Pitching Dominates as Tribe Falls

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Matt Kata-- photo by NancyZ
The Toledo Mud Hens beat out the Indianapolis Indians last night at Victory Field by a score of 4-2, in a game dominated by the pitchers. Dennis Tankersley led the way for the Mud Hens, throwing 111 pitches in 8 innings to earn his 9th win of the season. He held the Indians to only 5 hits and walked 3 batters, while striking out 8. Indians’ starter Bryan Bullington pitched 6.1 innings, only getting into difficulties in the 7th inning. He took the loss, his 6th of the season.
The Indians struck first, in the bottom of the first inning. Lead-off man CF Matt Kata (photo) popped a single into left-center field, and moved to second base when SS Brian Bixler walked. LF Michael Ryan, who was honored as the Indians’ July Player of the Month in a pre-game ceremony, smashed a bases-clearing triple down the right field line for two RBI.
Trent Jewett and Michael Ryan  -- photo by NancyZ
Hens’ starter Dennis Tankersley finished the first inning with two strikeouts, and then settled in, holding the Indians to just three more hits. He set the Tribe down in order in 4 of the next 7 innings. The Indians’ biggest threat came in the 4th inning. Michael Ryan (photo, with manager Trent Jewett) had 3 of the Indians’ 5 total hits, including a second triple, to lead off the 4th inning. After DH Brad Eldred looked at a called third strike, 3B Yurendell de Caster was hit by a pitch and RF Adam Boeve walked, loading the bases. But Tankersley got out of trouble by inducing 2B Luis Ordaz to ground into a double play, ending the threat.
Ryan also singled in the 6th inning, and Adam Boeve singled in the 7th inning, but both were left stranded on base. Reliever Jose Capellan, in only his third appearance since joining the Mud Hens, earned his first save for the Hens by pitching a perfect 9th inning.

Jeff Andrews, David Parrish, Bryan Bullington  -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ starter Bryan Bullington (photo, with pitching coach Jeff Andrews and catcher David Parrish) pitched 6 scoreless innings, giving up only 2 hits. He faced the minimum number of batters in only one inning, but was not fazed by the scattered hits and walks. By the end of the 6th inning, he had thrown 74 pitches. In the top of the 7th, though, things fell apart. Hens’ 3B Mike Hessman made the first out by popping up to Tribe C David Parrish. Then 1B Chris Shelton singled on a liner up the middle, and 2B Henry Mateo doubled down the left field line, moving Shelton to third. A wild pitch to C Dane Sardinha allowed Shelton to score. Then Sardinha blasted a long high fly ball over the 410′ mark in straight-away center field, which landed in the ground cover in front of the pine trees. That gave the Mud Hens’ a 3-2 lead, and ended Bullington’s night.
Lefty reliever Juan Perez entered the game, and got two quick outs to end the 7th inning. He also started the 8th inning with two fly ball outs, and then was removed, as manager Trent Jewett wanted a right-handed pitcher. Brian Rogers came in and finished the 8th inning with a ground out to shortstop.
Luis Ordaz  --photo by NancyZ
Rogers came back for the 9th inning, and Toledo added an insurance run. Mike Hessman led off with a double into the right-center field gap, and Chris Shelton moved him to second with a single. Rogers struck out Henry Mateo and Dane Sardinha, but on Sardinha’s third strike, Shelton took off for second base. Tribe C David Parrish threw to Luis Ordaz (photo) at second base, with Shelton caught only about half way between first and second. As soon as Parrish threw, though, Hessman left third base to steal home. Ordaz alertly fired home, but the throw was wide. Hessman scored, and Shelton advanced to third base on the throwing error. CF Andres Torres was up next, and he was awarded first base on a catcher’s interference call on Parrish. That didn’t matter, though, as the inning ended when 1B Steve Pearce went to his right to catch a screaming line drive off the bat of SS Ramon Santiago.
Michael  Ryan  -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gem of the night: Michael Ryan (photo, clowning with the Pirate Parrot and Indians’ personnel) hit two triples, plus a single, and had the two RBI for the Indians. ?I was seeing the ball well tonight, said Ryan, in a post-game interview. “It was a big honor for me to get the Player of the Month award so I had some adrenaline going into the game. I just wish we could have come out on top.?
Indians’ defensive gem of the night: In the top of the 5th inning, 3B Yurendell de Caster made a diving catch, going to his right, of Henry Mateo’s grounder that was about to go up the line and into left field. De Caster jumped to his feet and threw a clothesline to Steve Pearce at first base, to just get Mateo.
Brad Eldred and Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
(photo — Brad Eldred and Russ Johnson)
NOTES:
Michael Ryan was named the Indians’ Player of the Month for July, and he was awarded a watch in the pre-game ceremony. During the month of July, Ryan hit .299, with 10 HR and 25 RBI. Those 10 homers led the International League for the month. He also had 10 multi-hit games, and had a .691 slugging percentage.
Before Ryan’s two triples today, the last time a single Indians’ player had hit two triples in one game was on June 6th, when Brian Bixler tripled in both the 1st and 8th innings against the Rochester Red Wings.
Luis Ordaz’s throwing error in the 9th inning was only his fourth error of the season.
Go Tribe!

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Indians and Bats Split Series

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Steve Pearce and Bam Bam Meulens  -- photo by NancyZ
(photo — Steve Pearce and Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens)
The Indianapolis Indians and the Louisville Bats must have used up all their surplus hits over the past two nights, because they didn’t seem to have many to spare in tonight’s game at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY. The Indians had put up 23 hits in the past two games, but only could manage 5 hits tonight. The Bats had a total of 27 hits over the last two games, but they could only come up with 4 in tonight’s game. The one hit advantage tonight was not enough for the Tribe, though, as they lost to the Bats by a score of 4-2.
The Indians also featured a new teammate tonight. Starter Victor Zambrano had not pitched since early July, when he was released by the Toronto Blue Jays. He has been with the Indians, throwing side sessions and getting ready to pitch again. Tonight he had his first appearance with the Indians.
Zambrano started off by walking the first batter, LF Chris Dickerson, and then giving up a single to RF Josh Hamilton, which moved Dickerson to third base. 1B Joey Votto grounded into a double play, erasing Hamilton, but Dickerson scored from third base on the play (no RBI for Votto). 3B Aaron Herr ended the inning with a pop out.
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians came right back in the top of the 2nd inning. RF Brad Eldred (photo) lined a ball into left field, which bounced for a ground rule double. Yurendell de Caster singled, and then moved to second base on a wild pitch by Bats’ starter Tom Shearn. CF Luis Matos hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Eldred to tie the game. De Caster, who had moved to third on the sacrifice fly, scored when Shearn threw another wild pitch that went all the way to the backstop, and the Indians took the lead.
Victor Zambrano set the Bats down in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, but gave up an unearned run in the 4th inning. Josh Hamilton reached base safely when Tribe SS Don Kelly misplayed a ground ball. He stole second, and moved to third base when Joey Votto grounded out. Another fielding error, this one by 3B Jose Hernandez when a grounder bounced off his glove and over toward shortstop, put Aaron Herr on base, and allowed Josh Hamilton to score. Zambrano struck out CF Jay Bruce, and then 2B Jorge Cantu was out on a running catch of a line drive by Tribe LF Michael Ryan to end the inning.

Yurendell de Caster -- photo by NancyZ
(Photo — Yurendell de Caster)
That was the extent of Zambrano’s first outing. He threw 55 pitches (34 for strikes) in 4 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on only one hit and one walk, while striking out 5 Louisville batters. Juan Perez entered the game in relief, and pitched on inning. He gave up two hits and one walk, for two runs in the 5th inning. C Ryan Jorgensen led off the inning with a walk, and SS Paul Janish doubled. Perez got two quick outs, a line out and a strikeout, then a single by Josh Hamilton scored both Jorgensen and Janish. Perez struck out Joey Votto to end the inning.
Tom Shearn pitched 7 innings for Louisville, giving up those two 2nd inning runs and 4 hits, while striking out 6. After that shaky second inning, Shearn settled down. He put the Tribe batters down in order in several innings, and allowed only two more hits, to Jose Hernandez and Steve Pearce. Hernandez was left stranded, and Pearce was erased on a double play.
Steve Pearce -- photo by NancyZ
Marcus McBeth pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Bats, and Ricky Stone came on to pitch the 9th inning. The Indians tried to make it interesting in the 9th, as Steve Pearce (photo) got his second hit of the game with two out, on a fly ball to LF. It wasn’t clear at first whether or not Bats’ LF Chris Dickerson had come up with the ball, and Pearce wasn’t sure either — he hesitated after rounding first base. Dickerson had caught the ball but then immediately dropped it, and then picked it up again, and Pearce was safe at second base. Tribe LF Michael Ryan ran the count full, and then grounded out to end the inning, with Pearce still on second base.
Jesse Chavez pitched the 6th and 7th innings for the Tribe. He faced only one batter over the minimum, when Paul Janish singled. Bret Prinz came in to pitch the ninth, and he struck out three straight batters on 18 pitches (lots of foul balls).
Tom Shearn earned the win, lifting his record to 6-10. Ricky Stone earned his 12th save of the season. Victor Zambrano pitched well in his first appearance with the Indians, though he did not factor into the decision, as the score was tied when he left the game. Juan Perez took his second loss of the season.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Steve Pearce, with two of the Indians’ five hits, a single and a surprise double in the 9th inning.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Michael Ryan made a spectacular catch in the bottom of the 4th. With two out and one runner on base, Jorge Cantu stroked a liner into left field. Ryan came running in, and made a sliding back-hand catch, for the third out of the inning.
Russ Johnson and Jose Hernandez -- photo by NancyZ
(photo — Russ Johnson and Jose Hernandez)
NOTES:
Victor Zambrano was added to the Indians’ roster today, though he’s been with the team for a few days.
Last night’s emergency pitcher/infielder Russ Johnson was placed on the Disabled List, making room on the roster for Zambrano.
Go Tribe!

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