Indians’ Double Header
Indianapolis Indians 9, Toledo Mud Hens 2
Toledo Mud Hens 4, Indianapolis Indians 3
The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of timely hitting and the gift of 8 walks from the Toledo pitching staff to win the first half of this afternoon’s double header at Victory Field. The Tribe posted 9 hits, as every batter in the line-up got on base at least once, and all but one scored at least one run.
Jo-Jo Reyes made the start for the Indians. He pitched 5.2 innings, and gave up 7 hits for 2 runs. Reyes began the 1st inning by surrendering a double off the left field wall to Toledo’s CF Quintin Berry, but retired the next three batters, leaving Berry stranded. The 2nd inning began with a double by SS Danny Worth, and again Reyes retired the next 3 batters. Reyes retired five more batters after that. Worth dropped a bloop single into short center field in the 4th, but Reyes left him stranded too.
Reyes was the recipient of plenty of run support. The Tribe’s 2nd inning began with a walk to 3B Nick Evans. After a fly out, RF Brandon Boggs grounded to third for what should have been a force out at second, or maybe even a double play. Hens’ 3B Audy Ciriaco (brother of former Indian Pedro Ciriaco) made the scoop and the throw to second base, but 2B Eric Patterson missed the catch. The ball sailed into right field, and both runners were safe. Moments later, 1B Jeremy Farrell lined a double down the right field line and into the corner, allowing both Evans and Boggs to score.
The Indians made it 3-0 in the bottom of the 3rd. CF Starling Marte led off with a double lined over the left fielder’s head and into right center field. A wild pitch by Toledo starter Casey Crosby moved Marte to third base. He scored easily when SS Jordy Mercer singled up the middle.
Two more runs crossed the plate in the 4th. Crosby walked the first two Tribe batters he faced — DH Jeff Clement on four straight pitches, and Boggs after a full count and two more pitches fouled off. A single looped into center field by C Eric Fryer loaded the bases with Indians. Crosby then walked Farrell, forcing in Clement from third. That was all for Crosby, who was relieved by Rob Waite. LF Gorkys Hernandez greeted Waite with a grounder to short, where SS Worth bobbled it. By the time he had the ball again, he had only one play, which was a flip to Ciriaco at third, forcing out Fryer. Boggs was able to score, giving the Indians a 5-0 lead.
The Mud Hens got onto the scoreboard in the top of the 5th. For the third time, Reyes began an inning by giving up a hit to the lead-off batter. This time that batter was LF Jerad Head, and he rifled a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for a solo homer. Ciriaco followed the homer with a double off the top of the left field wall, very close to the spot where Head’s homer had left the playing field. A ground out moved Ciriaco to third, and a single by 2B Eric Patterson brought him across the plate, cutting the Indians’ lead to 5-2.
That did not please the Indians. They threatened in the 5th inning, but didn’t score. With two outs, Clement walked, and Boggs’ single moved Clement to second base. Fryer slipped a sharp grounder through the left side of the infield and into left field. Clement raced around from second base and was waved on to the plate. But he was tagged out (see photo above) with an on-target throw from Head to C Omir Santos.
The Tribe batted around in t he 6th inning, adding 4 more runs to their total. Farrell led off with a walk, and advanced to second on Gorkys Hernandez’s single. Marte bunted both runners into scoring position, and Anderson Hernandez came in to pinch-run for Farrell at third. Friday was intentionally walked, loading the bases. But again the Toledo pitcher, still Waite, walked a run in (Anderson Hernandez), this time with Mercer picking up the free RBI. Evans lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Gorkys Hernandez to score. Waite was taken out of the game in favor of Austin Wood. Wood gave up back-to-back singles to Clement and Boggs, with Clement’s single into right field drove in both Friday and Mercer. A fly out ended the inning, but the Indians led 9-2.
Reyes began the top of the 6th again allowing the first batter to reach base, with a single blooped into left field by 1B Brad Eldred. He got the next two batters out, then was relieved by Bryan Morris. Morris made short work of the rest of the inning, getting a grounder to force Eldred out at second base. Morris also pitched the top of the 7th, working around a single to C Omir Santos. That earned Morris his first Save of the season. Reyes picked up his first win of the season. He threw 67 pitches (48 strikes) in 5.2 innings, and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits, with no walks and 5 strikeouts.
Brandon Boggs and Eric Fryer had two hits each. Starling Marte and Jeremy Farrell had the only extra-base hits, both doubles. Farrell collected 3 RBI, while Jordy Mercer and Jeff Clement picked up 2 RBI each.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Jeremy Farrell’s 2-RBI double down the line in the 2nd inning, which started the scoring for the Indians. It was just inside the foul line and zipped all the way to the right field corner, driving in both Nick Evans from second and Brandon Boggs from first.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the top of the 5th, with one run in , one out, and a runner on third, Quintin Berry hit a looper into very short center field. 2B Brian Friday raced back and to his right and made the catch with his outstretched arm.
By International League rules, double header games are supposed to be 7 innings each. But apparently the Indians and the Mud Hens wanted to just keep playing. They took 10 innings to finish Game 2, and it was the Mud Hens who came out on top, splitting the double header.
The two teams kept pace with each other through most of the game. The Indians were first on the scoreboard with a run in the 2nd inning. DH Nick Evans led off with a liner into left field for a single. 3B Jeremy Farrell also singled, with a little dribbler that headed toward third base but didn’t quite get there. Eric Fryer, in left field for this game, bounced into a double play, which pushed Evans on to third base. A walk to 1B Miles Durham gave the Indians runners on the corners, the C Kris Watts brought Evans in with a double down the left field line.
Toledo answered with a run in the top of the 3rd. Rudy Owens began his start by retiring the Mud Hens in order for the first two innings. LF Jerad Head ended that streak with a home run that flew over the left field wall, over the grass berm, and bounced on the sidewalk behind the berm.
The Indians took the lead again in the top of the 3rd With one out, 2B Brian Friday hit a long fly into center field. It looked like an easy out, but CF Quintin Berry was a bit too nonchalant about it. The ball hit his glove and bounced right out, rolling all the way to the wall. Friday rounded second base as Berry was still chasing the ball, and slid into third base safely. RF Brandon Boggs brought Friday across the plate with a sacrifice fly, and the Indians were back on top, 2-1.
Not for long, though. In the top of the 4th, former Indian DH Brad Eldred tied the game with a solo home run off Owens. The ball flew down the right field line and left the field just barely inside the foul pole. Owens went on to allow just one more hit over the next three innings– a single to 3B Audi Ciricaco in the 5th. Owens finished his afternoon with a no-decision, as the score was tied when he left. He threw 84 pitches, 60 of which were strikes. He had scattered 4 hits, no walks, over 7 innings, and struck out 4 Toledo batters.
With the score still tied at 2-2 at the end of the “normal” 7 innings, Tim Wood took over for Owens to begin the 8th inning. Wood worked around a walk to Berry in the 8th, maintaining the tie. The Indians had also been shut down in the middle innings, going down in order for the 4th through 7th innings. Wood came out again to pitch the 9th inning. He retired the first two batters, but then SS Danny Worth gave the Mud Hens the lead with a long ball down the left field line. The ball was ruled a solo home run, though it was not clear whether it had hit the foul pole and bounced back onto the field, or if it had ducked under the wide fence-like part of the foul pole and hit the top of the outfield wall before bouncing onto the field. The umpires ruled it a homer, which made manager Dean Treanor jump out of the dugout and start arguing. Treanor did manage to convince 3B umpire David Rackley (who is the crew chief) to confer with the other two umpires, but their decision was that Rackley had it right. That made Treanor even madder, and he kept jawing until he was ejected, then jawed even more. Treanor turned and walked toward the dugout, then returned to Rackley and resumed the argument. Treanor was still out of the game, and the home run was still a home run. Toledo up, 3-2.
The Indians tied the score again in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Farrell lined a single into center field. He was replaced on the base path with the faster Starling Marte, who promptly stole second base. That put Marte in position to score when pinch-hitter Jeff Clement smacked a line drive single into center field, tying the score again, at 3-3. Kris Watts walked, moving Clement to second base, but SS Anderson Hernandez struck out, leaving the potential go-ahead run on second base.
Toledo attacked again in the top of the 10th. Jose Diaz came on to pitch for the Tribe, and struggled to begin the inning. He walked Ciriaco, gave up a single to C Brian Holaday, and walked Berry on four pitches, loading the bases with no outs. Former Indian 2B Argenis Diaz lined a single into center field, driving in Ciriaco from third to again take the lead, 4-3. Diaz settled down after the run scored, striking out the next three batters. He left the bases loaded, but the damage had already been done. The Indians could not answer this time. RF Brandon Boggs worked a walk with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough. Boggs was left stranded as Evans struck out to end the game.
Jose Diaz was charged with the Loss, his first of the season. Jeremy Farrell was the only Tribe batter to have more than one hit (two singles), and Kris Watts had the only extra-base hit with his double.
This 4-game series with the Mud Hens concludes with tomorrow’s game. Both the Indians and the Mud Hens now have 5-5 records and are tied for second place in the International League West Division, 1.5 games behind the Columbus Clippers, and 1.5 games ahead of the Louisville Bats.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Kris Watts’ RBI double down the left field line in the 2nd inning. That got the Indians onto the scoreboard.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the top of the 4th, with one run in (Eldred’s homer) and two outs, RF Eric Patterson smacked a grounder wide of first base. 1B Miles Durham made a dive to his right to snag the ball, then flipped to Rudy Owens, who had raced over to cover the first base bag, for the out. It would have been at least a single and maybe even a double if the ball had gotten past Durham.
AJ Burnett is scheduled to make the start for the Indians tomorrow, as part of his rehab assignment. He is supposed to be limited to about 85 pitches.
There was a question when the season began about the outfield grass, which had been re-sodded just a month ago. Indians’ head groundskeeper Joey Stevenson has done a terrific job of getting the outfield into shape, and he got some help from Mother Nature — enough rain and warm temperatures. The grass looks great, and there have been no signs of dips or bumps or slipping. In fact, the only player who has had his feet start to slip out from under him was 3B Nick Evans, who slid a little on the dirt near third base in Game 1, but managed to keep from falling.