(photos by NancyZ)
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees took advantage of 5 errors by the Indianapolis Indians to beat the Indians by a score of 12-1 at Victory Field last night. Ten of the twelve runs were unearned, due to all the errors. The Indians could only manage 5 hits, while the Yankees put up 15 hits, spoiling starter Runelvys Hernandez’s Indians debut.
Hernandez, just acquired by the Pirates as a minor league free agent, started off well against his former Scranton teammates, putting the side down in order for the first two innings. His new Indians teammates jumped out to a good start, when 3B Russ Johnson (photo below) led off the bottom of the 1st with a double to right field. SS Brian Bixler followed with a liner that bounced off the glove of Yankees’ starter Chase Wright and into center field for a single, scoring Johnson. Bixler moved to second base on LF Michael Ryan’s ground out, and 2B Jose Hernandez walked. Bixler was caught stealing third base — only his second time caught stealing in 22 attempts this season.
The Indians threatened in the second inning against Yankees’ starter Chris Wright. RF Yurendell de Caster walked, C Carlos Maldonado singled, and 3B Russ Johnson walked, loaded the bases with two out. But a pop up by Brian Bixler ended the inning without a run scoring.
Three throwing errors helped the Yankees get on the board against Runelvys Hernandez in the 3rd inning. With one out, 2B Chris Basak singled, and C Raul Chavez reached second base safely due to a throwing error by Hernandez. Basak scored when CF Brett Gardner singled. Tribe LF Michael Ryan made the second throwing error when he threw to 3rd base, but no fielder was covering the bag, and the ball sailed to beyond home plate. Chavez scored, and Gardner reached third base on the error. RF Justin Christian hit a fly out to Tribe RF Yurendell de Caster. Gardner held at third base, but when de Caster’s throw went wide of C Carlos Maldonado and got away, then Garder raced for home. LF Kevin Reese homered over the right field wall for the 4th run of the inning, before 1B Shelly Duncan flied out to left field to end the inning.
Hernandez got back on track for the 4th inning, when he again set the side down in order. He gave up two singles to Brett Gardner and Justin Christian in the 5th, but got out of the inning without any runs scoring.
The Indians were not having any more luck against Chase Wright in the middle innings. The Tribe again threatened in the 5th, when they loaded the bases with two out. Brian Bixler (photo) was hit by a pitch, and LF Michael Ryan and 2B Jose Hernandez both walked. But a pop up by 1B Brad Eldred ended the inning, and the score remained 4-1 in favor of the Yankees.
The Yankees added two insurance runs in the 6th inning. Shelley Duncan singled and SS Angel Chavez doubled. Chris Basak grounded a ball between third and short, and Tribe 3B Russ Johnson cut in front of SS Brian Bixler to make the play, but the ball bounced off his glove for another error. Both Duncan and Chavez scored on the play. Runelvys Hernandez exited at that point, having pitched 5.2 innings, and given up 8 hits and 6 runs, with all 6 runs unearned due to all the errors. Reliever Jesse Chavez came in to relieve Hernandez. He gave up a single to Raul Chavez, and a passed ball allowed Basak to advance to third base and Raul Chavez to reach second base. Finally, Brett Gardner grounded out to end the inning, with the score 6-1.
Disaster struck the Tribe in the 7th inning. It started with singles to Justin Christian and Kevin Reese, and Christian moved to third base on a fly out by Shelly Duncan. Two more singles by DH Erubiel Durazo and Angel Chavez scored Christian and Reese, though Chavez was out at second base when he tried to move up one base on the throw in from LF Michael Ryan. 2B Andy Cannizaro (who came in for Eric Duncan) walked, and then Chris Basak reached base safely when Tribe 3B Russ Johnson’s throw of Basak’s grounder bounced into the dirt in front of 1B Brad Eldred, and Eldred couldn’t dig it out. Durazo scored on the play. Another single, by Raul Chavez, scored Cannizaro and was the end of the night for the Tribe’s Jesse Chavez (photo). Brian Rogers came into the game, and immediately gave up a triple to Brett Gardner, clearing the bases and bringing in two more runs. Justin Christian, who started off the inning, also ended the inning with a line out, leaving the score 12 -1.
Scranton’s reliever T.J. Beam held the Indians to only one hit, a single by Luis Matos, over the 7th and 8th innings. Charlie Manning came in to handle the 9th inning, and he also kept the Indians off the basepaths.
Brian Rogers (photo) came back to pitch the 8th inning for the Tribe, giving up only a walk. Franquelis Osoria pitched the 9th inning and hit Chris Basak with a pitch, but set the other three batters down in order.
Starter Runelvys Hernandez suffered the loss for the Indians, though he did not give up any earned runs. Yankees’ starter Chase Wright took the win.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Russ Johnson’s lead-off double and Brian Bixler’s RBI single, which scored Johnson.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Hmm. Maybe we’ll just skip this today.
Roster moves, some of which are obvious.
The Pirates signed pitcher Runelvys Hernandez to a minor league contract. Hernandez pitched for Kansas City and their AAA Omaha team in 2006. In 2007, he has pitched for the Pawtucket Red Sox, and then for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
Pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez was placed on the temporary inactive list, creating a roster spot for Hernandez.
OF Adam Boeve was promoted from Altoona, to take the roster spot of Don Kelly, who was called up to Pittsburgh.
The 5 errors in this game is a season-high for the Indians, and in fact a league-high also.
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