Game #91 at Atlanta

Turner Field | 1:05 | Maholm vs. Buddy Carlyle | Box The ball always finds the new guy. This afternoon, the new guy was Jose Castillo. He’d earned just six starts at the hot corner to date this season. His seventh wasn’t lucky. Castillo’s fifth-inning throwing error proved to provide the Braves’ winning run, and time and again he looked uncomfortable fielding the position. Since Jose Bautista will be out for...

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Red Wings Charge Back in the 8th to Beat Tribe

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians lost their sixth consecutive game tonight, falling to the Rochester Red Wings tonight at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY. The Indians had a 4-0 lead, but then gave up 8 unanswered runs to the Red Wings, capped by a 5-run 8th inning. The Indians did not slip in the IL West Division standings, since the first-place Toledo Mud Hens and the Louisville Bats both lost their games also. But the Red Wings gained ground on the Indians in the Wild Card race, and now lead the Indians by two games.
Rain delayed the start of the game for 31 minutes. Even after the game started, the rain continued — sometimes harder, sometimes just a drizzle — for most of the game.
Don Kelly led off the first inning for the Indians with a single. Kelly was erased in a double play, and that was the only hit given up by either Indians’ starter Marty McLeary or Red Wings’ starter Nick Blackburn, until the top of the 5th inning. RF Brad Eldred (photo) blasted a solo homer over the left field wall in the top of the 5th, to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. “I had chased a couple of pitches in my first at bat, so I looked for a good pitch to hit during my second,” said Eldred after the game. “The pitcher [Nick Blackburn] left a cutter over the middle of the plate and I took a good whack at it.”
Marty McLeary -- photo by NancyZ
Marty McLeary(photo) did not give up a hit until the bottom of the 5th. With two outs, he gave up back-to-back singles to Red Wings’ 3b Brian Buscher and C Jose Morales. McLeary got out of the inning by getting LF Trent Oeltjen to ground out, and the score was still 1-0 in favor of the Indians.
The Indians broke through against Nick Blackburn in the 6th inning. CF Luis Matos led off with a double lined into left field. 2B Luis Ordaz’s sacrifice bunt advanced Matos to third base. A squeeze bunt, by 3B Don Kelly brought Matos across the plate, with Kelly reaching first base safely. LF Michael Ryan then homered over the right field wall to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, the Red Wings came right back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the 6th inning. CF Denard Span led off with a triple that bounced off the right field wall. Three consecutive singles by SS Alexi Casilla, 2B Matt Tolbert, and RF Darnell McDonald first scored Span and then loaded the bases. Manager Trent Jewett called to the bullpen and brought in Juan Perez to relieve McLeary. McLeary exited having pitched 5 innings (73 pitches, 48 strikes), and giving up 6 hits and 3 runs, with one strikeout. The first batter Perez faced was DH Doug Deeds, who walked to score Casilla. 1B Glenn Williams grounded into a force out, allowing Tolbert to score. Perez then walked Brian Buscher to load the bases again, but followed with by striking out Jose Morales and then getting Trent Oeltjen to ground out, ending the inning. The Indians were still up by one run, 4-3.

Michael Ryan  -- photo by NancyZ
After giving up a single to Brad Eldred to start the 7th inning, Rochester starter Nick Blackburn left the game with an (unspecified) injury to his arm. Brian Bass entered the game, and set the Indians down in order to end the 7th, and returned to pitch a perfect 8th inning.
Josh Sharpless also pitched a perfect inning in the 7th for the Indians, but disaster struck in the 8th, as the Red Wings charged in to take the lead. The inning started with Darnell McDonald reaching base on an error by Tribe 3B Don Kelly, when he bobbled a ground ball. McDonald stole second base and moved to third base on Sharpless’s wild pitch. Doug Deeds struck out, and Glenn Williams walked, with pinch runner Tommy Watkins coming in to run for Williams. That was all for Sharpless, and Franquelis Osoria came in to pitch next. Brian Buscher greeted Osoria with a single grounded to right field, scoring McDonald to tie the score. Jose Morales brought the second out of the inning with a strikeout. Then Trent Oeltjen doubled, bringing in Watkins with the go-ahead run. Denard Span plated two insurance runs, Buscher and Oeltjen, with a single. Osoria then walked three consecutive batters, Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert, and Darnell McDonald (batting for the second time in the inning), to score Span with the 5th run of the inning. Finally, Doug Deeds grounded out to end the inning.
Brian Bass returned to pitch the 9th inning for Rochester. Michael Ryan (photo above) and Brad Eldred both singled, but Ryan was erased when Jose Hernandez grounded into a double play, and Eldred was stranded on base when Yurendell de Caster grounded out to end the game.
Bass earned the win for the Red Wings, his 3rd of the season. Josh Sharpless took the loss, his 3rd of the season, and Franquelis Osoria had his 4th blown save. Brad Eldred and Michael Ryan accounted for 5 of the 7 Indians’ hits. Eldred had three hits, including a solo homer, and Ryan went 2 for 4, with a 2-run homer. Don Kelly also had a single, and Luis Matos hit a double.
“I am ready to end this road trip,” said Eldred in a post-game interview. “We need to pick up a win tomorrow so we can carry that vibe home with us. We need to get home [Victory Field] and use it as a turnaround period, so we can have a good start to the second half of the season.”
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Two home runs, one by Brad Eldred and one by Michael Ryan.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Marty McLeary’s four no-hit innings pitched.
Go Tribe!

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Signings Bucs Didn't Make Hurt More than Armas

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports put this off-season’s signings under a microscope yesterday, sorting the free agent contracts into categories; think good, bad and ugly, but more specific. Tony Armas didn’t make the top 10 list of worst signings, nor the top five of “good thing [the contract’s for] only one year.”¬† Really, sinking $3.5 million into an iffy starting pitcher isn’t that horrible of a move...

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Game #90 at Atlanta

Turner Field | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Chuck James | Box Even with a heroic comeback led by Ryan Doumit (thanks in large part to a managerial blunder from Bobby Cox), the Pirates couldn’t pull this one out. Atlanta won in walk-off fashion, 5-4. Chuck James owned the Pirates, throwing six innings of two-hit ball. On the season, he’s pitched 13 frames against us and allowed three hits. Still, Cox pulled James after the sixth...

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Indians Lose to Red Wings

(photos by NancyZ)
The Indianapolis Indians lost their 5th consecutive game tonight, as they fell to the Rochester Red Wings by a score of 4-3 at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY. Both the Toledo Mud Hens and the Louisville Bats lost tonight, so the Indians did not lose any ground in the International League West Division standings, but they did slip to one game behind the Red Wings in the IL’s wild card standings.
The Indians tried to get something going in the top of the 1st inning against Rochester’s starter Brian Duensing. LF Don Kelly and SS Brian Bixler led off with back-to-back singles. But Bixler was erased when DH Jose Hernandez grounded into a double play, and Kelly was stranded at third base, when RF Brad Eldred struck out to end the inning.
The Red Wings also put up two hits in the bottom of the first inning. With two out, RF Darnell McDonald lined a double to right field. DH Matthew LeCroy singled to left field, and McDonald rounded third base and headed for home. Tribe LF Don Kelly (photo below) fielded the liner and fired a perfect throw to C Carlos Maldonado, who tagged out McDonald at home to end the inning and the threat.
Don Kelly -- photo by NancyZ
Rochester did get to Indians’ starter Michael Tejera in the second inning. With one out, 3B Brian Buscher doubled and advanced to third base on C Chris Heintz’s single. SS Gil Velazquez grounded to third base, where Tribe 3B Russ Johnson scooped it up, but double-clutched before he could get off the throw to 2B Luis Ordaz. Heintz was out at second base, but the relay to 1B Yurendell de Caster was not in time to get Velazquez at first, allowing Buscher to score.
The Red Wings put up another run in the 3rd inning. 2B Alexi Casilla led off with a single, LF Tommy Watkins walked, and RF Darnell McDonald singled to load the bases. Casilla scored on a sacrifice fly by DH Matthew LeCroy.
Casilla started another Red Wings’ rally in the 5th inning. He singled, and moved to second base on Tommy Watkins’ sacrifice bunt. Michael Tejera intentionally walked Darnell McDonald, in hopes of setting up a double play. Matthew LeCroy lined a single into right field, scoring Casilla and moving McDonald to third base. Brian Buscher’s single scored McDonald, pushing the Red Wings’ lead to 4-0.

Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians threatened again against Brian Duensing in the top of the 5th inning. 3B Russ Johnson (photo) led off with a walk, and moved to second base when CF Luis Matos lined a single into left field. C Carlos Maldonado also singled into left field, to load the bases. But a pop out and a double play ended the inning without a run scoring.
In the top of the 6th, the Indians put up two quick runs, when Brad Eldred walked and Yurendell de Caster blasted a homer over the right-center field wall, bringing the Tribe within 2 runs of the Red Wings. After another walk, to Russ Johnson, Brian Duensing was done for the evening, and reliever Carmen Cali entered the game. Cali got Luis Matos to ground into a double play, then gave up a single to 2B Luis Ordaz, and then struck out Carlos Maldonado to end the inning.
Yurendell  de Caster -- photo by NancyZ
Cali struck out the side in the top of the 7th inning. Closer Bobby Korecky came in to pitch the 8th inning for the Wings. With one out, Yurendell de Caster (photo) doubled to right field, and Russ Johnson followed with an RBI single to left field, scoring de Caster. Luis Matos grounded out, moving Johnson to second base. The inning ended when Korecky picked Johnson off second base. Korecky put the Tribe down in order in the top of the 9th to finish the game.
Michael Tejera pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 10 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4 batters. In the bottom of the 6th, he gave up a single to Gil Velazquez, who moved to second base on CF Denard Span’s sacrifice bunt. Alexi Casilla lined a ball to 2B Luis Ordaz, who saw that he might be able to get the lead runner. Ordaz threw to 3B Russ Johnson, catching Velazquez in a run-down (Ordaz to Johnson to Bixler to Tejera, who tagged Velazquez). But Velazquez delayed long enough for Casilla to reach second base. Tommy Watkins walked, and then manager Trent Jewett made a pitching change. Reliever Salomon Torres, with the Indians on a rehab assignment, entered the game. Torres induced a ground out to end the inning.
Torres gave up a double in the 7th inning, but struck out the rest of the side. Jonah Bayliss pitched a scoreless 8th inning, giving up only a walk to Denard Span, but then catching Span stealing second base to end the inning.
Red Wings’ starter Brian Duensing earned the win, his 6th victory of the season. Bobby Korecky earned his 26th save of the year. Tribe starter Michael Tejera took the loss, his 3rd of the season. The Tribe put up 8 hits, with Yurendell de Caster getting the only extra base hits.
Indians hitting gem of the game: Yurendell de Caster’s hit a double and a 2-run homer and scored 2 of the Indians’ runs. In an interview after the game, de Caster said, “I feel great right now. It has been a long time since I have hit the ball that far. I have been
hitting the ball hard to right field lately.”
Indians defensive gem of the game: In the bottom of the first inning, Don Kelly fired a bullet from left field to Carlos Maldonado at home, to get out Darnell McDonald trying to score from second base. It kept the run from scoring and ended the inning.
From Dejan Kovacevic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The Pirates signed right-handed reliever Jose Paniagua to a minor-league contract. Paniagua, 34, made 270 appearances in the majors in 1996-2003 — 4.49 ERA, 13 saves — but he has played in Mexico the past three seasons.

Relief pitcher Salomon Torres has joined the Indians for a weekend rehab stint. The Pirates are hoping to have him get into a couple of games with the Tribe, and return to the Pirates on Monday.
Injury Report:
Pitcher Sean Burnett has been examined by Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic specialist in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Andrews found no evidence of damage to Burnett’s surgically repaired elbow ligament. A neurosurgeon did find that the radial nerve (which gives you sensation and muscle control on the thumb-side of your forearm and hand) is slightly displaced. Burnett might need “minor” surgery to work on that problem, but that decision can be delayed until after the season. For now, Burnett will get some cortisone injected, and begin a throwing program in Bradenton. The hope is that he will be able to return to the Indians in a few more weeks.
Go Tribe!

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Red Wings’ Big Innings Defeat Indians

(photos by NancyZ)
Don Kelly -- photo by NancyZ
The Rochester Red Wings put up 21 hits on the way to scoring 11 runs, while the Indianapolis Indians could only manage 3 runs on 9 hits, for a final score of 11-3 at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY tonight. The loss drops the Indians to 4 games behind the first-place Toledo Mud Hens, and allows the Louisville Bats to move into a tie with the Indians for second place.
The Indians got things going right away against Rochester’s starter Kevin Slowey, when 3B Don Kelly (photo) ripped a line drive into right field for a single. Kelly stole second base, and then scored from second base when DH Jose Hernandez singled into center field.
The Red Wings threatened to come back in the bottom of the 1st inning. Tribe starter Ricardo Rodriguez, in his first start for the Indians, gave up three consecutive singles to Wings’ SS Alexi Casilla, 2B Matt Tolbert, and RF Darnell McDonald. Casilla was out at third base, when he challenged Tribe RF Yurendell de Caster’s arm on Tolbert’s hit. De Caster threw a perfect throw to Don Kelly at third base, who tagged Casilla for the out. Rodriguez then struck out DH Matthew LeCroy and got 1B Glenn Williams to hit into a force out, ending the inning without allowing a run to score.
Ricardo Rodriguez-- photo by NancyZ
Rochester tied it up in the 2nd inning. 3B Brian Buscher led off by lifting a long fly ball over the right field wall. Buscher repeated the performance to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning, hitting his second homer of the game, this time over right-center. Then Ricardo Rodriguez (photo) fell apart. He gave up singles to C Jose Morales and CF Denard Span. Alexi Casilla grounded into a fielder’s choice, which forced Span out at second, but put runners on the corners with two out. Matt Tolbert singled, scoring Morales, and Darnell McDonald doubled, scoring Casilla and Tolbert. That sent Rodriguez to the showers, having pitched 3.2 innings (57 pitches, 35 strikes), giving up 5 runs (all earned) on 11 hits, with one strikeout. Jesse Chavez came in and got Matthew LeCroy to ground out, ending the inning.

Yurendell de Caster -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians immediately started chipping away at the 5-1 lead. In the top of the 5th, Yurendell de Caster (photo) doubled, and he scored when 2B Luis Ordaz singled. In the next inning, LF Michael Ryan added another run, when he singled, advanced to third base on Jose Hernandez’s single, and scored on Yurendell de Caster’s second double of the game. That brought the score to 5-3, still within reach.
Disaster struck again in the bottom of the 7th inning, this time on relief pitcher Brian Rogers. Wings’ Matthew LeCroy led off with a single up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Trent Oeltjen. Glenn Williams also singled, moving Oeltjen to second base, and both runners advanced another base when Brian Rogers threw a wild pitch. Brian Buscher was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jose Morales hit a grounder to Tribe 1B Brad Eldred, who fired home to force out Trent Oeltjen — one out, but the bases still loaded. Tommy Watkins’ single scored Williams, and Denard Span’s fielder’s choice grounder to second base forced out Watkins but allowed Buscher to score. Morales scored when Alexi Casilla singled. That was the end of the evening for Brian Rogers. He had pitched only two-thirds of an inning, but gave up 5 runs on 4 hits. Mark Corey replaced Rogers, and he was greeted by a double by Gil Vasquez, who had entered the game to replace Matt Tolbert. That double scored Span and Casilla, making it a 5-run inning for the Red Wings. Corey struck out Darnell McDonald to end the inning.
The Red Wings put up one more in the 8th inning. Trent Oeltjen walked, and moved to second on Glenn Williams’ single. A grounder by Brian Buscher advanced Oeltjen to third base, and a single by Tommy Watkins, the 21st hit of the game for Rochester, scored Oeltjen.
Starter Ricardo Rodriguez took the loss for the Indians, his second of the year. Rochester’s starter Kevin Slowey earned the win, which was his 7th AAA win of the season. Carmen Cali, Julio DePaula, and Brian Bass each pitched a scoreless inning for the Red Wings, and only Cali allowed a baserunner.
The Indians put up 9 hits, with Don Kelly, Jose Hernandez, Yurendell de Caster, and Luis Ordaz getting two hits apiece. Ordaz had a double, while de Caster had two doubles.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Yurendell de Caster’s two doubles, one in the 5th and one in the 6th inning. He had one RBI.
Indians’ defensive gem(s) of the game: Two outfield assists. In the first inning, Yurendell de Caster fired in from right field to get Alexi Casilla out at third base. In the 5th inning, Luis Matos threw a one-bouncer to Carlos Maldonado at the plate, in time to tag out Jose Morales, preventing a run from scoring and ending the inning.
Roster moves:
Chris Aguila was activated from the Disabled List. He has been out with oblique and lat muscle injuries.
To make room for Aguila, Adam Boeve was optioned back to the Altoona Curve. He had hit .333 with one homer in 7 games for the Indians.
Injury report:
C Humberto Cota is feeling better now after he suffered a concussion in a collision at home plate several days ago. Norfolk’s Mike Cervenak had been running from second base to home on a hit to the outfield, and when the ball arrived well before Cervenak did, Cervenak barrelled into Cota. Cota came up still holding the ball. He was removed from the game an inning later.
Go Tribe!

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