Rochester Red Wings 6, Indianapolis Indians 2
It was another tough night for the Indianapolis Indians tonight at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY. The Rochester Red Wings’ starting pitcher Esmerling Vasquez held the Indians scoreless for 7 innings, while striking out 10 Tribe batters. Reliever Deolis Guerra contributed 4 more strike outs over the final two innings, including striking out the side in the 8th. This is the second straight loss for the Indians at the hands of the Red Wings, leaving the Indians hoping to at least earn a split of this 4-game series if they can win the next two games.
Justin Wilson made the start for the Indians tonight. His last start, against Charlotte last week, was an 8-inning no-hit performance. Tonight, Wilson began his outing with a tough first inning. Lead off hitter 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka began with a single lined into center field, and Wilson walked 1B Chris Parmelee. With two out and two on, CF Clete Thomas drove a double down the left field line, bouncing into the corner and out of the reach of LF Yamaico Navarro. That drove in both Nishioka and Parmalee, to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.
Wilson settled in after that first inning. He retired the Red Wings in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, before giving up a 2-out single to LF Wilkin Ramirez in the 4th. Wilson eliminated Ramirez by promptly picking him off first base. C Rene Rivera also hit 2-out single in the 5th, when CF Alex Presley lost the ball in the lights and the twilight, but Rivera was left on base. Wilson got out of a minor jam in the 6th, when SS Brian Dozier led off with a double, then stole third, and after a pop out, RF Matt Carson was hit by a pitch. The newest Indian, 3B Dallas McPherson, ended the inning for Wilson when Thomas lined a pitch right to him at third base. McPherson only had to take a step to touch third base and double off Dozier to end the inning.
In his 6 innings of work, Wilson threw 103 pitches (64 strikes). He allowed those 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, and he struck out 4 batters. It was a reasonable start for Wilson, who is still the subject of move-to-the-bullpen talk by the Pirates.
But the Red Wings’ starter, Vasquez, was doing even better, not allowing any runs. He worked around singles in each of the first three innings — one by SS Brock Holt in the 1st, one by 1B Matt Hague in the 2nd, and one by 2B Chase d’Arnaud in the 3rd. Holt also worked a walk in the 3rd, but both runners were left stranded. That was the Indians’ best scoring chance until the 9th inning. The Tribe went down in order in the 4th and 5th innings, then Holt doubled with one out in the 6th. Again he was left on base. LF Yamaico Navarro walked and stole second base in the 7th, but he also got no farther.
Daniel McCutchen relieved Justin Wilson to begin the bottom of the 7th. The first thing McCutchen did was hit Ramirez with a pitch. 3B Eduardo Escobar dropped down a sacrifice bunt, which McCutchen scooped up, but the throw to first was way wide. Ramirez reached third and Escobar was safe on first on the error. The next batter, DH Evan Bigley blasted a home run over the left field wall, to give the Red Wings a 5-0 lead. (Escobar’s run was unearned.)
Jo-Jo Reyes, fresh off the Indians’ disabled list, came on to pitch the bottom of the 8th. He quickly got the first two outs, then gave up a single to Thomas, which was followed by a double into left field by Ramirez. The double drove in Thomas, for a 6-0 lead. Yamaico’s throw in from left field sailed all the way past his cut-off man, but C Tony Sanchez was able to catch it. Sanchez fired to third base, in time for McPherson to tag out Ramirez, ending the inning.
Finally, in the top of the 9th, the Indians got their bats going together — but it was too little, too late. RF Jose Tabata led off with a single into center field. Hague drove him in with a 2-run home run, putting the Indians on the scoreboard at last. Clement followed the homer with a double into left field, aided by some catching difficulties by LF Ramirez. A wild pitch moved Clement to third base. That was all the Indians would get, though, as two fly outs ended the game.
The Indians totalled 7 hits, with Brock Holt and Matt Hague collecting two hits each. Newcomer Dallas McPherson had an inauspicious first game at the plate — he struck out 4 times.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Matt Hague’s 2-run homer in the 9th, which drove in the only Indians’ runs of the game. It was only Hague’s 3rd home run of the season, but his 45th and 46th RBI.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the bottom of the 1st, Matt Carson punched a long fly ball into left field, with two runners on base. Yamaico Navarro ran and ran, then made a desperate all-or-nothing dive, making the catch. That kept those two runners from scoring…. at least temporarily. (They scored on the next play, on a double Navarro couldn’t get to.)
The Columbus Clippers lost to the Durham Bulls tonight, thanks to a 7-run 8th inning by the Bulls. (A 3-run homer, a 2-run homer, a double, and a bunch of walks and singles added up to those 7 runs.) That means that the Indians remain 10 games ahead of the Clippers in the International League Western Division. The Indians’ “magic” number is reduced to 10.
Dallas McPherson signed with the Pirates as a free agent. He had played in 61 games for the Charlotte Knights earlier in the season. For the Knights, McPherson hit .253, with 12 doubles and 12 homers, plus 47 RBI. He walked 28 times, but struck out 83 times. Th
McPherson took the roster spot vacated by starting pitcher Daniel Cabrera, who was traded to the Diamondbacks.
Jose Diaz was placed on the disabled list today, as Jo-Jo Reyes comes off the DL.