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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Game #112 at San Francisco

AT&T Park at PacBell/Candlestick Yards | 10:15 | Morris vs. Russ Ortiz | Box The Pirates rallied for six runs in the 8th to take this one. The big blow was a go ahead two run single from Freddy Sanchez. Matt Morris was ineffective. He gave up 758 to Barry Bonds and allowed five runs overall in six innings pitched. The 8th inning rally made a winner out of John Grabow who entered the 7th with runners on the corner and none out to...

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Pirates Acquire Barry Bonds for 2008 Season

1. Freddy Sanchez, 2b 2. Adam LaRoche, 1b 3. Jason Bay, lf 4. Barry Bonds, rf 5. Xavier Nady, cf 6. Jose Bautista, 3b 7. Ronny Paulino, c 8. Brian Bixler, ss Would you welcome Barry back to Pittsburgh in 2008? Without a doubt he’ll be interested in playing another season as he attempts to reach 3,000 hits. As he’s proven this year, he can still mash with the best of ‘em. PNC Park’s right field is small enough...

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NYP League All-Stars

The All-Star Team rosters for the New York-Penn League have been announced. Each team in the league sends a minimum of two players to the All-Star Game. Five of the players on the National League Affiliates’ team are members of the State College Spikes.
milb.com article
Tony Watson
This 22 year old left-handed pitcher was drafted by the Pirates in the 9th round in 2006. He has started his first professional season with 9 strong starts for the Spikes. His record is 6-1, with a 2.77 ERA in 48.2 innings. He has walked only 8, while striking out 37. His longest start was on July 6th, when he pitched 6.2 innings for the win. He has thrown at least 5 innings in each of his starts. In his last start, on August 4th, he gave up 6 runs — the only start in which he’s given up more than two runs.
Justin Byler
The 22 year old Byler is in his second year of professional baseball. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 36th round in 2005, and split the 2006 season between the GCL Pirates (42 games) and the Williamsport Crosscutters (12 games) in the NY-P league. He hit .306 with the GCL Pirates and was named to the GCL All-Star team. This season, Byler has continued to shine in the outfield. He is hitting a team-leading .313 in his 44 games with the Spikes, with 11 doubles, 4 HR, and also leading the team with 25 RBI. He seems to like hitting on the road — his batting average in 20 away games is .355.
Austin McClune
At age 19, McClune is the youngest player on the Spikes, and only one year out of high school. He was drafted by the Pirates in the 7th round of the 2006 draft. He played with the GCL Pirates in 2006, hitting .291 with 10 RBI. This season with the Spikes, McClune is hitting .305 in 39 games, with 14 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He shares the team lead with 3 triples, and he has shown himself to have a strong arm in the outfield. In the month of July, McClune hit at a .338 clip, with 6 RBI.
Keanon Simon
This 22 year old outfielder was drafted by the Pirates just two months ago, in the 25th round. He hit .336 with 6 HR, 25 RBI, and 15 stolen bases in his final year at Oklahoma State University, and then started his professional career with the Spikes. In 32 games, he is hitting .307, with 7 doubles and 13 RBI. Simon also hits well on the road — he has a .463 in his 12 road games this season.
Nick Stillwagon
Stillwagon is a 24 year old catcher, who was born in Spain, at Torrejon Air Force Base. He went to high school in Biloxi, MS, and then attended Faulkner University. In his first professional season last year, he hit .265 with 6 RBI in 16 games with the GCL Pirates, and went 1-2 in one game with Hickory. This season, Stillwagon has caught about half of the Spikes’ games, and has been instrumental in helping many of the Spikes’ pitchers do well. He is hitting .247 with 2 HR and 9 RBI.
For those of us who will not be able to get to the Fishkill/Wappingers’ Falls area of New York next Tuesday (August 14th), the game will be available on milb.com TV at 7:35 pm Eastern Time.
Go Spikes!

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More Booms, But From the Wrong Side for the Tribe

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
The Louisville Bats got their revenge on the Indianapolis Indians tonight, after last night’s 13- 5 win by the Tribe. The Bats hit four home runs, including two grand slams, as they got back at the Tribe, winning by a score of 16-1, at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky. The game time temperature was 97 degrees, which certainly didn’t help the Indians at all.
Indians’ starter Marty McLeary did not appear to have good control of his slider tonight. He struggled through two innings, giving up 6 runs (5 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks. The unearned run came in the bottom of the first inning. LF Chris Dickerson led off with a ground ball into right field for a double. Tribe RF Steve Pearce, in his second game ever as a right fielder, had trouble picking up the ball as it bounced around in the right field corner, and Dickerson went to third base. A sacrifice fly by 1B Joey Votto brought in Dickerson for the Bats’ first run of the game.
Josh Sharpless -- photo by NancyZ
The second inning spelled big trouble for McLeary. RF Jay Bruce led off with a single, and 2B Jorge Cantu and C Ryan Hanigan both walked, loading the bases with no one out. SS Paul Janish stepped to the plate and blasted a grand slam over the left field wall. After a quick fly out by pitcher Richie Gardner, Chris Dickerson also homered, bringing the lead to 6-0. McLeary gave up another single, to Joey Votto, before ending the inning. McLeary had thrown 49 pitches by that time, and he was removed from the game after just those two innings.
Josh Sharpless (photo) came in from the bullpen to pitch the next two innings. He gave up a harmless single in the 3rd, but he also had “grand” trouble in the 4th inning. Two walks and another single to Joey Votto loaded the bases again with one out. Then Aaron Herr smashed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give Louisville a 10-0 lead.

Steve Pearce -- photo by NancyZ
Reliever Brian Rogers was the next pitcher in from the Tribe bullpen. He set down the Bats in order in the 5th inning. In the 6th inning, Rogers gave up a single to CF Josh Hamilton and a walk to Aaron Herr, but got out of the inning without allowing a run to score when he struck out Jay Bruce for the third out.
Meanwhile, Louisville starter Richie Garder was holding the Indians’ batters scoreless for the first 5 innings. He allowed only two hits, singles to 1B Brad Eldred and pinch-hitter Yurendell de Caster, and two walks, to C David Parrish and RF Steve Pearce, over 5 innings. The Tribe got on the board in the 6th inning, when Pearce (photo) lifted a long fly ball over the left field wall near the foul line for a solo home run. Reliever Todd Coffey came in for Gardner, and gave up a triple to Eldred before Luis Matos grounded out to end the inning.
Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Jonah Bayliss pitched the 7th inning for the Indians. He struck out Jorge Cantu before giving up a single to Ryan Hanigan, a double to Paul Janish, and a single to pitcher Todd Coffey, who had his first professional RBI as Hanigan came in to score. A four-pitch walk to Chris Dickerson loaded the bases. Josh Hamilton hit a screaming line drive, but right to Tribe 2B Luis Ordaz, for the second out. Joey Votto gave the Indians a scare and the Bats’ fans a thrill when he lifted a fly ball down the left field line — but the ball went foul. He then singled into center field, bringing in two more runs, and raising the score to 13-1. That was the end of Jonah Bayliss’s pitching, and Tribe Manager Trent Jewett called down to the bullpen and brought in a new pitcher… Russ Johnson (photo). Yes, Russ Johnson, the veteran infielder, brought in to pitch.
Johnson has pitched before. In 2004, when he played with the Iowa Cubs (AAA), he pitched in two games, for a total of 4 innings, gave up r hits and a home run, walked three and struck out one, and had a 6.75 ERA. Johnson entered tonight’s game with two outs and runners on first and second bases. He first faced Aaron Herr, who had homered earlier in the game. On a 1-2 pitch, Herr lifted Johnson’s pitch over the right field wall for a 3-run homer. Johnson then got Jay Bruce to fly out to end the inning. Score: Bats 16, Tribe 1.
Luis Ordaz -- photo by NancyZ
Johnson returned to pitch the bottom of the 8th inning. He gave up a double to Jorge Cantu and a single to Ryan Hanigan. Then he got Paul Janis to ground into a double play, 3B Jose Hernandez to 2B Luis Ordaz (photo) to 1B Brad Eldred, and got pinch hitter Chad Moeller to fly out, ending the inning without allowing a run to score.
Reliever Todd Coffey pitched two more perfect innings for the Bats, setting 6 Tribe batters down in order. Bill Bray came in to pitch the 9th inning, and he also set the Tribe down in order to end the game.
Starter Richie Gardner took the win for the Bats, his 4th of the season. Marty McLeary was charged with the loss, his 5th of the season with the Tribe. The Indians managed only 4 hits, the homer by Steve Pearce, a single and a triple by Brad Eldred, and a single by Yurendell de Caster.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Steve Pearce’s home run, the only run and RBI by the Tribe. It was Pearce’s 4th homer for the Indians, and his 3rd in the past 3 games.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Russ Johnson, an infielder, helping out the team by coming in to pitch 1.1 innings. He gave up a home run in the 7th, but then came back to pitch a scoreless inning in the 8th.
NOTES:
Michael Ryan left last night’s game in the 3rd inning because of a hip injury. He didn’t play in tonight’s game.
RHP Victor Zambrano, recently released by the Toronto Blue Jays, was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and signed to a minor league contract. He will be assigned to Indianapolis, and is scheduled to be tomorrow night’s starting pitcher.
Go Tribe!

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Game #111 at Arizona

Chase Field | 9:40 | Snell vs. Doug Davis | Box After the first inning, it was all Doug Davis. He yielded a two run homer to Jason Bay in the first and that was about it. The Bucs hit into three double plays to help kill off whatever chance they had. The good news is that Ian Snell was effective. He struck out seven and allowed only two runs in six innings pitched. The Bucs dropped two of three to Arizona, but when I take a step back,...

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