw from SS Negron to first bounced in the dirt, then got past 1B Dorn.  Bowker, who had been off and running with the swing of the bat, had already rounded third.  As the ball skipped into the dirt and towards the Bats’ dugout, Bowker crossed the plate with the winning run  — and no chance of the Bats’ answering back on this one.

The 8-game series between the Indians and the Bats finishes with the Bats taking 5 wins and the Indians picking up 3.  The season series between the two teams is 10-8 in favor of the Bats.  These two teams still have 4 more games to play against one another, over the Labor Day weekend, ending the season.

The Indians’ longest homestand of the season continues with 4 games against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, then a pair of games against the Columbus Clippers.


Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game:  Four hits by Alex Presley — three doubles and a single.  His last 4-hit game was back on June 23rd; and three hits by John Bowker — a double and two RBI singles, and the winning run scored.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:  A bases-loaded two-out strikeout by Justin Wilson to get out of the top of the 9th without giving up a run; and a running back-handed amazing catch by Gorkys Hernandez of a line drive off the bat of Devin Mesoraco for the first out in the top of the 4th.



After the game, Tony Watson was recalled to the Pirates.  He will take the roster spot of Paul Maholm, who was placed on the Disabled List with shoulder strain.

3B  Pedro Alvarez went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks tonight.

Note to the fans down the line:  popcorn buckets do not work for catching foul balls.   It would look good on a blooper reel, though.


Go Tribe!

( photos by Nancy)










Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

Exploring the Arsenal: Previewing the Reds’ Probable Starting Pitchers

Next Story »

Indians Struggle Against Pigs’ Pitching

Latest Analysis

  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    19 hours ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    7 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles