Indians Can’t Support A Strong Effort By VandenHurk
Rochester Red Wings 2, Indianapolis Indians 1
A double and an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th gave the Rochester Red Wings an extra-inning win over the Indianapolis Indians at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY tonight. With closer Tim Wood on the mound for the Indians and two out, Rochester SS Brian Dozier lifted a fly ball into left field for a double, putting the go-ahead run into scoring position. An intentional walk gave the Red Wings two base runners, but Dozier was the only runner who mattered at that point. LF Wilkin Ramirez, who had been hitless in the game up ’til then, blooped a single into short center field, which was out of the reach of CF Alex Presley. Ramirez drove in Dozier for a walk-off win.
The Indians started what little scoring there was in the 2nd inning. DH Jeff Clement and LF Brandon Boggs led off with back-to-back singles, lined into right and center fields respectively. 3B Dallas McPherson worked a walk to load the bases with no outs. C Jose Morales (a former Red Wing) lifted a fly ball into center field, hoping for a sacrifice fly. CF Clete Thomas made the catch and fired to the plate, where C JR Towles took it on one hop, on time and on target. Clement, tagging up and racing from third, slid in as Towles applied the tag — and the call was “safe”. The other two base runners were left on base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning. That was the only time in the game that an Indians’ base runner reached as far as third base.
Tribe starter Rick VandenHurk worked around a lead-off single by 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka in the bottom of the 1st. The 2nd inning also began with a lead-off single, this one by CF Clete Thomas, but a double play erased him. Rochester also began the 3rd inning with a lead-off hit, but this one was a triple into left field by 3B Eduardo Escobar. The ball landed just inside the left field line, and LF Drew Sutton, who had just entered the game to replace the ejected Jose Tabata, could not reach it. Escobar scored on a sacrifice fly by C JR Towles, to tie the score.
Then the pitchers went to work and the scoring halted. The Indians never were able to mount much of a threat, and had only one base runner reach second base safely for the rest of the game. The Tribe put one runner on base in each of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. 1B Matt Hague lined a single into center field in the 3rd, McPherson slipped a single through to left field in the 4th, and SS Brock Holt lined another single into left field in the 5th. None of them could come around to score.
Holt singled again in the 8th inning, once again picking up a multi-hit game. He reached as far as second base, on one of the two ground outs that ended the inning. Boggs also collected his second hit of the game with a one-out single in the 9th, but he was erased in a double play.
After he gave up the run in the 3rd, Rick VandenHurk settled in and pitched 5 more scoreless innings. He threw 97 pitches (71 strikes) and gave up a total of 7 hits and no walks, with 5 strikeouts in 8 total innings. VandenHurk worked around another single by Thomas in the 4th, and that inning ended when C Jose Morales threw out Thomas as he tried to steal second base. The Red Wings had the start of a rally in the 5th, when both RF Evan Bigley and Escobar singled. VandenHurk calmly got a strikeout and a fly out to end that threat. He retired the side in order in the 6th and 7th innings, then gave up his final hit, a two-out single to Nishioka in the 8th.
Doug Slaten came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th for the Tribe, as the Red Wings threatened more seriously. 1B Chris Parmalee led off with a double lined into right field and over the head of Brandon Boggs (who had moved from left field). The ball caromed off the wall and away from Boggs, but CF Alex Presley was able to make the play on the bounce, and get the ball back into the infield, holding Parmalee to a double. After a ground out and a pop up, Slaten intentionally walked Bigley. When the right-handed Rene Rivera came on to pinch-hit for the Red Wings, the southpaw Slaten was replaced by the righty Tim Wood. Wood threw a wild pitch, which moved both runners into scoring position. He walked Rivera to load the bases, then got Escobar to fly out, leaving all three runners on base for a scoreless inning.
The bottom of the 10th was not so kind to Tim Wood, who took his 6th loss of the season. The loss gives the Red Wings the series win, even if the Indians can win the final game of the series tomorrow. The Columbus Clippers won their game tonight, so they gained one game on the Indians in the standings — the Tribe is now 9 games ahead of the Clippers, and the magic number remains at 10.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Back-to-back singles by Jeff Clement and Brandon Boggs, which was the only rally the Indians had in the game. Clement scored the only run, on Jose Morales’ sacrifice fly. All 8 of the Indians’ hits were singles.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the bottom of the 8th, JR Towles ripped a grounder toward third base. Tribe 3B Dallas McPherson lunged to his left, and made the catch with his glove hand extended as far as possible. Then he recovered and fired to first base in time for the out on Towles.
Jose Tabata was ejected in the middle of the 3rd inning. I didn’t see that part of the game, so I’m not sure what happened. He had grounded out in the top of the inning, for the second out, but it looks like he was ejected between half innings. Maybe he was still hollering from the dugout?
Starting pitcher Jeff Locke was optioned back to the Indians from the Pirates, while pitcher Jared Hughes was called back up to Pittsburgh.
Yamaico Navarro, who can play both infield and outfield, was promoted from the Indians to the Pirates. He might get some playing time while 2B Neil Walker recovers from his dislocated right little finger.
Pitcher Phil Irwin was promoted from AA Altoona to Indianapolis today. He will likely make some starts for the Tribe.