Indians Lose a Tight One to Bats

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Michael Tejera  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians could not get any runs across against the Louisville Bats tonight, as they lost to the Bats by a score of 1-0 at Slugger Field in Louisville. The Bats out-hit the Indians, 11 – 5, though not even the Bats could put a run on the board until the 8th inning.
Left-hander Michael Tejera (photo) started the game for the Indians. He was shaky in the first inning, starting off by giving up three consecutive singles to the top of Louisville’s order: CF Ryan Freel, LF Jeff Keppinger, and 2B Mark Bellhorn. With the bases loaded, Tejera seemed to settle down, and he struck out 3B Aaron Herr. Then he got 1B Jesse Gutierrez to ground into a double play, to get out of the inning without a run scoring.
Tejera worked out of a jam again in the 3rd inning. With one out, Jeff Keppinger singled, then Mark Bellhorn struck out, and then Aaron Herr smashed a double into left field, just past Tribe 3B Russ Johnson’s reach, putting runners on the corners. Tejera got Jesse Gutierrez to again ground out, this time to Johnson, who charged the ball and fired to first for the third out — again without a run scoring.
Brian Bixler  -- photo by NancyZ
The next two innings were relatively simple for Tejera, but the Bats threatened again in the 6th inning. After striking out Aaron Herr, Tejera hit Jesse Gutierrez with a pitch. A line drive single to center by RF Jeff Bannon moved Gutierrez to second. C Ryan Hanigan slapped a grounder deep to shortstop, which looked like it was going to score at least one run, if not more. He didn’t count on Tribe SS Brian Bixler, though. Bixler (photo) dove and stopped the ball, and when he popped up, he discovered that he still had time to throw to second base, forcing out Bannon. Gutierrez moved to third, and there were runners on the corners, but with two outs. Tejera intentionally walked SS Pedro Lopez to load the bases, and then P Bobby Livingston flied out, ending the inning. Once again, no runs scored.
Meanwhile, Bats’ starter Bobby Livingston was handling the Indians’ batters well. In the first 6 innings, he scattered 2 hits and a walk — a double to SS Brian Bixler in the 1st inning, a single to 3B Russ Johnson in the 2nd inning, and the walk to the newest Indian, LF Adam Boeve, in the 4th. The closest the Indians came to threatening against Livingston was in the 7th inning, when C Humberto Cota singled, and Johnson smashed his 14th double of the season. That was all the Indians could do, though.
Michael Tejera pitched 6 scoreless innings, while giving up 8 hits and one intentional walk, and striking out 3 Louisville batters. He was asked about his pitching after the game: “I’m real happy with my performance tonight. I gave us a chance to win the game, and that’s the goal of every starting pitcher. I was throwing my sinker for strikes, and working the bottom half of the zone. Most of Louisville’s hits were on the ground and through the holes. There’s nothing I can do about that.”

Josh Sharpless  -- photo by NancyZ
Reliever Josh Sharpless (photo) entered the game in relief of Tejera in the 7th inning. CF Ryan Freel, with Louisville on a rehab assignment from the Cincinnati Reds, led off with a walk, then stole second base, and advanced to third base when C Humberto Cota’s throw went into the outfield. Sharpless struck out Jeff Keppinger and then intentionally walked Mark Bellhorn, putting runners on the corners. Once again, the Tribe middle infield came to the rescue, as Aaron Herr grounded to SS Brian Bixler, who started the Tribe’s second double play of the game, going Bixler to 2B Luis Ordaz to 1B Brad Eldred, ending the inning without allowing a run again.
The Bats also put in a reliever, Jared Burton, replacing Bobby Livingston at the top of the 8th inning. Livingston pitched 7 scoreless innings, giving up 4 runs and one walk, with one strikeout. Burton pitched a scoreless inning, despite giving up a hit to Michael Ryan, who had entered the game in a double-switch.
Brian Bixler, Luis Ordaz, Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
(Photo — the infield double play trio: Brian Bixler, Luis Ordaz, Brad Eldred )
The bottom of the 8th was the “big” inning for Louisville. Jesse Gutierrez, who had grounded into a double play to end the 1st inning and grounded out to end the 3rd inning, had a much better at-bat in the 8th. With Josh Sharpless still pitching, he lifted a fly ball over the left field wall, for the only run of the game. The Bats tried to add an insurance run, with singles by Ryan Hanigan and Pedro Lopez. Yet again, the middle infield got the critical play when needed, with Brian Bixler scooping up a grounder from Ryan Freel to force Lopez out at second base, ending the inning.
The Indians tried to rally in the top of the 9th, but could only work a walk to Adam Boeve before Jared Burton shut them down to end the game. Burton got the win for the Bats, his first of the season. Josh Sharpless, who gave up the homer to Gutierrez, took the loss, his second of the season. Jeff Keppinger had 3 hits for the Bats, and Ryan Hanigan had two hits.
“Tonight was a really good ball game on both sides”, said Michael Tejera after the game. “It’s unfortunate that we had to lose it… This is a very experienced team with a lot of talent. We’ve been playing well for the majority of the season, and we need to fight through this bump in the road. I’m confident we’ll bounce back and return to the way we were playing the first two months of the season.”
The Durham Bulls beat the Toledo Mud Hens 3-1 tonight, so the Tribe doesn’t fall any further behind Toledo in the standings. However, the Bats gained a game on the Indians, in their pursuit of second place.
Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Russ Johnson (photo) had 2 of the Indians’ 5 hits, including a double, making him 2 for 3 on the night. In his last three games, Russ has 5 hits in 8 at-bats.
Indians’ defensive gems of the game: Brian Bixler showed why he deserves to be the starting shortstop for the International League’s All-Star team. He started two inning-ending double plays, which kept runs from scoring, and he made a diving stop of a sharply-hit grounder by Ryan Hanigan, keeping another run from scoring.
NOTES:
Question:
What former Indianapolis Indians have been named to one of the major league All-Star teams? (answer below)
Roster Move:
Adam Boeve  -- photo by NancyZ
Adam Boeve (rhymes with “movie”), the Indians’ Rookie of the Year in 2006, has been promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis, taking the roster spot that became available when Einar Diaz was placed on the Disabled List. Boeve has been hitting .291 with 12 homers and 42 RBI with the Curve this year.
Fielding Excellence:
Two of the Indians are leading the league in fielding percentage at their position.
Luis Ordaz has the best fielding percentage of all International League second basemen: .993
Russ Johnson has the best fielding percentage of all IL third basemen: .980
Streaking:
Brian Bixler’s double in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 8 games.
Answer:
Milwaukee Brewers’ P Ben Sheets (Indy Indians 2000-01) and SS J.J. Hardy (Indy Indians 2004) have both been named to the National League’s All-Star Team.
Go Tribe!

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Game #82 vs. Milwaukee

PNC Park | 7:05 | Van Benschoten vs. Jeff Suppan | Box His face was long afterward, too. “Jim Tracy told us it was a very important game tonight, and I knew that,” Masumi Kuwata said in a hushed tone. “But I didn’t pitch well.” The score was knotted at three after five, and the Pirates were hanging with the Brew Crew. Until the seventh inning, that is: Brewers seventh: Kuwata pitching. Paulino in as...

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Indians’ Kelly is the Hero

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Don Kelly -- photo by NancyZ
Don Kelly (photo) was the Big Hero at Victory Field this afternoon, as he hit a walk-off single to score Carlos Maldonado from third base. With that winning run, the Indianapolis Indians beat the Richmond Braves by a score of 8 – 7. The win gives the Indians a sweep of the short 2-game series against the Braves. Since the Toledo Mud Hens lost to the Durham Bulls today, this win moves the Indians up to 2 games behind the first-place Mud Hens in the International League West Division. It was also manager Trent Jewett’s 200th victory with the Indians.
The game started with right-hander Kip Bouknight (pronounced BOCK- night) making his debut with the Indians, after being promoted from the AA Altoona Curve. Bouknight has had AAA-level experience in the past, pitching for New Orleans in the Washington Nationals’ organization last season. He has been described as a control pitcher, but that control seemed to elude him as the game got underway. Bouknight threw a lot of pitches for balls in the first inning, and walked two batters, putting runners on the corners with only one out. He got former Indianapolis Indian 1B Graham Koonce to put up a timely pop out, and then got LF Doug Clark to slap a grounder to SS Don Kelly for the third out.
Kip Bouknight  -- photo by NancyZ
Bouknight (photo) continued to have problems with control and continued to throw balls in the next innings. In the 2nd, former Pirate farmhand SS Brent Lillibridge led off with a single to center field, and then stole both second and third bases. He scored when C Iker Franco grounded out. In the 3rd, with one out, Bouknight gave up a single to 2B Martin Prado, then back-to-back walks to RF Larry Bigbie and Graham Koonce. The middle infield rescued Bouknight though, with a sharp double play, 2B Luis Ordaz to SS Don Kelly to 1B Yurendell de Caster.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Bouknight did something that probably involved magic: he transferred whatever it was that was sabotaging his control (gremlins? a nasty virus? an evil curse?) to Richmond starter Blaine Boyer. Boyer had held the Indians to one lone walk to 3B Russ Johnson in the first two innings. In the third inning, the Indians controlled Boyer. C Carlos Maldonado led off the inning by lining a single down the right field line. Pitcher Kip Bouknight (photo below) bunted the first pitch he saw foul, and then showed bunt again for the second pitch. It was a trick, though — as the second pitch came to the plate, and Braves’ 3B Wes Timmons came in on the infield, Bouknight pulled the bat back and swung away, popping a single into left field, just out of the reach of Timmons and the SS Lillibridge. That proved to be the turning point of the inning.
Kip Bouknight bunts -- photo by NancyZ
Boyer hit Luis Matos with a pitch to load the bases. Then he walked the next two batters, SS Don Kelly and LF Michael Ryan, walking in two runs. A sacrifice fly by 3B Russ Johnson scored Matos to put the Indians up 3-1. RF Brad Eldred also walked, loading the bases again. 1B Yurendell de Caster struck out and 2B Luis Ordaz flew out to end the inning.
With his gremlins or curses safely handed off to the opposition, Kip Bouknight seemed to have more control over the next three innings. He gave up a hit in the 4th to C Iker Franco, but erased him with a double play. He gave up a walk to CF Gregor Blanco in the 5th inning, followed by a single to Martin Prado, which moved Blanco to third base. A sacrifice fly by Larry Bigbie scored Blanco. LF Doug Clark blasted a home run past the scoreboard beyond the sidewalk above the right field berm to lead off the top of the 6th inning, tying up the score again, 3-3.
Michael Tejera pinch hits -- photo by NancyZ
It wasn’t tied for long, though. Buddy Hernandez entered the game in the bottom of the 6th to relieve Blaine Boyer. With one out, Carlos Maldonado singled, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Michael Tejera (photo). It was the second game in a row in which pitcher Michael Tejera pinch-hit. Luis Matos put down a routine grounder to Braves’ SS Brent Lillibridge, but Lillibridge’s throw to first base went wide to the outfield side of the bag, sending Matos to second base and scoring Maldonado with the go-ahead run. Don Kelly ripped a double into left field, scoring Matos as well.
Reliever Mark Corey took over for Kip Bouknight to pitch the 7th inning. Corey gave up a hit to Gregor Blanco, but the Indians turned their 3rd double play of the game to end the inning easily.

Brad Eldred  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians threatened in the bottom of the 7th, when it looked like they might be able to take advantage of another Richmond error. Russ Johnson led off with a single, and Brad Eldred (photo) followed with a grounder to third. Braves 3B Timmons scooped up the grounder, but his throw to second base to force out Johnson went wide, and both runners were safe. Yurendell de Caster dropped a short dribbler to the pitcher Hernandez, who quickly whirled and threw to third base, forcing out Johnson. Two line-drive outs to RF Larry Bigbie ended the inning without any runs scoring.
Reliever Jonah Bayliss, in his second appearance for the Indians since joining the team, came in to pitch the 8th inning. Larry Bigbie welcomed Bayliss by smacking a single into right field, and then stealing second base. After a strikeout by Graham Koonce, Doug Clark lifted a fly ball down the right field foul line, which left the field of play just on the inside of the foul pole, for a 2-run home run — tied up again, this time at 5-5.
Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Again, the tie didn’t last long. Braves’ Manny Acosta relieved Hernandez in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Luis Matos walked, and Don Kelly had his second hit of the game, moving Matos to second base. Russ Johnson (photo) smashed a grounder down the left field line for a 2-run double, to again take the lead as Matos and Kelly scored. Johnson took third base on the throw in, and Brad Eldred was intentionally walked. Because of strategic double-switching when Jonah Bayliss entered the game, this brought Bayliss to the plate, for the first time in his professional career. Bayliss went after the first pitch he saw, and grounded it to Graham Koonce at first base for the third out.
The Braves came right back in the top of the 9th. With Jonah Bayliss still on the mound, and one out, 3B Jon Schureholz, who had entered the game as part of the double switch, smacked a double to left-center field. Gregor Blanco hit a towering fly ball that drifted foul, and was caught by Don Kelly, who ran all the way to the stands behind third base to make the play. That was the second out, and people in the stands rose to their feet as Martin Prado ran the count full against Bayliss, and then fouled off another pitch… and then lifted a rising fly ball over the left field wall, for a 2-run homer to once again tie the score.
Don Kelly is congratulated -- photo by NancyZ
Once again, the Indians went to the plate, needing to break the tie. Manny Acosta was still pitching for Richmond. Luis Ordaz led off by driving a liner into right field, but right to RF Larry Bigbie for the first out. Carlos Maldonado looped a single into left-center field, and Brian Bixler, who had also entered the game on a double-switch, hit a single up the right field line, moving Maldonado to third base. Luis Matos lifted a fly ball to center field for the second out. That brought up Don Kelly, who smacked a 1-2 pitch into right field for a single, allowing Maldonado to score the winning run. The crowd did indeed go wild, and Kelly’s teammates enthusiastically congratulated him on his walk-off single (photo).
Manny Acosta took the loss for the Braves, for his 3rd loss of the season. Jonah Bayliss had both the blown save and the win, his first with the Indians. Don Kelly and Carlos Maldonado each had 3 hits for the Tribe, and Maldonado also scored three times. Russ Johnson had 2 hits, and he and Kelly each had 3 RBI.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Don Kelly, who was 2 for 21 since joining the Indians entering the game, had three hits, and three RBI, including the game-winning single.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Three double plays by the Indians. Two were 2B Luis Ordaz to SS Don Kelly to 1B Yurendell de Caster, and one was Kelly to Ordaz to de Caster.
NOTES:
Injury Update:
Jose Hernandez’s injury last night was due to his leg colliding with Braves’ C Corky Miller’s leg and foot. Hernandez had some cuts from Miller’s cleats, which are expected to heal without any problems. He should be able to return to play in a few days.
Einar Diaz was not so lucky. His injury yesterday occurred as he was crossing home plate with the tying run in the 7th inning. As he came across the plate, he reached down to pick up the bat that was lying next to the plate and the baseline. As he reached, his foot slipped and he went down, tearing his right patellar tendon. Einar has been placed on the Disabled List and is not expected to return this season.
McCauley and Kellman -- photo by NancyZ
Other stuff:
Indians’ broadcasters Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley were doing their broadcast from the stadium concourse today, like they do on most Sunday games. So, they were asked to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the 7th inning stretch today. They did a great job, and even added the Harry Caray-like “Let’s get some runs!” at the end.
Go Tribe!

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Duke Hits the DL, Sanchez is an All-Star and More

Let’s catch up with the weekend headlines. It was a busy couple of days not only in Pittsburgh, but around Major League Baseball as well. Two Pirates hit the disabled list, two more could represent the club at the All-Star game, two teams changed managers, and so on. Here are the quick hits: *** Zach Duke was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, and Shane Youman was called up from Indianapolis...

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Indians’ Kelly is the Hero

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Don Kelly -- photo by NancyZ
Don Kelly (photo) was the Big Hero at Victory Field this afternoon, as he hit a walk-off single to score Carlos Maldonado from third base. With that winning run, the Indianapolis Indians beat the Richmond Braves by a score of 8 – 7. The win gives the Indians a sweep of the short 2-game series against the Braves. Since the Toledo Mud Hens lost to the Durham Bulls today, this win moves the Indians up to 2 games behind the first-place Mud Hens in the International League West Division. It was also manager Trent Jewett’s 200th victory with the Indians.
The game started with right-hander Kip Bouknight (pronounced BOCK- night) making his debut with the Indians, after being promoted from the AA Altoona Curve. Bouknight has had AAA-level experience in the past, pitching for New Orleans in the Washington Nationals’ organization last season. He has been described as a control pitcher, but that control seemed to elude him as the game got underway. Bouknight threw a lot of pitches for balls in the first inning, and walked two batters, putting runners on the corners with only one out. He got former Indianapolis Indian 1B Graham Koonce to put up a timely pop out, and then got LF Doug Clark to slap a grounder to SS Don Kelly for the third out.
Kip Bouknight  -- photo by NancyZ
Bouknight (photo) continued to have problems with control and continued to throw balls in the next innings. In the 2nd, former Pirate farmhand SS Brent Lillibridge led off with a single to center field, and then stole both second and third bases. He scored when C Iker Franco grounded out. In the 3rd, with one out, Bouknight gave up a single to 2B Martin Prado, then back-to-back walks to RF Larry Bigbie and Graham Koonce. The middle infield rescued Bouknight though, with a sharp double play, 2B Luis Ordaz to SS Don Kelly to 1B Yurendell de Caster.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Bouknight did something that probably involved magic: he transferred whatever it was that was sabotaging his control (gremlins? a nasty virus? an evil curse?) to Richmond starter Blaine Boyer. Boyer had held the Indians to one lone walk to 3B Russ Johnson in the first two innings. In the third inning, the Indians controlled Boyer. C Carlos Maldonado led off the inning by lining a single down the right field line. Pitcher Kip Bouknight (photo below) bunted the first pitch he saw foul, and then showed bunt again for the second pitch. It was a trick, though — as the second pitch came to the plate, and Braves’ 3B Wes Timmons came in on the infield, Bouknight pulled the bat back and swung away, popping a single into left field, just out of the reach of Timmons and the SS Lillibridge. That proved to be the turning point of the inning.
Kip Bouknight bunts -- photo by NancyZ
Boyer hit Luis Matos with a pitch to load the bases. Then he walked the next two batters, SS Don Kelly and LF Michael Ryan, walking in two runs. A sacrifice fly by 3B Russ Johnson scored Matos to put the Indians up 3-1. RF Brad Eldred also walked, loading the bases again. 1B Yurendell de Caster struck out and 2B Luis Ordaz flew out to end the inning.
With his gremlins or curses safely handed off to the opposition, Kip Bouknight seemed to have more control over the next three innings. He gave up a hit in the 4th to C Iker Franco, but erased him with a double play. He gave up a walk to CF Gregor Blanco in the 5th inning, followed by a single to Martin Prado, which moved Blanco to third base. A sacrifice fly by Larry Bigbie scored Blanco. LF Doug Clark blasted a home run past the scoreboard beyond the sidewalk above the right field berm to lead off the top of the 6th inning, tying up the score again, 3-3.
Michael Tejera pinch hits -- photo by NancyZ
It wasn’t tied for long, though. Buddy Hernandez entered the game in the bottom of the 6th to relieve Blaine Boyer. With one out, Carlos Maldonado singled, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Michael Tejera (photo). It was the second game in a row in which pitcher Michael Tejera pinch-hit. Luis Matos put down a routine grounder to Braves’ SS Brent Lillibridge, but Lillibridge’s throw to first base went wide to the outfield side of the bag, sending Matos to second base and scoring Maldonado with the go-ahead run. Don Kelly ripped a double into left field, scoring Matos as well.
Reliever Mark Corey took over for Kip Bouknight to pitch the 7th inning. Corey gave up a hit to Gregor Blanco, but the Indians turned their 3rd double play of the game to end the inning easily.

Brad Eldred  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians threatened in the bottom of the 7th, when it looked like they might be able to take advantage of another Richmond error. Russ Johnson led off with a single, and Brad Eldred (photo) followed with a grounder to third. Braves 3B Timmons scooped up the grounder, but his throw to second base to force out Johnson went wide, and both runners were safe. Yurendell de Caster dropped a short dribbler to the pitcher Hernandez, who quickly whirled and threw to third base, forcing out Johnson. Two line-drive outs to RF Larry Bigbie ended the inning without any runs scoring.
Reliever Jonah Bayliss, in his second appearance for the Indians since joining the team, came in to pitch the 8th inning. Larry Bigbie welcomed Bayliss by smacking a single into right field, and then stealing second base. After a strikeout by Graham Koonce, Doug Clark lifted a fly ball down the right field foul line, which left the field of play just on the inside of the foul pole, for a 2-run home run — tied up again, this time at 5-5.
Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Again, the tie didn’t last long. Braves’ Manny Acosta relieved Hernandez in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Luis Matos walked, and Don Kelly had his second hit of the game, moving Matos to second base. Russ Johnson (photo) smashed a grounder down the left field line for a 2-run double, to again take the lead as Matos and Kelly scored. Johnson took third base on the throw in, and Brad Eldred was intentionally walked. Because of strategic double-switching when Jonah Bayliss entered the game, this brought Bayliss to the plate, for the first time in his professional career. Bayliss went after the first pitch he saw, and grounded it to Graham Koonce at first base for the third out.
The Braves came right back in the top of the 9th. With Jonah Bayliss still on the mound, and one out, 3B Jon Schureholz, who had entered the game as part of the double switch, smacked a double to left-center field. Gregor Blanco hit a towering fly ball that drifted foul, and was caught by Don Kelly, who ran all the way to the stands behind third base to make the play. That was the second out, and people in the stands rose to their feet as Martin Prado ran the count full against Bayliss, and then fouled off another pitch… and then lifted a rising fly ball over the left field wall, for a 2-run homer to once again tie the score.
Don Kelly is congratulated -- photo by NancyZ
Once again, the Indians went to the plate, needing to break the tie. Manny Acosta was still pitching for Richmond. Luis Ordaz led off by driving a liner into right field, but right to RF Larry Bigbie for the first out. Carlos Maldonado looped a single into left-center field, and Brian Bixler, who had also entered the game on a double-switch, hit a single up the right field line, moving Maldonado to third base. Luis Matos lifted a fly ball to center field for the second out. That brought up Don Kelly, who smacked a 1-2 pitch into right field for a single, allowing Maldonado to score the winning run. The crowd did indeed go wild, and Kelly’s teammates enthusiastically congratulated him on his walk-off single (photo).
Manny Acosta took the loss for the Braves, for his 3rd loss of the season. Jonah Bayliss had both the blown save and the win, his first with the Indians. Don Kelly and Carlos Maldonado each had 3 hits for the Tribe, and Maldonado also scored three times. Russ Johnson had 2 hits, and he and Kelly each had 3 RBI.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Don Kelly, who was 2 for 21 since joining the Indians entering the game, had three hits, and three RBI, including the game-winning single.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Three double plays by the Indians. Two were 2B Luis Ordaz to SS Don Kelly to 1B Yurendell de Caster, and one was Kelly to Ordaz to de Caster.
NOTES:
Injury Update:
Jose Hernandez’s injury last night was due to his leg colliding with Braves’ C Corky Miller’s leg and foot. Hernandez had some cuts from Miller’s cleats, which are expected to heal without any problems. He should be able to return to play in a few days.
Einar Diaz was not so lucky. His injury yesterday occurred as he was crossing home plate with the tying run in the 7th inning. As he came across the plate, he reached down to pick up the bat that was lying next to the plate and the baseline. As he reached, his foot slipped and he went down, tearing his right patellar tendon. Einar has been placed on the Disabled List and is not expected to return this season.
McCauley and Kellman -- photo by NancyZ
Other stuff:
Indians’ broadcasters Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley were doing their broadcast from the stadium concourse today, like they do on most Sunday games. So, they were asked to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the 7th inning stretch today. They did a great job, and even added the Harry Caray-like “Let’s get some runs!” at the end.
Go Tribe!

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Indians Win One (Game) But Lose Two (Players)

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Bryan Bullington -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians edged out the Richmond Braves by a score of 5-4 at Victory Field last night, coming back from a 2 run deficit by scoring 3 runs in the 7th inning. But the Indians also had two players injured, both while trying to cross the plate. INF Jose Hernandez injured his left leg in the 4th inning, as he was tagged out trying to score from second base on a single by Humberto Cota. C Einar Diaz, who had pinch-hit in the 7th inning, injured his right leg, probably the knee, as he crossed the plate to score the tying run. There has been no word yet on the extent of either player’s injury or how long to expect either of them to be unable to play.
Bryan Bullington (photo) started the game for the Indians. He pitched two perfect innings against the Braves, followed by two innings where he gave up only a lone hit in each. One Richmond runner was left stranded on base, and the other was erased in an excellent double play by the Indians’ middle infield, 2B Brian Bixler to SS Luis Ordaz to 1B Yurendell de Caster.
Jose Hernandez  HR -- photo by NancyZ
Richmond starter Lance Cormier, who has pitched with the Atlanta Braves this season, lasted only 4 innings against the Indians. After retiring the side in order in the 1st inning, Cormier faced Tribe 3B Jose Hernandez (photo) to lead off the bottom of the 2nd inning. Hernandez worked the count full, and then blasted a home run onto the berm behind the right field wall, for the first run of the game. The Indians scored again in the 3rd inning. SS Luis Ordaz led off by grounding a single up the middle. He moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Bullington, and scored when CF Luis Matos dropped a double deep into the left-center field gap.
The Tribe also threatened in the 4th inning, when with one out, they touched Cormier for three consecutive singles — by Jose Hernandez, Brad Eldred, and Humberto Cota. Cota’s single to right field came with Hernandez on second base, and Hernandez rounded third and headed for home plate without hesitation. The throw from Braves’ RF Larry Bigbie was on target, though, and C Corky Miller was blocking the plate. Miller tagged out Hernandez, and it appeared that their legs collided or tangled.
Hernandez was left kneeling behind home plate, holding his left leg. Indians’ trainer Jose Ministral appeared to be examining Hernandez’s left knee. Hernandez was helped off the field, and Ministral continued to work on his leg in the dugout, and he left the game. Meanwhile, with baserunners on the corners, 1B Yurendell de Caster walked to load the bases. Cormier got SS Luis Ordaz to ground into a fielder’s choice, forcing out de Caster at second to end the inning without a run scoring.

Bryan Bullington bunts -- photo by NancyZ
(photo — Bryan Bullington puts down a successful sacrifice bunt.)
After dominating the Braves in the first four innings, and throwing about 43 pitches, Bryan Bullington ran into trouble in the 5th inning. LF Doug Clark led off with a double to the right field wall, and former Pirates’ farmhand SS Brent Lillibridge singled to right, moving Clark to third. In an odd play, as Bullington tried to do the bluff-to-third-throw-to-first trick, Lillibridge was caught way off first base, and it seemed like he was about to be tagged out. As Bullington charged toward Lillibridge with the ball, Clark left third base to head home. Bullington’s back was to home plate, but he was waiting for his teammates to tell him when to turn and throw home. They gave the “Home! Home!” signal, but Bullington’s throw was just a split second late — Clark scored and Lillibridge ended up on second base. C Corky Miller walked, and then 3B Wes Timmons grounded out, advancing the runners to third and second bases. Another ground out by pinch hitter Brayan Pena brought Lillibridge home. CF Gregor Blanco lined a double about six inches inside the right field foul line and down to the corner, scoring Miller. Another double, to the center field wall, by 2B Martin Prado scored Blanco. RF Larry Bigbie hit a screaming liner that looked like it was going to add another run — until Tribe 2B Brian Bixler timed his jump perfectly and snagged it out of the air for the third out.
Luis Ordaz turns two -- photo by NancyZ
(photo — Luis Ordaz turns the double play)
Bullington pitched a total of 5 innings, giving up 4 runs, all earned, on 6 hits and one walk, with one strikeout. He threw 69 pitches, 45 for strikes, and did very well until that 5th inning. Juan Perez entered the game in relief, and he pitched two perfect innings for the Tribe, including two strikeouts. Franquelis Osoria handled the last two innings easily, giving up one hit in the 8th, but leaving the runner stranded. He pitched a perfect 9th inning, ending the game by getting former Indianapolis Indian (2005) Graham Koonce to fly out to center field.
Richmond’s Lance Cormier was relieved by Rich Scalamandre to begin the bottom of the 5th inning. Scalamandre gave up three hits, but held the Indians scoreless. Brian Bixler bounced a single off the back of the mound and into center field in the 5th, but Bixler was forced out on LF Michael Ryan’s fielder’s choice. Russ Johnson, who took over at third base for Jose Hernandez, led off the 6th by lining a double down the left field line, but he was out at third when he tried to advance on RF Brad Eldred’s fly out to center field. C Humberto Cota singled but was also forced out on a fielder’s choice.
Brian Bixler scores -- photo by NancyZ
The Tribe made their move in the 7th inning. Richmond Reliever Jeff Bennett started the inning with back-to-back walks to Luis Ordaz and pinch-hitter Einar Diaz. Luis Matos’s ground out moved the runners to second and third. Brian Bixler’s second hit of the night scored Ordaz, and moved Diaz to third, and it ended Jeff Bennett’s appearance. He was lifted for Will Startup, the lefty with the funky leg kick. Startup walked Michael Ryan to load the bases, and then struck out Russ Johnson, bringing up Brad Eldred. Eldred slapped a 2-RBI single into left field, scoring Diaz to tie, and then Bixler slid in with the go-ahead run. Michael Ryan, running all the way from first, headed for home. The throw in from LF Doug Clark was cut off by Startup, who threw to 2B Martin Prada, in an effort to hold Eldred, and then Prada threw home to C Corky Miller, who was blocking the plate when Ryan arrived. Ryan barrelled into Miller, but Miller held fast and Ryan was out to end the inning. It was only at that point when the players noticed that Einar Diaz was still on the ground at the edge of the dirt circle behind home plate. On the replay, it looked like his right leg slipped as he was crossing, or maybe just after he crossed, the plate. He might have even slipped on the bat that was lying there. It appeared that the injury was to his knee. Trainer Jose Ministral tended to Diaz, and eventually put an air splint on his leg. Diaz was taken off the field on a stretcher, presumably to a hospital for further treatment.
Startup pitched a scoreless 9th inning, giving up two hits, a single to Humberto Cota and a double to Luis Ordaz. Jeff Bennett was responsible for the three runs the Indians scored in the 7th, and so he took the loss, his third of the season. Tribe reliever Juan Perez got the win, his second of the year, and Franquelis Osoria got his 8th save of the season.
Humberto Cota had three hits for the Indians. Brian Bixler,Brad Eldred, Luis Ordaz and Jose Hernandez each had two hits, with the home run for Hernandez and a double for Ordaz.
The Indians remain 3 games behind the first-place Toledo Mud Hens in the International League West Division.
Eldred & Meulens -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brad Eldred’s single in the 7th inning, which knocked in the tying and go-ahead runs for the Indians.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Brad Eldred again — in the top of the 8th inning, Martin Prado blasted a long drive deep and near the foul line in right field. Brad Eldred ran and ran, and finally leapt with his arm outstretched and caught the ball, then fell and rolled — but still held onto the ball. He made it look like he’s been playing out there forever.
NOTES:
Roster Moves:
Matt Kata was called up to the Pirates, and added to the 40-man roster. He had only been with the Indians for about 2 weeks, since being signed as a minor league free agent on June 15th. Kata hit .265 with 2 homers and 4 RBI with the Indians. Kata was called up because former Indian Chris Duffy has a sprained ankle.
Carlos Maldonado was placed back onto the roster from the temporary inactive list.
Marty McLeary was designated for assignment by the Pirates, which moves him off the 40-man roster, to make room for Kata.
RHP Kip Bouknight is being promoted from Altoona and will start Sunday’s game against the Richmond Braves.
Shane Youman, who was previously scheduled to start Sunday, is a candidate to start for Pittsburgh on Tuesday, when Zach Duke skips his regular start due to tendonitis in his elbow.
Other:
Michael Ryan’s 10 game hitting streak came to an end, when he went 0 for 3, with a walk tonight. Ryan had another 10 game hitting streak earlier this season.
Former Pittsburgh Pirate farmhand Brent Lillibridge, now in the Atlanta Braves system, was playing shortstop for the Richmond Braves last night. He went 1 for 4 and scored one run. He was also a good sport and played with “Birdzerk”, the between-innings crazy critter act.
Brent Lillibridge -- photo by NancyZ

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