boxscore (Photos by NancyZ)
The Durham Bulls’ pitchers dominated again last night, as the Bulls beat the Indianapolis Indians in the second game of their four-game series, by a score of 2-1. It was the Indians’ third loss in a row, beginning on Tuesday in Charlotte. Indians’ reliever Juan Perez gave this assessment of the Bull’s pitching after the game: “The Durham pitchers have been very tough over the last two games. [Jeff] Niemann was nasty last night. He had everything working for him and was striking out batters with ease. [Jae Kuk] Ryu pitched great tonight. He had good control of all his pitches.”
Bulls’ starter Jae Kuk Ryu (pronounced like the letters: J-K-U ) got his first win of the season with the Bulls, going 5 innings and giving up only three hits and one earned run. He struck out 7 Indians’ batters and didn’t walk any. Ryu gave up a single to Tribe SS Brian Bixler to start the third inning, and Bixler stole second base. Unruffled, Ryu proceeded to strike out the next three batters, leaving Bixler in scoring position.
The Tribe did get to Ryu in their half of the 5th inning. DH Russ Johnson led off the inning by lining a single into left field. RF Michael Ryan flied out for the first out. A wild pitch by Ryu allowed Johnson to move to second base, and Chris Aguila’s ground out moved Johnson to third base. Einar Diaz (photo below) doubled to left field, scoring Johnson.
Durham used three relief pitchers after Ryu left the game. Jeff Ridgeway came in to pitch the 6th and 7th innings. He struck out the side in the 6th inning, and in the 7th he gave up a double to Michael Ryan, but left him stranded on base as he retired the rest of the side. Seth McClung and Chad Orvella each pitched one perfect inning for the Bulls, with Orvella striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced to earn the save.
Left-hander Mike Tejera returned to the starting rotation for the Tribe for the first time in about a month. He gave up only 6 hits for 2 earned runs and one walk in 5 innings, but those 2 runs were all the Bulls needed, and Tejera recorded his first loss of the season.
The Bulls scored put the first of their two runs on the board in the first inning. With two out, Tejera walked DH Justin Ruggiano, and 3B Joel Guzman doubled to right field, knocking in Ruggiano. Guzman was surprised when Tribe RF Michael Ryan got the ball back to the infield very quickly, and 2B Luis Ordaz and 1B Brad Eldred caught Guzman off second base, and tagged him out in a quick run-down, to end the inning.
In the 3rd inning, C Michel Hernandez lifted a solo homer to center field, for the Bull’s second run. 2B Elliot Johnson followed the home run with a smash to left field. He didn’t have much chance to keep the rally going any further, though. Tribe LF Chris Aguila, just off the DL, fired the ball in to second base, where 2B Luis Ordaz turned and tagged Johnson as he slid into the bag, keeping Johnson to a single and an out instead of a double.
Tejera allowed 3 more hits over the next 2 innings, but those baserunners were left on base without scoring. Reliever Jesse Chavez (photo) pitched the last 3 scoreless innings for the Tribe, giving up only 2 hits and one walk while striking out 3.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Einar Diaz’s RBI double to left field, which scored Russ Johnson for the Indians’ only run of the game.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Chris Aguila’s great throw from left field in the 3rd inning, to get Elliot Johnson out as he tried to stretch a single into a double. It squelched the Bull’s rally, changing the situation from “a man on second with only one out” into “no one on base and two out”. It also had an effect later in the game: when Joel Guzman singled into left in the next inning, he did not try to challenge Aguila’s arm again, and he remained at first instead of taking the chance of stretching it for a double. Two batters later, when Chris Richard singled to right, Guzman advanced from first base to third base — rather than being on second and advancing from second to home to score another run.
Plenty of Roster Moves:
INF Chris Truby has been placed on the Disabled List, retroactive to Wednesday (13th).
OF Chris Aguila has been moved off the DL; he’d been on the DL for 10 days due to an oblique muscle injury.
To make room on the Pirates’ roster for pitcher John Van Benschoten, the Pirates have sent reliever Josh Sharpless (photo) to the Indians. Sharpless, a 6′ 6″ and 230 lb right-hander, has been with the Pirates for about 3 weeks. During that time, he pitched in 6 games going 4.1 innings, and giving up 6 runs on 7 hits, including 3 home runs.
C Humberto Cota has cleared waivers, and has accepted his assignment to Indianapolis. He is expected to arrive in Indy on Monday. The Indians currently have three catchers on the roster: Carlos Maldonado, Einar Diaz, and David Parrish. Four catchers on the roster? Not going to happen. So look for another roster move in the next couple of days.
The Pirates have signed a minor league contract with Matt Kata, a switch-hitter who can play both infield and outfield. He will be assigned to Indianapolis — no word yet on when he’ll arrive. He has been playing this season for the Texas Rangers this season, where he appeared in 31 games, hitting .186 with 2 homers and 6 RBI. He was designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday of this week. Kata played for the Louisville Bats in 2006. Kata has above average speed on the base-paths, and might be used as a lead-off batter for the Tribe.
JohnnyV’s Big Day:
John Van Benschoten will return to the major leagues tonight (Saturday) for the first time since 2004. He will start the game against the Chicago White Sox at 7:05 pm. For those with satellite or who are within range, the game is scheduled to be on WGN television.
Former Indians on the Bulls’ roster: Chris Richard, Jorge Velandia
Former Bulls on the Indians’ roster: Luis Ordaz, Russ Johnson
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