Shaky Control by Justin Wilson Leads to Indians Loss
Buffalo Bison 3, Indianapolis Indians 2
Shaky control by Indians’ pitching combined with a strong performance by Buffalo pitching added up to a loss for the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field this afternoon. The Indians were held to three hits in the first 7 innings, and six hits overall, resulting in just 2 runs. Tribe starter Justin Wilson suffered the loss, despite allowing one hit and striking out 7 batters in 5 innings of work.
The Indians were first onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st. SS Chase d’Arnaud began with a walk, and he moved up to second base on a wild pitch by Buffalo starter Chris Schwinden. 3B Matt Hague lined a single into center field, driving in d’Arnaud from second for a 1-0 lead.
The Bison answered back immediately with 2 runs in the 2nd. Justin Wilson had been focused and targeted on the strike zone in the 1st inning, but got shaky in the 2nd. After a strike out, Wilson walked 1B Adam Loewen on four pitches, then stole second base. Another strike out, then another walk, to CF Matt den Dekker, gave the Bison two runners on base with two outs. C Lucas May ripped a double down the left field line, driving in both runners to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead. A third walk followed to opposing pitcher Schwinden. That took Wilson 10 pitches, and the subsequent fly out by LF Fred Lewis took Wilson 11 pitches.
Wilson regained his control in the next 3 innings. He gave up no more hits or runs, and walked one batter in the 3rd and one in the 5th. He threw 95 pitches (59 strikes) and gave up the 2 runs on 1 hit, with 5 walks and 7 strikeouts. The loss was his 5th, for an 8-5 record.
Schwinden shut the Indians down for the rest of his 7 innings. He gave up a two-out single to 2B Anderson Hernandez and a lead-off single to 1B Jeff Clement in the 4th, but allowed no other Indians to reach base.
Bryan Morris took over for Wilson to begin the 6th. He retired the side in that inning, then gave up a run in the 7th. Matt den Dekker began by lining a double down the right field line. A wild pitch advanced den Dekker to third base, and he was able to score easily from there when May slipped a single under Matt Hague’s glove and into left field. Buffalo up, 3-1.
Logan Kensing walked two batters in the 8th (one intentionally) but left them stranded with a pop out and a strike out. Tim Wood pitched a solid 9th inning, including one strike out to finish up for the Tribe.
The Indians added one more run in the 8th. Anderson Hernandez led off with a single into right field. Yamaico Navarro pinch-hit, and took a four-pitch walk. Chase d’Arnaud dropped down a bunt in front of the mound. The speedy d’Arnaud might have beat out C May’s throw to first, but May was rushed and his throw sailed past first base. Anderson Hernandez scored on the error, while Navarro reached third, and d’Arnaud ended up on second base. Hague tapped a short grounder back to the mound, where reliever Cabrera picked it up and fired back to the plate. Navarro had taken off from third, and he tried to slide around the outside of the plate while touching the plate with his hand. May lunged for the tag, and when the dust settled — the umpire made no call. The crowd realized that it meant that the umpire believed that neither had tagged his target, and he was waiting for the players to realize it too. May figured it out first and tagged Navarro, who still believed that he had touched the plate. (Replays looked like he had touched it too.) Navarro argued, and ended up getting ejected from the game. The Indians still had d’Arnaud on third and Hague on first, but their rally was abruptly halted when Clement struck out. The Indians were closer, 3-2.
The Tribe had one last attempt at a rally in the bottom of the 9th. With two outs, pinch-hitter Jose Tabata singled into right field. It was a short-lived try, though, as Anderson Hernandez struck out to end the game.
Anderson Hernandez was the only Indians’ batter to have two hits — singles in the 2nd and the 8th. The newest Indian, Christian Marrero, pinch hit for Justin Wilson in the 5th, grounding out to first. Gorkys Hernandez went 0-for-4 again tonight, hitless since returning from the Pirates. C Tony Sanchez hit two long blasts to the wall in left-center, both of which required amazing catches by the Bisons — a leaping catch at the wall by Matt den Dekker in the 4th, and a catch at the wall by LF Fred Lewis in the 9th.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Matt Hague’s RBI single in the bottom of the 1st, which drove in Chase d’Arnaud with the first run of the game. Hague would have had another RBI in the 8th if Yamaico Navarro had not been called out at the plate.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Two diving stops: In the 3rd, with two outs, Bisons’ Adam Loewen grounded up the middle. Chase d’Arnaud charged to his left, and dove for the ball behind second base. He made the stop, then hopped up, spun, and fired to first base for the out. In the 9th, with two out, Fred Lewis grounded to the right side of the infield. Anderson Hernandez dove to his left to keep the ball from going into right field, then hopped up and fired to first in time to make the last out of the inning.
This series is tied at one game each, with two games left to play.
The loss cuts the Indians’ lead over the Columbus Clippers to 7.5 games in the International League Western Division.
Pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes has been placed back onto the Disabled List. He had come off the DL a few days ago, after a long stint due to hamstring problems. He pitched to two batters on Thursday, and re-aggravated the injury.