Recent

0

Locke’d Down: Indians Shut Out Bats

Indianapolis Indians  4,  Louisville Bats  0

(Box)

 

Jeff Locke pitched 7 shut-out innings

Indians’ starter Jeff Locke continued his dominance of International League batters as he earned his third win of the season against the Louisville Bats at Victory Field.  Locke increased his streak of scoreless innings pitched to 15.  In his last 20 innings pitched, he has allowed only one run.  Tonight he scattered 4 hits over 7 innings, and did not walk a batter.  He struck out 5, and  of his 95 pitches, 67 were strikes. Locke’s record now stands at 3-1, with a 2.31 ERA.

Locke tends to work quickly, and he did that tonight — the game lasted only 2 hours 15 minutes.  “He did great today,” said 3B Matt Hague after the game.  “He threw a lot of strikes and kept the hitters off-balance.  It’s good to play defense behind him.”

 

The biggest threat Locke faced came in the top of the 2nd inning.  Bats’ 1B Naftali Soto opened the inning with a grounder up the middle for  single.  Locke struck out LF Danny Dorn, then 2B Chris Valaika legged out an infield hit on a grounder deep in the hole a short.  The throw from Tribe SS Jordy Mercer was not in time, despite a maximum stretch by 1B Jake Fox.  Locke got the next batter, RF Bill Rhinehart, to bounce to Mercer, who started a 6-4-3  (Mercer to 2B Anderson Hernandez to Fox) double play, ending the threat and the inning.

Locke gave up a single to opposing pitcher Chad Reineke in the 3rd inning.  He retired the Bats in order in the 4th and 5th, before giving up one final hit to 3B Kris Negron in the 6th.  Negron advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt and then stole third — the only Louisville batter to get that far.

The Indians did all their scoring in the first two innings.  Chad Reineke started his evening by striking out CF Starling Marte, but then gave up four consecutive hits.  LF Gorkys Hernandez lined a single into right field, and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Matt Hague smashed a liner right back at Reineke, which hit his glove and went dead in the grass behind the mound.  By the time anyone could get to it, the runners were safe on the corners.  Jake Fox ripped a line drive just inside the third base line and into the left field corner, driving in Hernandez with the first run of the game.  Mercer looped a single into right field to score Hague.  RF Brandon Boggs didn’t get a hit, but he drove in a run, with a fly ball to the edge of the warning track in right field for a sacrifice fly, plating Fox.   The Indians had a 3-0 lead.

Starling Marte singled and doubled.

They attacked Reineke again in the 2nd inning, but Reineke got lucky when the Indians ran themselves out of the inning.  2B Anderson Hernandez led off with a bloopy single into short right field.  Locke dropped down a very short bunt, and by the time Bats’ 3B Negron got to the ball, Anderson Hernandez was already at second base.  Marte showed off his speed to beat out an infield hit when Negron did not field his grounder quickly enough.  Anderson moved to third on that play.  Reineke’s first bit of luck came when Marte was leaning a little too far off first — Reineke picked him off base.  Gorkys Hernandez picked up an RBI with another infield single.  He smacked a sharp grounder wide of first, which 1B Soto stopped with a dive.  Soto hopped up with the ball, only to discover that Reineke was not running to cover first base.  That turned the play into a foot race between Soto and Gorkys Hernandez.  Gorkys won the race, safe at first when Soto’s dive for first was not in time, and Anderson scored from third base.  Hague followed with a single into left field.  Gorkys had rounded second and was in his second foot race of the inning — but the ball beat him to the third base bag, with Negron applying the tag to cut short the Tribe rally.

In fact, that was the end of the Indians rallying at all.  They had 3 hits and 2 walks over the rest of the game, but did not score again.  Boggs singled down the right field line in the 3rd, and moved to second base when C Eric Fryer worked a walk, but both were left on base.  Gorkys Hernandez singled with two outs in the 4th, and reached second base when Reineke made a throwing error (wide throw) to first base on a pick-off attempt.  He was also left stranded.  The Indians went down in order in the 5th and 6th innings, and again in the 8th.  Marte led off the 7th with a double, when CF Denis Phipps attempted a dramatic diving catch and missed.  A ground out moved Marte to third.  Hague was intentionally walked in hopes of setting up a double play.  The Bat’s ploy worked — Fox bounced into an inning-ending double play.

Evan Meek pitched 2 scoreless innings in his first appearance with the Tribe this season.

Evan Meek made his Indians’ debut, coming on in relief of Locke to begin the 8th inning.  He retired three Bats in a row in the 8th, but threw a lot of balls (7 strikes, 8 balls), and reached a full count on the first two batters.  He did better in the top of the 9th, throwing 10 pitches with 7 strikes and just 3 balls.  Meek struck out Negron to begin the inning, then gave up a single into the right-center gap to SS Miguel Rojas.  He ended the game by getting Phipps to bounce into a 4-6-3 (Anderson Hernandez to Mercer to Fox) double play.

Gorkys Hernandez led the Indians’ offense with 3 singles, while Starling Marte and Matt Hague had 2 hits each.  “We’ve been playing good baseball lately, and just got to keep it rolling,” said Jake Fox.  “It’s about consistency, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

 

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:  The biggest hit was Jake Fox’s line drive double in the 1st inning, which rocketed down the left field line and into the corner, driving in the first run of the game.  Fox went 1-for-4 in the game, dropping his average to .353.

Indians Defensive Gem of the Game:  In the top of the 7th, Bats’ Chris Valaika lifted a fly ball into right-center field.  Starling Marte was playing more straight up in center, so he had to run to his left and a bit back.  At the last second, he made a leap into the air, and reached almost behind himself, to make an amazing catch.

 

Brandon Boggs makes the first out of the game in right field.

Jake Fox at first base in front of his hometown fans.

 

Matt Hague makes a play at third.

 

Old School : Eric Fryer does not wear batting gloves.

 

NOTES

GM Cal Burleson congratulates Justin Wilson, Doug Slaten, Jose Morales (hidden behind Slaten), and Jose Diaz (in the back)

In a pre-game ceremony, the Indians honored the three pitchers who combined for last week’s no-hitter:  Justin Wilson, Jose Diaz, and Doug Slaten.  Catcher Jose Morales, who caught all of them, was also honored.

 

The Indians also announced that pitcher Rudy Owens was named Player of the Month for April.

 

The Indians wrap up this brief 2-game series against the Bats on Sunday afternoon, then continue the home stand with 4 games against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

 

 

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.

Jameson Taillon Live Report: 5/4/12

Next Story »

Starling Marte Exits With Hand Injury in Indians 4-2 Win

  • Lee Young

    Love the writeup and pix. How is Jordy looking at SS?

  • maguro

    Fryer has a nice porn star mustache going there.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    7 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

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

    1 day 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

    1 week 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
  • Browse More Articles

    More