Wilson Dominates As Indians’ Bats Explode
Indianapolis Indians 16, Rochester Red Wings 0
Those booming noises you heard tonight were coming from Victory Field in Indianapolis. The Indians pounded out 17 hits on their way to 16 runs, beating the Rochester Red Wings in the largest shut out ever at Victory Field. Every Indian batter who came to the plate scored at least one run, and all but one put up at least one hit. CF Starling Marte and RF Brandon Boggs led the parade with 3 hits each, while 2B Yamaico Navarro and pinch-hitter Jose Morales had 3 RBI each. Starter Justin Wilson earned the win with 7 shut-out innings, allowing only 4 hits.
After going down in order, the Indians got the party started in the bottom of the 2nd, when their first five batters reached base safely. DH Jake Fox led off with a single up the middle, and moved to second base on a passed ball. Because Fox had reached second, he was able to score when Navarro hit a long fly to the left-center field gap. The ball bounced on the warning track and over the wall for a ground rule double, allowing Fox to score for a 1-0 lead. Boggs was hit by a pitch (on the back). 1B Jeff Larish dropped a bloop single into left-center field, plating Navarro with the second run of the inning. C Tony Sanchez lined a single into left, and with Boggs off and running on the pitch, he scored easily from second base. A fly out came next — first out of the inning, with 3 runs already in. SS Chase d’Arnaud grounded sharply to third, where the ball skittered right between Rochester 3B Danny Valencia’s legs and into left field. Larish scored from third, though d’Arnaud did not get an RBI. A second out followed, then Marte blasted a long liner into the left field gap, which hit the wall and bounced around. That drove in both Sanchez and d’Arnaud. Fox, who came to bat for the second time in the inning, grounded out, leaving Marte on third. The Indians had a 6-0 lead.
That would have been enough for starter Justin Wilson. Wilson retired the Red Wings in order in the 1st, then worked around a one-out double by RF Wilkin Ramirez in the 2nd. The 3rd inning was the only time that Wilson allowed the Red Wings to have two runners on base. LF Michael Hollimon led off and reached base when his grounder skipped over the glove of 3B Anderson Hernandez, who was charged with a fielding error. Wilson got two outs, then SS Pedro Florimon grounded up the middle. Tribe 2B Navarro charged to his left and made a dive, coming up with the ball behind second base. With his momentum taking him toward left field, and thinking that his best shot at ending the inning was going to be making the play at second, Navarro tried to flip the ball behind his back to SS Chase d’Arnaud, who was covering second. Good idea, but poor execution — the ball went wide of second and d’Arnaud could not reach it. The play was initially called a throwing error on Navarro, but after the game, that ruling was changed to a hit by Florimon. Wilson did not seem to be bothered, but just got the next batter to fly out, ending the biggest threat the Red Wings would have.
Wilson breezed through his next four innings. He retired the Red Wings in order in the 4th and 5th innings, then worked around one-out singles in both the 6th and 7th. He finished his night after 7 innings, having thrown 104 pitches (70 strikes), with 6 strikeouts and no walks.
The Indians, though, kept on going, scoring in four more innings. The Tribe chased Rochester starter Matt Maloney with their 2nd inning bombardment, but each of the four relievers who followed gave up at least one run each. Yamaico Navarro led off the 3rd with a walk. Boggs blooped a single that fell in. Navarro took off from first and had rounded second and was half-way to third when he saw that the Rochester CF Clete Thomas had already picked up the ball and was throwing it back in. Navarro froze in the middle of the basepath, then continued on to third. He should have been an easy out at third, but the Red Wings’ relay man, who took the throw from Thomas also froze — or maybe had trouble getting the ball out of his mitt. He did not make a throw, and Navarro was surprisingly safe at third. Larish bounced into a double play, erasing Boggs, but it allowed Navarro to score from third. Indians up, 7-0.
Starling Marte led off the 5th with a single up the middle. Fox moved him to second with a walk, and Marte went to third when Navarro grounded into a double play. Boggs lifted a short fly single into right-center field, driving in Marte. Larish also singled, but both he and Boggs were left on base. Indians leading, 8-0.
The Tribe added 2 more runs in the 6th. Anderson Hernandez led off this inning with a triple into the right-center field gap. LF Gorkys Hernandez lined a single into left field, plating Anderson. Marte doubled off the left field scoreboard, and Gorkys reached third base. Fox was intentionally walked to load the bases, but that plan backfired on the Red Wings when Navarro hit a sacrifice fly, to bring in Gorkys. Indians now leading 10-0.
Then the Tribe exploded again in the 7th, again sending 10 batters to the plate. Jeff Larish led off by working a walk, and after a strikeout, Anderson Hernandez also walked. With the Tribe ahead by 10 runs, manager Dean Treanor began sending in pinch-hitters. Brian Friday pinch-hit for Chase d’Arnaud, and singled to load the bases. Eric Fryer pinch-hit for Gorkys Hernandez, and Fryer collected an RBI when his single through the right side of the infield brought in Larish. Another strikeout brought the second out of the inning, but the Indians kept going with three consecutive doubles. Pinch-hitter Jose Morales (hitting for Jake Fox) cleared the bases with his triple down the left field line. Navarro’s double drove in Morales, and Boggs’ double brought in Navarro with the sixth run of that inning. The Indians soared to a 16-0 lead.
Evan Meek took over for Wilson to begin the 8th inning. He walked two batters in the 8th, but left them both stranded. Then Meek retired the Red Wings in order in the 9th.
With all those hits (17), it’s a bit surprising that the Indians did not hit a home run. Seven of their 17 hits were for extra bases. Chase d’Arnaud was the only Tribe batter not to pick up at least one hit in the game, but he reached base on an error and scored a run.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Two triples — a 2-RBI triple by Starling Marte in the 2nd, and a lead-off triple by Anderson Hernandez in the 6th. Marte was left on base, while Hernandez scored.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: The last out in the game. With two out and no base runners in the top of the 9th, C Rene Rivera grounded to the right side of the infield, Yamaico Navarro ranged deep and to his left, almost behind first base to make a diving stop. When he hopped up, he saw that Rivera, a slow runner, was not even close to first base. Navarro made the quick throw to first, in time to make the out and end the game.
The win gives the Indians a 2-1 game lead in this 4-game series with the Red Wings.
The Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, and Louisville Bats all lost their games tonight. That means the first-place Indians are now 7 games ahead of the second-place Clippers, 9.5 games ahead of the Mud Hens, and 17 games ahead of the Bats.
Jeff Clement was again out of the line-up today, resting his left knee, which was bothering him yesterday.