Game #125 at Colorado

Coors Field | 9:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Josh Fogg | Box The Pirates brought out the bats in Denver. The Lumber Company popped a season high six dingers to support the sparkling effort of Tom Gorzelanny. Nate McLouth hit two. Jack Wilson continued his hot hitting with a homer and three RBI. Freddy Sanchez had four hits and a homer. Jason Bay and Xavier Nady also went downtown. Josh Fogg was yanked after allowing McLouth’s homer...

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One Inning Sinks Bullington and Indians

Boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
If the Indians had a genie in a lamp, they would make a wish to eliminate the fourth inning from tonight’s game.
A pitching duel between starting pitchers Bryan Bullington and Virgil Vasquez, with later assistance by Tribe relievers Brian Rogers and Josh Sharpless, ended with Vasquez pitching a 2-hitter complete game shutout, and the Toledo Mud Hens beating the Indianapolis Indians by a score of 4-0. In an interview after the game, Indians’ managwer Trent Jewett praised Vasquez’s winning effort: “(Virgil) Vasquez certainly dominated the game. You have to tip your cap to a guy who pitches that well. He kept our guys off balance the entire night. That’s the name of the game –throwing strikes and keeping the opposition off balance.”
Bryan Bullington  -- photo by NancyZ
Starting pitchers Bullington (photo) and Vasquez kept a scoreless tie going for the first 3.5 innings of the game. Vasquez gave up a single to CF Andrew McCutchen, and struck out 4 Tribe batters. Bullington gave up a single to DH Timo Perez, and he struck out 2 Mud Hens’ batters.
Things changed for Bullington in the bottom of the 4th inning. With no score and one out, Timo Perez doubled, and advanced to third base on a throwing error by Tribe RF Yurendell de Caster. LF Jason Perry grounded to Tribe 2B Brian Bixler (photo below), who fielded the ball and fired to C David Parrish, who easily tagged out Perez as he tried to score, on what clearly appeared to be a baserunning blunder. Bullington walked both RF Brent Clevlen and 3B Mike Hessman, loading the bases. 1B Chris Shelton then cleared the bases with a grand slam, giving the Mud Hens a 4-0 lead.
Brian Bixler  -- photo by NancyZ
Bullington had the bases loaded again in the 5th inning. With one out, CF Andres Torres tripled into center field. A ground out, and two more walks, to Timo Perez and Jason Perry, loaded the bases with two out. This time, Bullington got out of the jam, striking out Brent Clevlen to end the inning.
Bullington threw 89 pitches (54 strikes) in his 5 innings. He gave up 4 hits, including the grand slam, and 4 walks, while striking out a total of 5 batters. “Outside of the fourth inning, I thought Bullington pitched well,” said manager Trent Jewett. “That fourth inning was a tough one. We made a mistake in the outfield. Toledo made a mistake on the base paths. Then, it looked like we’d get through the frame without any damage, but Toledo’s hitters did a nice job working counts and (Toledo 1B Chris) Shelton had the big grand slam.”

Brian Rogers -- photo by NancyZ
Meanwhile, Virgil Vasquez was busy keeping the Indians off the basepaths for nine innings. He gave up a walk to 2B Brian Bixler, and two singles to CF Andrew McCutchen. And that was all. McCutchen got as far as second base, once on a subsequent ground out, and once on a throwing error on Vasquez’s pick-off attempt, and Bixler moved to second base on defensive indifference in the 9th inning. No Indians got as far as third base.
Reliever Brian Rogers (photo) took over for Bullington in the 6th inning. He pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one walk while striking out two. Josh Sharpless pitched the final inning, giving up a double to Brent Clevlen and striking out one.
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Andrew McCutchen’s two singles were the only hits the Indians had, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t good hits. McCutchen is hitting .429 in his first 5 games with the Indians. Manager Trent Jewett is very pleased with McCutchen’s work: “McCutchen seems to be making the transition — from Double-A to Triple-A– quite well. He’s had a strong first week, and we hope that continues through the end of the season.”
Steve  Pearce -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the bottom of the third inning, Andres Torres put down a bunt towards the first base side of the infield. When Bryan Bullington stumbled as he came off the mound, 1B Steve Pearce (photo) came in to field the ball. 2B Brian Bixler saw Bullington having trouble and Pearce snatching up the ball, and he dashed over to first base to take the throw from Pearce, and slid into first base, to beat Torres to the bag for the out.
Go Tribe!

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Game #124 at Colorado

Coors Field | 9:05 | Armas vs. Elmer Dessens | Box Ian Stewart’s career checklist: Make the Show – check Get a hit – check Hit a homer – check Hit a grand slam – check Stewart accomplished the final two of the above in beating back Tony Armas and the Pirates. Stewart came into the game with 7 career ABs and only one career start. Elmer Dessens wasn’t around for the decision. Taylor Buchholz tossed...

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Grabow to Have Surgery, Welker Shut Down

Given the headlines that are flying these days, I figured it was time for a quick media watch. The latest and greatest surrounding your Pittsburgh Pirates… In his Pirates Notebook this morning, Dejan Kovacevic mentions that left-handed reliever John Grabow will have surgery this off-season to remove bone chips from his elbow. If you remember, Grabow was sidelined for the latter half of Spring Training, then started off slow...

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Indians Win on Three Hits in the 10th

boxscore ( photos by NancyZ)
Jose Hernandez  --  photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians and the Toledo Mud Hens played through the rain at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH. Unlike previous games in Toledo this season, this time the Indians held on to the three-run lead they took in the top of the 10th inning, to beat the Mud Hens by a score of 6-3.
It had rained for most of the day in Toledo, and though the rain stopped for the afternoon, it started up again just before game time. Starting in the rain, Indianapolis took the first lead, putting up one run in the top of the second inning. 1B Steve Pearce led off the inning with a single lined into right field. He moved to second base on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a ground out by 3B Neil Walker. Another ground out by DH Jose Hernandez (photo) scored Pearce, giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Andrew Miller started for the Mud Hens and pitched three innings in his second rehab appearance for Toledo. He struck out 5 Tribe batters in those three innings, and gave up only that one single to Pearce and the run in the second inning.
Michael Ryan -- photo by NancyZ
Yorman Bazardo, who was supposed to have started the Hens’ rained out game yesterday, came in to pitch in the top of the 4th inning, as if in a piggy-back arrangement. With one out in the 4th, LF Michael Ryan (photo) lifted a long fly ball that just cleared the top of the right field wall for a solo homer, his 16th of the year. After another out, 3B Neil Walker was hit by a pitch. He stole his first base at the AAA level, and then moved to third when the throw from Mud Hens’ C Dane Sardinha sailed high and into right field. Jose Hernandez hit an infield single to deep behind shortstop, which allowed Walker to score. RF Brad Eldred hit a bloop into right field, but a spectacular sliding catch by Toledo RF Brent Clevlen turned it into an out, preventing another run from scoring. Still, the Indians were ahead 3-0.

Victor Zambrano  -- photo by NancyZ
The Mud Hens threatened against Tribe starter Victor Zambrano (photo) in the bottom of the 4th. Zambrano seemed to suddenly lose his control, as he walked the first batter, SS Omar Infante on four pitches, then went 2-1 on LF Timo Perez before getting Perez to fly out, then walked DH Jason Perry also on four pitches. Infante stole third base without drawing a throw. Then Zambrano settled down and struck out 1B Chris Shelton and the dangerous 3B Mike Hessman to retire the side without allowing a run to score.
Zambrano got into difficulty again in the next inning. The lead off batter, Bret Clevlen tripled into center field, and then 2B Henry Mateo walked and stole second base. With runners on second and third bases, Zambrano got one out when C Dane Sardinha drilled a liner right at Tribe SS Brian Bixler. Then he walked CF Andres Torres to load the bases, and manager Trent Jewett came out to get Zambrano. Reliever Jesse Chavez entered the game in relief. He first faced Omar Infante, who hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field, bringing in Clevlen from third base with the Mud Hens’ first run of the game. Timo Perez tied the game up with a two RBI-double that went all the way to the right field wall, and Jason Perry grounded out to end the inning.
Don Kelly -- photo by NancyZ
Chavez pitched 2.2 innings, giving up only the double to Infante and striking out one, while facing the minimum number of batters in the 6th and 7th innings. Lefty Dave Davidson entered the game to pitch the 8th and 9th innings. He gave up one hit and struck out three Mud Hens’ batters.
Yorman Bazardo held the Indians scoreless for 5 more innings after giving up two runs (one earned) in the 4th inning. That put the game into extra innings, and reliever Jose Capellan came in to pitch the top of the 10th inning. Capellan started the inning by giving up 3 consecutive hits: a double to pinch hitter Don Kelly (photo), a single to Andrew McCutchen, and another single to Brian Bixler, which drove in Kelly with the go-ahead run. A fielding error by Toledo LF Timo Perez allowed the flying McCutchen to score all the way from first base, never even thinking about slowing down as he approached third base. Bixler moved to second on the error and advanced to third base on Michael Ryan’s fly out. Steve Pearce hit a grounder to third base. Hens’ 3B Mike Hessman threw home, but Bixler scored ahead of the throw. A ground out and a fly out ended the inning, with the Indians holding on to a 3-run lead.
Bret Prinz came in to pitch the bottom of the 10th for the Indians. Andres Torres led off with a single, and stole second base. Omar Infante fouled off several pitches before striking out. Timo Perez similarly fouled off several of Prinz’s pitches, and then he hit a pop foul near third base for the second out. Prinz then struck out Jason Perry for the final out of the game.
Dave Davidson earned his first AAA win, and Bret Prinz earned his 6th save with the Indians. Jose Capellan took the loss, his first with the Mud Hens. Andrew McCutchen had 3 hits for the Indians, and Steve Pearce had 2 hits. Michael Ryan had the solo homer, and Pearce and Don Kelly each had a double.
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Three consecutive hits by Don Kelly, Andrew McCutchen, and Brian Bixler in the top of the 10th, giving the Indians the lead and the win.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Reliever Bret Prinz’s pitching performance in the 10th inning. He gave up a single, but then put down the next three batters, as they fouled off many of his pitches, to hold on to the lead.
NOTES:
Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker each had his first stolen base with the Indians in tonight’s game.
An article about Carlos Maldonado and his first MLB start this season: here
Go Tribe!

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Game #123 at Colorado

Coors Field | 9:05 | Morris vs. Ubaldo Jimenez | Box The Bucs did it again. Josh Phelps hit an 8th inning PH HR to tie the score at 2. The Bucs used Brian Fuentes wildness and an error to push two runs across in the 11th to win it. Fuentes walked Cesar Izturis and plunked Matt Kata. Freddy Sanchez blooped a single for the go ahead run and an error later in the inning from Garret Atkins scored Kata for the final tally. Matt Herges, who...

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