Doubleheader: One Down and One Up

GAME 1
boxscore– Game 1
(photos by NancyZ)
Runelvys Hernandez -- photo by NancyZ
Well, at least it was only a 7-inning game.
The Richmond Braves scored at least one run in each of the six innings they batted, to beat the Indianapolis Indians by a score of 11-1 at The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia tonight. The Braves also outscored the Indians 16-6.
Indians’ starting pitcher Runelvys Hernandez (photo) took his 7th loss of the season, and his second loss with the Indians. He gave up 13 of the Braves’ hits in 4 innings, and was responsible for 9 runs, 8 of which were earned. He did not walk a batter, and he struck out two. Trouble found Hernandez very quickly in the bottom of the first inning, as the Braves sent 8 batters to the plate. CF Pete Orr led off with a triple. 2B Martin Prado was hit by a pitch, and LF Brandon Jones scored Orr on a sacrifice fly. Brayan Pena singled, and a fielder’s choice by RF Doug Clark put runners on the corners and Pena out at second base. Clark stole second base, and a single by SS Brent Lillibridge scored Prado and moved Clark to third base. Lillibridge also stole second base, and both Clark and Lillibridge came across the plate when 3B Wes Timmons doubled. Finally a ground out by C Iker Franco ended the inning, with the Braves ahead 4-0.
Carlos Maldonado -- photo by NancyZ
The Braves’ run in the second inning was unearned. Pete Orr singled, and Martin Prado grounded to 2B Yurendell de Caster. But the hoped-for double play turned into only a fielder’s choice on SS Brian Bixler’s errant throw to first base, and was further complicated when Prado reached second on the error. A single by Brandon Jones scored Prado.
The Tribe made the Braves work a little harder to score a run in the 3rd inning. Doug Clark tripled and Brent Lillibridge singled on a swinging bunt back to Runelvys Hernandez, and Clark could not score. Wes Timmons grounded to 3B Jose Hernandez, who threw to 2B Yurendell de Caster to get Lillibridge out at second. Then de Caster fired the ball home, and C Carlos Maldonado (photo) tagged Clark out for the double play. Unfortunately, Iker Franco doubled, scoring Timmons, and a run scored anyway.

Juan Perez -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians then made it easy for the Braves in the 4th inning. Pete Orr singled again, and scored when LF Michael Ryan bobbled Martin Prado’s fly ball.
Two homers brought in three runs for the Braves in the 5th inning. Doug Clark’s lead-off single set up Brent Lillibridge for a two-run blast. That sent pitcher Runelvys Hernandez to the showers. Lefty Juan Perez (photo) entered in relief, and was greeted by another home run, a solo shot by Wes Timmons. Perez then got Iker Franco to fly out and struck out both Kevin Barry and Pete Orr to end the inning. Perez gave up one more run in the 6th inning, on a single by Brandon Jones and an RBI double by Brayan Pena.
The Indians scored their only run in the 4th inning. 1B Steve Pearce grounded a single up the middle, and stole second base — his first stolen base as an Indian. A single by CF Luis Matos pushed Pearce across the plate.
Braves’ starter Kevin Barry pitched 6 innings, giving up just that one run on 6 hits and walking only one Tribe batter, while striking out six. Reliever Buddy Hernandez pitched the 9th inning for the Bulls, getting all three Tribe batters he faced to hit the ball into the air for easy fly and pop outs.
Luis Matos and Bam Bam Meulens  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians only other “threats” came when they put two base runners on in the first and third innings. In the 1st, Brian Bixler walked and Michael Ryan singled, but both were left stranded when Steve Pearce popped up and Jose Hernandez struck out. In the 3rd, back-to-back singles by Runelvys Hernandez and Yurendell de Caster put two runners on again. A strikeout by Bixler and a double play ended that inning.
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Luis Matos’s (photo, Matos and Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens) RBI single in the 4th inning to score Steve Pearce; and Runelvys Hernandez’s single in the 3rd inning — always fun to see the pitcher get a hit.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: The double play in the bottom of the 3rd inning: 3B Jose Hernandez to 2B Yurendell de Caster to C Carlos Maldonado (5-4-2). Maldonado tagged out Braves’ Doug Clark to keep that run from scoring.
GAME 2
boxscore — Game 2
John Van Benschoten -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians got some revenge in the nightcap. Steve Pearce hit his first home run as an Indian, to start the scoring, and the Indians went on to beat the Richmond Braves 7-1. Indians’ starter John Van Benschoten pitched 6 shutout innings, giving up only 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out three Braves, to earn his 7th win of the season.
The Braves’ only serious threat against John Van Benschoten came in the 5th inning. 1B Barbaro Canizares singled to lead off the inning. 3B Wes Timmons flied out and pinch hitter Jonathan Schuerholz lined out to shortstop. C Iker Franco singled and 2B Martin Prado walked to load the bases. Then Van Benschoten got LF Brandon Jones grounded into a force out to end the inning without a run scoring.
The only run scored by the Braves came in the 7th, as Franquelis Osoria came in to relieve Van Benschoten. Jonathan Schuerholz, who remained in the game to play second base, led off the inning with a solo home run over the left field wall, to prevent the shutout. Osoria proceeded to put the next three batters down in order to end the game.
Steve Pearce -- photo by NancyZ
Braves’ starter Brad Nelson held the Indians scoreless for the first three innings, holding them to one hit during those innings, a single by 3B Russ Johnson. In the top of the 4th inning, Steve Pearce hit his homer, a blast over the left field wall. “The home run swing felt real good,” said Pearce after the game. “It was a fastball up in the zone, and I got all of it.”
The Indians tried to add more runs in the 4th. RF Brad Eldred and Russ Johnson both walked, and 2B Luis Ordaz singled to load the bases. But C David Parrish grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Tribe did get those runs in the next inning, though. John Van Benschoten started the rally with a walk, and Adam Boeve was hit by a pitch. SS Don Kelly put down a sacrifice bunt, but pitcher Brad Nelson’s throwing error allowed Van Benschoten to score, and put Boeve on third base and Kelly on second base. LF Michael Ryan hit a sacrifice fly to plate Boeve, and another error, this one by Braves’ CF Doug Clark, moved Kelly to third base. Kelly scored when Steve Pearce lined an RBI single into left field, and Pearce scored on Russ Johnson’s RBI double. The inning ended with the Indians ahead, 5-0.
The Tribe wasn’t done yet, though. They added two more in the top of the 7th inning. With one out, reliever Manny Acosta threw a wild pitch on the third strike to Brad Eldred, allowing Eldred to reach first base. Russ Johnson walked, and both runners advanced when Acosta balked. Luis Ordaz’s RBI single brought in Eldred and moved Johnson to third base. Johnson scored on David Parrish’s ground out.
Russ Johnson and Jose Hernandez  -- photo by NancyZ
(Photo — Russ Johnson and Jose Hernandez)
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Steve Pearce, who hit his first AAA homer, and then hit an RBI single. “It was an RBI situation, so I went up there hacking,” said Pearce after the game. “I’ve been able to drive in a lot of runs throughout the season, but I have to prove myself at the AAA level. I am still hungry because I feel like I can contribute at this level. It’s all about showing people what you can do, and I did that in game two tonight.”
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the bottom of the 3rd inning, with Pete Orr on first base, John Van Benschoten threw wide on an attempt to pick Orr off first base. Orr took off, rounding second and heading for third base. Brad Eldred in right field was able to pick up the ball and fired a perfect strike to third base, where Russ Johnson tagged Orr out.
NOTES:
Baseball America has named Indians’ manager Trent Jewett as the International League’s Best Managerial Prospect. Jewett has won more than 900 games in his managerial career and over 200 games as the Indians’ manager. The Tribe has been over .500 in 98% of the time that Jewett has been the manager. Read the full article on the Indians’ website
P Luis Munoz has been moved to Altoona – but only on paper. He remains with the Indians in Richmond, and may start another game for the Tribe later in the week.
Rajai Davis, who was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the San Francisco Giants yesterday, is the starting center fielder in the Giants’ game against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. Davis popped out in his first at-bat, and grounded out in his second at-bat. In the top of the 5th, he reached base on an error, and was stranded there at the end of the inning. In the 8th, he beat out a bunt for an infield hit, and then (no surprise to Indians’ fans) he stole second base. He went to third base easily on a wild pitch, and scored on Bengie Molina’s single. He also made some very nice catches in the outfield, and threw a bullet to second base to allow a tag out on a baserunner who was trying to stretch a double. Joe Morgan and Jon Miller were just gushing over Rajai’s speed.
Go Tribe!

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Indians: Three Homers in the 9th Inning

boxscore photos by NancyZ
Brad Eldred and Jorge Velandia - photo by NancyZ
Durham Bulls’ relief pitcher Brian Shackelford threw one pitch. Indianapolis Indians’ pinch hitter Jose Hernandez saw that one pitch, and lifted it over the left field scoreboard for a two-run walk-off homer, to give the Indians a 5-3 win at Victory Field tonight. It was the Tribe’s third homer of the inning, with Michael Ryan posting a solo homer, and Brad Eldred putting up a two-run shot, as the Indians ended their home stand in dramatic fashion.
(Photo: Brad Eldred takes his lead off second base, with (former Indian) Bull’s shortstop Jorge Velandia behind him.)
The Indians didn’t offer much drama in the early innings of the game. Bulls’ starting pitcher J.P. Howell dominated through the first seven innings. He allowed the Indians only two hits, a double by RF Brad Eldred to lead off the 2nd inning, and a single by 1B Steve Pearce in the 7th inning, for his first AAA hit. Pearce was able to advance to second base on a passed ball, and then to third base on a wild pitch, but was stranded there. In the first inning, Howell walked LF Michael Ryan and hit Pearce with a pitch (photo below). Those were all the base runners Howell allowed. He struck out 12 batters, and struck out two batters in most innings.
Steve Pearce  -- photo by NancyZ
Tribe starter Bryan Bullington pitched 7.1 innings, and was perfect in 5 of those innings. It was in the other innings that the Bulls scored their runs. In the second inning, Bulls’ LF Jon Weber (who managed to hold on to his bat tonight) led off with a triple that bounced off the left-center field wall. He scored on DH Wes Bankston’s sacrifice fly. After 1B Joel Guzman flied out, 3B Brent Butler lined a single into right field. C Josh Johnson lined a ball off the left field scoreboard, and Butler tried to score from first base. He didn’t take Tribe LF Michael Ryan into account, though. Ryan fired the ball in to the infield, where SS Brian Bixler relayed it to C David Parrish, who tagged out Butler before he could cross the plate, ending the inning.

Jeff Andrews, David Parrish, and Bryan Bullington - photo by NancyZ
The Bulls scored again in the 5th inning. With one out, Brent Butler lined a single into center field, and Josh Johnson followed with his third homer of the season, to give the Bulls a 3-0 lead. Former Indianapolis Indian (2005) SS Jorge Velandia and 2B Elliot Johnson followed by hitting back-to-back singles. Indians’ pitching coach Jeff Andrews made a visit to Bullington on the mound (photo), and after that little chat, Bullington struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Bullington started the 8th inning, and retired the first batter, but then walked CF Jason Pridie and hit RF Justin Ruggiano with a pitch. That was the end of Bullington’s outing. He had thrown 105 pitches (68 for strikes), and gave up 7 hits, with 4 strikeouts and one walk. Reliever Brian Rogers entered the game and ended the inning for Bullington with a strikeout and a line out. Rogers also pitched a perfect 9th inning, including two more strikeouts.
Steve Pearce and Bam Bam Meulens -- photo by NancyZ
Bulls’ reliever Chad Orvella came in to pitch in the 8th inning, after J.P. Howell left the game. Orvella gave up a hit to 2B Luis Ordaz, but retired the other three batters.
Then came the bottom of the 9th inning. The Indians were losing 3-0, and down to their last three outs. The faithful in the stands had turned their caps inside out and backwards in hopes of a rally. Michael Ryan led off the inning by blasting a solo homer that just cleared the top of the right field wall, at about 360 feet. Steve Pearce (photo, with Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens) got his second AAA hit, a solid single into left field. 3B Yurendell de Caster hit a screaming liner — but right to Bulls’ left fielder Jon Weber, for one out. Brad Eldred was up next. Eldred fell behind in the count 0-2, plus two foul balls, and then he crushed a towering homer just inside the right field foul pole, to tie the score. CF Luis Matos grounded a double down the left field line, and that sent pitcher Chad Orvella to the showers. Jose Hernandez was announced as the pinch hitter, as lefty Brian Shackelford was brought in to relieve Orvella. Shackelford threw one pitch, and that was the end.
Yurendell de Caster jumps Jose Hernandez after his HR -- photo by NancyZ
?I?ve taken the first pitch in every at-bat for the last two weeks,” said Hernandez in an interview after the game. “Tonight, I decided to take a chance on the first pitch. He (Shackelford) threw the ball over the middle of the plate, and I was fortunate enough to hit it out….It is amazing to get the chance to win a game. When the whole team is waiting at home plate, you know you?re going to get jumped. It?s a great feeling to see them waiting on you.?
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Three home runs in the 9th inning: Michael Ryan, Brad Eldred, and Jose Hernandez.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 2nd inning, Bulls’ Brent Butler was thrown out at home as he tried to score from first base: LF Michael Ryan to SS Brian Bixler to C David Parrish, who applied the tag before Butler could cross the plate.
NOTES:
Roster moves:
Last night’s starter Luis Munoz was assigned to Altoona, though this was reported as just being a move “on paper”, and Munoz is still here in Indianapolis. This move was to make room for:
John Van Benschoten was officially added to the active roster today. He is expected to start in the second game of tomorrow’s double header in Richmond.
Rajai Davis has been traded to the San Francisco Giants. His 21-game hitting streak can’t be extended now. If the Giants should send him to their AAA team (Fresno Grizzlies), that is in the Pacific Coast League, and the PCL stats are separate from the International League stats.
An article by Paul Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Steve Pearce.

He (Pearce) will play first base for Indianapolis, with incumbent first baseman Brad Eldred concentrating more on being a designated hitter and a right fielder.

Go Tribe!

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Rajai Davis Heading West

Rajai Davis -- photo by NancyZ
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Information from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Rajai Davis has been traded to the San Francisco Giants, along with a player to be named later. The Giants will send starting pitcher Matt Morris to the Pirates.
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Some info about Morris:
Matt Morris’s stats, etc..
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Go Tribe!

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