Indianapolis Indians 8, Rochester Red Wings 1
After suffering a loss with a 3-hit shutout last night, the Indianapolis Indians rebounded quickly, with a big win over the Rochester Red Wings at Victory Field this afternoon. Starter Rudy Owens earned his 5th win of the season, allowing one run on 6 hits in 6 innings, with one strikeout. All of the Tribe hitters posted at least one hit, and LF Gorkys Hernandez led the way with 3 hits — a quarter of the Indians’ total of 12 hits.
SS Chase d’Arnaud got the Indians’ first rally started in the bottom of the 1st. He led off with a single looped into center field, then stole second base. After a strikeout, CF Starling Marte grounded to short, where Red Wings’ SS Pedro Florimon fired to third in an attempt to get the lead runner d’Arnaud. But d’Arnaud slid in under the tag, just barely in time, and the Indians had runners on the corners with one out. DH Jake Fox drove in d’Arnaud from third with a long sacrifice fly into the left-center field alley– which missed being a home run by just a few feet. With Marte still on first base, 2B Yamaico Navarro followed with a ball that did make it over the wall in left field, for a 2-run homer. Indians ahead, 3-0.
Four hits gave the Indians three more runs in the 2nd inning. RF Brandon Boggs started with a line drive single into right field. C Tony Sanchez moved Boggs to second base with a sacrifice bunt. That put Boggs into position so that he could score from second when 3B Brian Friday sent the first pitch he saw to the left-center field wall for an RBI double. Gorkys Hernandez drove in Friday with a single into right field. Starling Marte smacked a long ball off the upper part of the left field wall. Rochester’s LF Michael Hollimon kept running towards the wall when he saw that the ball was going to be over his head. That meant that the carom also sailed over his head and back toward the infield. As Hollimon chased down the ball, Hernandez had plenty of time to race around from first base to score the third run of the inning. Marte ended up on second base, but was left there when the inning ended on a fly out. Indians leading, 6-0.
Rudy Owens began his afternoon with two scoreless innings. He gave up a 2-out walk in the 1st, and a 2-out infield single to Hollimon in the 2nd. The only run Owens allowed came in the 3rd inning. Rochester C JR Towles led off with a double into the left-center gap. He moved to third base when 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka reached base on a grounder and a wide throw by 2B Navarro. The Indians surrendered a run to Towles in exchange for a double play — Florimon grounded to second, where Navarro made up for his error by starting a 4-6-3 (Navarro to d’Arnaud to 1B Jeff Larish) double play. Owens also gave up a double to 3B Danny Valencia, but left him stranded when a strike out ended the frame.
Owens went on to pitch 3 more scoreless innings. He gave up a pair of 2-out singles in the 4th, to Hollimon and to former Pirates’ farmhand (Altoona and Lynchburg) 1B Ray Chang. A little pop out ended that inning with runners still on the corners. Owens gave up another 2-out single to Valencia in the 5th, then retired the side in order in the 6th. He finished with 99 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Chris Leroux came on in relief for the 7th inning. This was Leroux’s first rehab appearance with the Indians for this season, and he looked comfortable on the mound. He started with a ground out, then hit Towles with a pitch. A swinging bunt and a strike out (looking) finished his appearance. Leroux threw 21 pitches, with 11 strikes.
Daniel Moskos and Jose Diaz finished up the game with a perfect inning each. Moskos, recently off the DL, struck out one batter in the 8th, and Diaz struck out two in the 9th.
Rochester starter Cole De Vries exited the game after the first two innings, having allowed the 6 Indians’ runs. Reliver Carlos Gutierrez pitched the next 2.2 innings, allowing singles to 1B Jeff Larish and Tony Sanchez in the 3rd, and Gorkys Hernandez’s second single in the 4th.
Deolis Guerra finished the 5th and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th, but the Indians attacked him in the 7th. The Tribe added two insurance runs when Hernandez led off with his third single. He grounded to deep in the hole behind short, and though Nishioka (who had moved from second to short) was able to keep the ball from going into the outfield, he had no play on the speedy Hernandez. Moments later, Jake Fox crushed a no-doubter 2-run homer over the left field wall, over the grass berm, and all the way to the sidewalk in the back. That gave the Tribe an 8-1 lead.
The Indians also put two runners on base in the bottom of the 8th against reliever Tyler Robertson. Boggs singled for the second time in the game, and d’Arnaud walked, but both were left on base.
The Indians and the Red Wings each have a win at the half-way point of this 4-game series. They play again on both Monday and Tuesday, then the Indians have an off-day on Wednesday.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: A pair of 2-run home runs, by Yamaico Navarro in the 1st, and by Jake Fox in the 7th. Fox also collected an RBI in the 1st inning with a sacrifice fly. “They always say the trick to this game is hitting it where they can’t catch it,” said Fox after the game. “I figured they couldn’t catch it out there (over the left field wall). You come out and you try to put good swings on it, and I happened to get a hold of one there. [Rochester reliever Guerra] left one up, and I put a good swing on it.”
More from Fox: “We played well today. Especially after last night, we played well today. Rudy [Owens] had a great start. It was just nice to come out and get a win today. … I think we have a really good team for this stadium. We have a lot of speed and I think it shows. You come out here and you see how much ground they cover in the outfield. Not too many balls fall out there. We’ve got a good team that plays in this ballpark, and I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re so successful here.” (The Indians have a 22-9 record at home.)
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the top of the 7th, lead-off batter Ray Chang chopped a sharp grounder to third. The ball started off just inside the third base line, but after it passed third base, it started curving foul. 3B Brian Friday went back and to his right to make a diving back-handed catch. He hopped up and fired across the diamond to first, where Jeff Larish had to dig the ball out of the dirt — in time to make the out on Chang.
The Indians remain in first place in the International League Western Division. They are 6 games ahead of second-place Columbus, and 8.5 games ahead of third-place Toledo. Louisville remains in fourth place, 16 games behind the Indians.
Jeff Clement was a last-minute scratch from the line-up today. His left knee was bothering him, and needed a rest.