PNC Park | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Roy Oswalt | Box Carlos Lee went yard in the first inning, 11 Pirates were left on base, and the Astros finally earned a win against Pittsburgh in 2007. You knew it’d be ugly as soon as you saw the lineup card. No sign of Cesar, but Matt Kata started at third and hit second. Charlie wrote about the five easy outs in our lineup, all in a row, that exist on a nearly daily basis. He calls it...
(photos by NancyZ)
The lead changed hands several times, and the home runs flew over the walls, and broken bats sent splinters flying through the infield — but when it all ended, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees were on top, 7-6, sweeping the four-game series with the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field tonight.
Indians’ starter Marty McLeary (photo) pitched only 4 innings, but threw a total of 93 pitches. He threw 34 pitches in facing only 5 batters in the first inning, and 12 of those pitches went to Yankees’ lead-off batter CF Brett Gardner. With the count 2-2, Gardner fouled off 7 more of McLeary’s pitches before finally stroking a single into left field. McLeary struck out the next two batters, RF Justin Christian and LF Kevin Reese, and Reese added to McLeary’s pitch count by running the count full and fouling off another one of McLeary’s pitches. Then 1B Shelley Duncan singled, scoring Gardner. DH Erubiel Durazo also ran the count full before he grounded out to end the inning.
The Indians came right back in the bottom of the first inning, when LF Michael Ryan (photo) lifted a solo home run over the right field wall to tie it up. 1B Jose Hernandez followed with a double to deep right field. He moved to third on DH Brad Eldred’s single to left field, and scored when 3B Russ Johnson lined a single into right field for the go-ahead run.
In the second inning, McLeary allowed only a walk, but pitched deep into the count on three of the four batters he faced. He also racked up more pitches in the 3rd inning, as the Yankees re-took the lead. Just as light rain passed through downtown Indianapolis, RF Justin Christian got an infield hit on a swinging bunt. 1B Shelley Duncan hit his 25th homer of the season, a liner over the left-field wall, for two RBI. That put the score at 4-2 in favor of the Yankees.
The Yankees added two more runs in the 4th ining, as Marty McLeary continued to go deep into counts. With one out, the Yankees’ “other Duncan” — 3B Eric Duncan — smashed another homer over the right-field wall. 2B Andy Cannizaro singled into right-center field, and C Raul Chavez hit another one to nearly the same spot, for an RBI double, to score Cannizaro. Two line outs, by Brett Gardner and Justin Christian, ended the inning and McLeary’s evening. He finished having given up 5 runs, all earned, on 7 hits and one walk, while striking out two.
The Indians wasted no time in coming right back at the Yankees. Brad Eldred led off the bottom of the 4th inning with a single into left field, shattering his bat in the process. The largest length of the barrel landed at the edge of the outfield grass between shortstop and third base. Eldred promptly stole second base (photo) to move into scoring position. Russ Johnson grounded right back to Yankees’ starter Russ Ohlendorf, who whirled toward second base, and caught Eldred in a run-down. Eldred decoyed and delayed long enough for Johnson to reach second base before he was tagged out.
CF Chris Aguila singled, sacrificing another bat, and sending large splinters all over the infield, with the biggest piece landing behind the pitcher’s mound. Johnson ducked all the splinters as he reached third base. C Carlos Maldonado plated Johnson when he slapped a grounder deep to third base. Yankees’ 3B Eric Duncan fielded it cleanly, but his throw to first base bounced and 1B Shelley Duncan could not come up with it, putting Maldonado safely at first base. RF Adam Boeve singled into left field for the RBI, as Aguila easily scored ahead of the throw home (photo), and the Indians had moved back to within one run of the Yankees, 5-4.
With Marty McLeary heading for the showers, reliever Jesse Chavez came in to pitch the 5th and 6th innings for the Indians. Chavez gave up two walks in the 5th and a single to Brett Gardner in the 6th, but kept the Yankees from scoring.
The Tribe took the lead in the 6th inning. Yankees’ starter Ross Ohlendorf exited the game after pitching 5 innings and giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits. Reliever Chris Britton came in to pitch the 6th, and started by walking Carlos Maldonado (photo). Three consecutive singles, by 2B Luis Ordaz, Adam Boeve, and Brian Bixler scored Maldonado for the tie (Bixler’s RBI). LF Michael Ryan made the first out on a foul pop up. Luis Ordaz scored when 1B Jose Hernandez tapped a slow grounder to the shortstop. The Yankees were able to force out Bixler at second, but the play was too slow to get Hernandez at first for the double play, and the go-ahead run scored.
Indians’ Mark Corey came in to start the 7th inning. He walked LF Kevin Reese, then got Shelley Duncan to pop out to Luis Ordaz at second base. Reese was then thrown out trying to steal second base. DH Erubiel Durazo walked, and manager Trent Jewett brought Josh Sharpless in to pitch. Sharpless promptly gave up back-to-back singles to SS Angel Chavez and Eric Duncan, scoring Durazo. 2B Andy Cannizaro walked to load the bases with two out and the score tied 6-6. C Raul Chavez came to the plate, and worked a full count, fouled off one more pitch, and then took a mighty swing — striking out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
Franquelis Osoria (photo) set the Yankees down in order in the 8th inning. In the top of the 9th, though, he started the inning by hitting Shelley Duncan with a pitch, then giving up a single to Erubiel Durazo, moving Duncan to third base — runners on the corners and no outs. Angel Chavez grounded a quick little hop to 2B Luis Ordaz, which moved Durazo to second base, but kept Duncan from trying to make it home. Eric Duncan was intentionally walked to load the bases and hopefully set up the double play. But instead of grounding to the infield, Andy Cannizaro lifted a fly ball deep enough to left-center field for Shelley Duncan to score on the sacrifice fly. Another fly ball ended the inning, but the Yankees had regained the lead, 7-6.
Yankees’ Ben Kozlowski pitched scoreless 7th and 8th innings in relief. He allowed only one hit, Adam Boeve’s third of the game, and walked two, while striking out three Tribe batters. Former Indian Jim Brower came in to close the game. Russ Johnson (photo) led off the bottom of the 9th with a single to left field, and was replaced by pinch-runner Luis Matos. Matos was left stranded on base when the next three batters quickly struck out, lined out, and flied out.
Ben Kozlowski got the win for the Yankees, improving his record to 3-6 for the season. Jim Brower earned his 19th save, and his third in this 4-game series against his former teammates. Franquelis Osoria took the loss for the Indians, his 4th of the season. The Indians put up 13 hits, including 3 singles by Adam Boeve, 3 singles by Brad Eldred, and two singles by Russ Johnson.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Michael Ryan’s 9th home run of the season, tying him with Brad Eldred for the team lead. Jose Hernandez is next on the list, with 8 home runs.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 5th, with two out and runners on first and second bases, Yankees’ Eric Duncan slapped a grounder just barely inside the right foul line. Jose Hernandez snagged it as it was deep behind first base, which at least kept it from going into right field. Then he turned and threw to pitcher Jesse Chavez, who was racing over from the mound, seeing that the ball was not going into right field. Chavez barely beat Duncan to the bag for the third out of the inning.
The Pirates acquired INF Cesar Izturis from the Chicago Cubs today. In order to make room for Izturis on the roster, Don Kelly was (again) designated for assignment.
Brad Eldred now has 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts this season. He stole second base in the 4th inning, and then stole third base in the 5th, on a double steal paired with Russ Johnson.
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