Snell to Miss Next Start

Oliver Perez kicks a laundry bin and breaks a toe. Ian Snell burns himself making a Caesar salad? Courtesy of Jenifer Langosch and Pirates.com: Only days after feeling on top of the world after pitching his first Major League complete game, Ian Snell walked around the clubhouse on Sunday disgusted that he would have to miss his scheduled start on Tuesday due to a blister on his right index finger. “It’s a burn...

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Game #69 vs. White Sox

PNC Park | 1:35 | Duke vs. Javier Vazquez | Box Jason Bay might’ve saved Jose Castillo’s starting job. The Pirates were ahead, 8-5, entering the top of the ninth. Then this happened: Capps pitching. Fields singled to left. Uribe flied out to center fielder McLouth. Cintron pinch-hitting for Hall. Cintron safe on Castillo’s error, Fields to third. Pierzynski pinch-hitting for Thornton. Pierzynski singled to center,...

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Live Blog –Indianapolis vs. Durham

boxscore (Photos by NancyZ)
How about another live blog tonight? The Indians are in Durham to face the Bulls in the third game of a four game series. The Bulls have won the first two games of the series, with their pitching dominating the Tribe batters.
Line Ups:
Indians:
Matt Kata RF
Brian Bixler SS
Yurendell de Caster LF
Brad Eldred 1B
Jose Hernandez DH
Russ Johnson 3B
Luis Matos CF
Nick Green 2B
Carlos Maldonado C
Pitching — Shane Youman (2-5, 4.76 ERA)
For Durham Bulls:
Elliot Johnson 2B
Jorge Velandia SS
Justin Ruggiano RF
Joel Guzman 3B
Brent Butler 1B
Chris Richard LF
Dustin Mohr DH
Josh Johnson C
Jeremy Owens CF
Pitching Mitch Talbot (5-5, 4.86 ERA)
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
Indians 1st Inning
Kata — grounds out to first on 1-0 pitch
Bixler –strikes out swinging (called strike, foul, foul, swinging strike
de Caster — full count, then walks
Eldred (photo)– his grandma is here from Tennesee to watch him play tonight; full count, including some throws over to first. A line drive single into right center for Grandma! And De moves to third base.
Hernandez –strike out. score: 0-0
The Indians are wearing some old-timey (retro) uniforms, all with high socks. Some of them have other team names on the front. Hernandez is wearing one that says “Baltimore” on the front. Not sure what that’s about. OK, the Bulls have weird uni’s on too. Former Indian Velandia is wearing a jersey that says “ABC” on the front.
Bulls 1st inning
E.Johnson — strikes out swinging
Velandia– soft liner to Eldred at first, caught just in fair territory
Ruggiano –strike three again 0-0
OK, Howard Kellman says that both teams are wearing old Negro League uniforms, all different teams and all different numbers. Shane Youman, the only African-American in the Indians line-up tonight, apparently is quite knowledgeable about the Negro Leagues’ history. Manager Trent Jewett and hitting coach Bam Bam Meulens are both wearing their jerseys un-tucked. No, they aren’t being sloppy — this is how some of those old-style jerseys were cut and meant to be worn. Howard says the players were excited to be able to wear these uni’s and were having a blast looking them over and picking which ones to wear.

Tribe 2nd
Johnson — grounds out to the pitcher
Matos–swinging strike out
Green –double into right field, just inside the line, and scoots away from RF Ruggiano.
Maldonado– grounds out to SS 0-0
Meanwhile in Pittsburgh — John Van Benschoten started out by setting the White Sox down in order in the 1st inning. In the second, with one out, JVB gave up a walk to Jermaine Dye and a single to Alex Cintron, then a ground out to Rob Mackowiak scored Dye for the first run. A double by Josh Fields scored Cintron.
Yurendell de Caster -- photo by NancyZ
Bulls’ 2nd
Guzman –ground out, Bixler to Eldred
Butler– pops out to Eldred near the mound
Richard — flies out to De in left field 0-0
Tribe 3rd
Kata — long fly out to the warning track in center field
Bixler –called out on strikes
De Caster –base hit grounded up the middle
Eldred –Another hit for Grandma! a single grounded into left field; men on 1st and 2nd
Hernandez — strikes out swinging 0-0
Columbus’s Brandon Watson got two hits tonight, to extend his hitting streak to 42 games. That ties a 95-year-old International League record set by the Rochester Hustlers’ Jack Lelivelt in 1912.
Bulls’ 3rd
Mohr — singles on the first pitch, into center field
JJohnson –strikeout swinging
Owens –double off the left field wall, also on the first pitch; men on 2nd and 3rd.
EJohnson–strikeout swinging (Youmans’s 4th K) 0-0
In Pittsburgh, JohnnyV put the ChiSox down in order in both the 3rd and 4th innings. He also has 4 strikeouts. He also struck out in his own plate appearance. The Pirates have scored one run, making it 2-1 in the 4th.
Nick Green  -- photo by NancyZ
Tribe 4th
Johnson — flies out to center field
Matos –grounded out to second
Green (photo)–SOLO HOME RUN!!!! Bounced off the top of the wall and into the seats in right field. Oh, the Bulls are trying to say that it should be a ground rule double because it didn’t go over the yellow line at the top of the wall… or was it fan interference?? The umpires confer — they confirm, or at least don’t decide to change, the home run call.
Maldonado — walks
Kata–a liner ripped down the right field foul line, but just barely foul — a long strike — grounds out to pitcher (Tribe 1, Bulls )
Bulls’ 4th
Ruggiano–grounds out to short
Guzman — lines a come-backer right at Youman, who reached his right/glove hand out to the side and snagged it before it hit the ground
Butler–popped first pitch up to Nick Green at second. Eight pitches, three outs. (Tribe 1, Bulls 0)
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
Tribe 5th
Bixler– Liner to the first baseman who dove to make the catch, but pitcher Talbot was late getting over to first base, probably because he thought the ball was going to get through; Bixler is fast, so he got to first base before Talbot could –infield single, but mental error.
De Caster– several throws over to first base trying to get Bixler caught off; now Bix did try to steal, but De fouled the pitch off;
grounded a 6-4-3 double play, started by former Indian Jorge Velandia. That’s the way Velandia played when he was here with the Indians too, so it’s not like we should be surprised.
Eldred (photo) –A HOME RUN FOR GRANDMA!!! Please, Grandma, come to more of the Indians games. You appear to be good luck for Brad.
That’s the end of Talbot, who has pitched 4.2 innings, with 102 pitches (wow!), giving up 2 home runs plus 5 other hits, and walking 5 and striking out 5.
He is replaced by Richard De Los Santos
Hernandez–a little dribbly hit along the third base line that doesn’t go foul, for an infield hit
Johnson –strikes out looking
In Pittsburgh: JohnnyV gave up a walk but left him stranded on base in the 5th inning. In the top of the 6th: a double by Iguchi, a pop out by Pierzynski; Konerko hits into a fielder’s choice/run down, with Iguchi getting out and Konerko ending up on first base; then a walk to Jermaine Dye. That’s all for John Van Benschoten, as John Grabow comes in for relief. Van Benschotens’s line: 5.2 innings, 94 pitches, 2 runs on 3 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. If the Pirates come back to win, he can’t get the win. If they lose, he could get the loss.
Bulls’ 5th
Richard– called out on strikes
Mohr — strike out swinging (6 for Youman)
JJohnson — popped out to shortstop (Tribe 2, Bulls 0)
Tribe 6th
Matos — grounds out to third
Green — also grounds out to third
Maldonado –ground out, with the ball first hitting De Los Santos and then bouncing over to Velandia, who throws on to first just in time to get the not-all-that-speedy Maldonado (Tribe 2, Bulls 0)
Bulls’ 6th
Owens– strikes out swinging; apparently the Bulls are free-swingers, who average 9 strikeouts per game; this is Youman’s 7th
EJohnson–double down the left field line, into the bullpen and over to the stands where a fan reached over and touched it
Velandia — pop out to right field
Ruggiano –looped into right field for an RBI single, and Elliot Johnson scores; Jeff Andrews makes a brief trip out to the mound for a few words with Youman — a very few words.
Guzman– grounds out to Bixler, who stays with a nasty hop, makes the barehand catch and toss to second, to force out Ruggiano at second and end the inning. (Tribe 2, Bulls 1)
Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Tribe 7th De Los Santos pitching
Kata– his first hit with the Indians! He smashed a grounder to the infield side of first base, which the first baseman Butler dove for. But the ball bounced off his glove — and right to second baseman Elliot Johnson. But then Johnson threw wide to first base, and Kata was safe.
Bixler– several pick-off attempts, but Kata keeps getting back safely. Pitch hits Bixler square on the left shoulder — he’s been hit by the pitch 9 times this season, leading the club. Bixler isn’t hurt — he quickly jogs down to first base. Men on first and second.
de Caster — pop out to left field
Eldred — first pitch — flies out to right field. Did Grandma go to get a snack?
Hernandez — walks to load the bases with two out
Johnson(photo) –bouncer through the infield into right, for an RBI single — Kata and Bixler score (RBI’s #27 and #28 for Russ); Hernandez reaches third as the throw home is not in time to get Bixler as he slides in. Two out and men on first and third.
Matos –lines a single into left field, and Hernandez can easily trot home; RBI # 20 for Luis, and men on first and second
Pitching change — De Los Santos is out (2 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 BB, 1 K), and Jon Switzer enters.
Green –flies out to Velandia in short left field. (Tribe 5, Bulls 1)
In Pittsburgh, in the 8th inning, White Sox 5, Pirates 1, with Dan Kolb pitching.
Bulls’ 7th Youman still pitching
Butler– fly out to Matos in center field
Richard –swinging strike out (Youman’s 8th)
Mohr — full count, swinging strike out (Youman has reached the Bull’s average of 9 strikeouts) (Tribe 5, Bulls 1)
Tribe 8th Switzer pitching
Maldonado — called strike three
Kata– batting lefty now, against the lefty Switzer; pops out to left center field
Bixler –swinging strikeout, chasing an outside pitch (Tribe 5, Bulls 1)
Franquelis Osoria  -- photo by NancyZ
Bulls’ 8th Youman still pitching, around 85 pitches so far
JJohnson — struck out looking (10 for Youman)
Owens — single to left field, his second hit of the game
EJohnson — lined into right field for a single, Owens gets around to third base
That’s all for Youman, who has thrown 95 pitches, 68 for strikes. A very nice game for Youman — 7.1 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, zero walks, 10 strikeouts. Franquelis Osoria enters in relief.
Velandia — swinging bunt, along the third base line, Osoria grabs it and fires to first just in time to get Velandia. Two out, runners on second and third.
Ruggiano– first pitch is a ground ball to Bixler at shortstop, on to first for the third out. (Tribe 5, Bulls 1)
Tribe 9th Switzer still pitching
de Caster — fly out to center field
Eldred — fly out to left field just in front of the warning track; 3 for 5 on the night
Hernandez –fly out to center field (Tribe 5, Bulls 1)
Bulls’ 9th Franquelis Osoria pitching
Guzman — singles into center field
Butler– strikes out looking
Richard– single into left field, men on first and second.
Mohr –DOUBLE PLAY to end the game! The first pitch is hit right to Green who is standing right on second base as he fields the ball. Green fires to first for the final out.
Final score: Tribe 5, Bulls 1
Shane Youman was credited with the win, his 5th. His record is now 3-5, with a 4.44 ERA. Franquelis Osoria got his 5th save of the season. He went 1.2 innings, giving up 2 hits and no runs, with one strike out.
The Indians had 11 hits in the game, with everyone in the lineup but Maldonado getting at least one. Brad Eldred led the hit parade with 3 hits, including a homer. Nick Green had two hits, a double and a homer. After the game, Eldred talked about his hitting tonight: “Before the game, I talked with [hitting coach Hensley] “Bam Bam” [Meulens] about getting comfortable in the batter’s box. I concentrated on that in each of my at-bats tonight, and it definitely helped. Hopefully, it will carry on to the next game…. I have tweaked my batting stance a little, and I am seeing the ball better. I am now crouching a little, and trying to get closer to eye level with the ball. That change in approach has definitely helped me.”
Starter Mitch Talbot took the loss for the Bulls, his 6th of the season. He gave up 2 of the Indians’ runs, and De Los Santos gave up the other 3. Switzer finished the game for the Bulls, going 2.1 innings, and striking out two, while not giving up any hits or walks. Elliot Johnson and Jeremy Owens each had two hits for the Bulls.
The Indians have now won their 40th game of the season, for a 40-27 record. Durham’s record is 34-35.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brad Eldred, going 3 for 5 in front of his Grandma (and probably other family members too), including a home run.
Note to Brad’s Grandma — Please come to lots more of the Indians’ games!
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Shane Youman’s terriffic 7.1 innings pitched, including 10 strikeouts, plus Franquelis Osoria’s finishing it up and making it look easy, including fielding a swinging bunt and firing to first base to get out Jorge Velandia.
Final in Pittsburgh: White Sox 6, Pirates 1
John Van Benschoten did get the loss, having given up the first two runs to the Sox in his 5.2 innings pitched. John Grabow pitched 1.1 innings, and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, including a homer to Josh Fields. Dan Kolb pitched one inning, and gave up one run on 2 hits, and Tony Armas also pitched one inning and gave up one run on two hits. Rajai Davis started in center field, since Chris Duffy injured his hamstring last night. Rajai went 1 for 4, with a single. Ryan Doumit caught the game, and he went 2 for 4, with an RBI. His batting average is now .328.

NOTES:
C Humberto Cota and reliever Josh Sharpless will be joining the Tribe when they return to Victory Field on Monday.
Because this still leaves the bullpen short, reliever Mike Nannini was promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis for a few days. Nannini is a 26 yr old righty, who has appeared in 14 games with the Curve this year. His record is 1-1, no saves, with a 4.95 ERA. In 20 innings pitched, he’s given up 20 hits and 11 earned runs, with 5 walks and 19 strikeouts. He last pitched on Tuesday, so should be available any time this weekend.
Go Tribe!

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Indians Lose Third Straight

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.
Einar Diaz -- photo by NancyZ
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.
Jesse Chavez  -- photo by NancyZ
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.
NOTES:
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.
Josh Sharpless -- photo by NancyZ
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
Go Tribe!

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Game #68 vs. White Sox; Return of Van Benschoten

PNC Park | 7:05 | Van Benschoten vs. Mark Buehrle | Box Over 36,000 fans showed up on Saturday night to watch the Pirates lose, 6-1. When John Van Benschoten left the game in the sixth inning, the packed house rose to its feet, giving the feel-good story a standing ovation for his efforts. At first glance, Van Benschoten’s line—5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K—seems good, not great. When you learn that both of those runs...

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Game #67 vs. White Sox

PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Jon Garland | Box Jack Wilson played like a man possessed, Paul Maholm dominated a weak White Sox lineup and at the end of the night, the Pirates had won convincingly, 4-2. Maholm settled down considerably after a rough first inning: White Sox first: Iguchi struck out. A.Gonzalez walked. On Maholm’s wild pitch, A.Gonzalez to second. Konerko walked on a full count. Dye singled to left, A.Gonzalez to...

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