Game #51 vs. San Diego

PNC Park | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. David Wells | Box Nice way to start off the home stand against the NL West leaders. Tom Gorzelanny worked his way out of trouble to pitch seven innings and allow just one run. He gave up seven hits and three walks. The Pirates offense did just enough to give the pitching a comfortable lead. Jose Bautista, Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay had two hits. Adam LaRoche had three hits to move his BA to a season...

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Having a little fun at the expense of the mothership

These days, I get most of my baseball news from blogs and newspapers. I rarely make time for ESPN, and I’m not as high on as I used to be. On occasion, though, I find the need to head to the mothership for standings or stats, and inevitably I end up clicking around the latest propaganda. The writing that caught my eye today was turned in by Jenifer Langosch, the new Ed Eagle. Her mailbag contained questions I felt like...

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Tribe Pitchers Contain Bison

Memorial Day  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians’ pitchers combined to hold the Buffalo Bison to six hits and one run, as the Indians slipped by the Bison by a score of 2-1 at Victory Field tonight. Indians’ starter John Van Benschoten earned his 5th win of the season to push his record to 5-3 and drop his ERA to 2.56. Van Benschoten pitched 6.2 shutout innings, giving up only 3 hits and walking 4 while striking out 5 Bison batters.
Tribe pitching coach Jeff Andrews praised Van Benschoten after the game.
“I really believe this was the best that ‘Johnny V’ (Van Benschoten ) has thrown all season. I was happy because he battled through a hiccup in the second inning. It’s not easy to keep the opposition off the scoreboard when you walk three guys in the same frame. It was nice to see him re-group, and throw five strong innings after that.
“He had six terrific outings in a row, followed by two starts that were not his best. The nice thing is that he hasn’t lost his focus, confidence, or competitive edge.”
John Van Benschoten  -- photo by NancyZ
The “hiccup” Andrews referred to occurred in the second inning. Van Benschoten (photo by NancyZ) started the inning by walking former Indian and Bison 3B Keith Ginter. 2B Hector Luna grounded to second, where Tribe 2B Nick Green fielded the ball within two steps of second base, quickly stepped on the bag, and then threw to first to complete the double play. Van Benschoten walked the next two batters, 1B Ryan Mulhern and RF Brad Snyder. The first two pitches to the next batter, C David Wallace, were also balls. Jeff Andrews popped out of the dugout and had a brief conference with Van Benschoten and C Einar Diaz. Whatever Andrews said was all it took to get Van Benschoten back on track, though. His next three pitches were strikes to strike out Wallace and end the inning.

Juan Perez  -- photo by NancyZ
Van Benschoten walked only one more batter after the second inning, and he allowed only two hits over the next 4.2 innings. Van Benschoten threw 94 pitches, 55 of them for strikes. He was relieved in the 7th inning, when manager Trent Jewett decided to bring in a left-handed relief pitcher, Juan Perez (photo by NancyZ ), to face left-handed Bison slugger Brad Snyder. Snyder is batting .338 against right handers, but only .211 against left-handed pitchers, and 4 of his 5 home runs this season have come against right-handed pitching.
Juan Perez entered the game, and promptly struck out Snyder on four pitches. Perez went on to pitch in the 8th inning also. After one out, he gave up three consecutive singles, to CF Franklin Gutierrez, SS Luis Rivas, and DH Shin-Soo Choo. Choo’s single scored Gutierrez, for the only run the Bison would get. Perez then struck out LF Ben Francisco.
Jewett elected to go back to a right-hander, Brian Rogers, to finish up the 8th inning against the right-handed hitting Keith Ginter. Rogers struck out Ginter on four pitches to end the Bison’s rally. Rogers also pitched to two batters in the 9th inning, getting Hector Luna out on a grounder that bounced off Roger’s glove and over to Tribe SS Brian Bixler, who had to hurry to pick up the carom and throw on to Brad Eldred at first for the first out. Rogers then walked 1B Ryan Mulhern.
Chris Hernandez  -- photo by NancyZ
Again Jewett went with the percentages and brought in left-hander Michael Tejera to face Brad Snyder again with one out in the 9th. Snyder lofted a fly ball to left, near the foul line, but Tribe LF Luis Matos ran it down and made the catch for the second out. Snyder was the only batter Tejera faced. Righty Chris Hernandez (photo by NancyZ ) came in to face right-handed batter Trent Durrington, another former Indy Indian, who had entered the game in place of C David Wallace. Durrington ran the count to 3-2, plus a couple of foul balls, before taking the third strike for the final out. Hernandez got the save, his 3rd of the season.
Bison starter Aaron Laffey pitched a complete game (8 innings ), but got his 3rd loss. He scattered six hits and gave up 2 runs, both earned. He struck out 3 Tribe batters. The Indians’ runs came in the 5th inning. With one out, LF Luis Matos walked — the only walk Laffey gave up. C Einar Diaz singled on a grounder up the middle, advancing Matos to third base. CF Rajai Davis’s RBI triple into right-center field scored both Matos and Diaz.
Nick Green  -- photo by NancyZ
Rajai Davis and DH Yurendell de Caster each had two hits for the Indians. 3B Jose Hernandez and Einar Diaz had the Tribe’s other two hits. Nick Green (photo by NancyZ ), who was playing his first game at Victory Field since joining the team last week, and Brad Eldred, who also joined the team last week, were hitless tonight.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Rajai Davis’s RBI triple, which batted in the Tribe’s only runs. He also had the only extra base hit for the Indians tonight.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Pitchers John Van Benschoten, Juan Perez, Brian Rogers, Michael Tejera, and Chris Hernandez, who held the Bison to one run and only 6 hits, and showed outstanding poise in tough situations.
Trent Durrington -- photo by NancyZ
One more bit of excitement at the end of the game: The last Bison batter, Trent Durrington, has always been known to have a short fuse, including when he played for the Indians in 2004. After he ran the count to 3-2 in the 9th inning, and fouled off a couple more of Chris Hernandez’s pitches, he took what he thought was ball four, and started to take a few steps towards first base. But, umpire Josh Carlisle didn”t see it that way — he called strike three. Durrington’s temper got the best of him, and he had to be restrained by his teammates. (photos by NancyZ )
Trent Durrington has  a problem with the call  -- photo by NancyZ
Rajai Davis increased his hitting streak to 15 games.
Michael Ryan did not get a hit tonight, so his hitting streak ended at 10 games, his best in several seasons.
Carlos Maldonado, on the DL because of a broken bone in his hand, now has his hand out of the splint.
Kevin Gryboski is doing better and working out after having had arthroscopic surgery on his knee to work on torn cartilage.
Go Tribe!

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Late Rally Defeats Indians

The Indianapolis Indians had a 5-run 4th inning to take the lead, but fell to a late-inning rally by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees yesterday in Scranton, losing to the Yankees by a score of 8-5. The loss gives the Indians a 2-2 split of the series with Scranton, and a 6-6 record on this long road trip.
Shane Youman started the game for the Indians, and pitched 5 innings, giving up 11 hits and 3 runs, all earned, while striking out 5 Yankees. Seven of those 11 hits resulted in baserunners stranded on base, or being forced out while on the basepaths. In the first inning, with two out, Youman gave up three consecutive singles to DH Andy Phillips, RF Shelley Duncan, and 1B Eric Duncan. Phillips attempted to score from second base on Eric Duncan’s ground ball hit to left field, but Tribe LF Chris Aguila fielded the ball and threw right on target to C Einar Diaz. Diaz was positioned on the third base side of home plate, and easily tagged out Phillips, and held onto the ball as Phillips tried to bowl him over.
The Yankees scored three runs against Youman in the 4th inning. With one out, SS Alberto Gonzalez and 2B Angel Chavez both singled. C Omir Santos struck out and CF Kevin Thompson walked to load the bases. LF Kevin Reese singled to score Gonzalez and Chavez, and DH Andy Phillips singled to score Thompson before Youman struck out RF Shelley Duncan to end the inning.
Chris Hernandez -- photo by NancyZ
Chris Hernandez (photo by NancyZ ) relieved Youman in the 6th, and pitched a scoreless inning. The Yankees rallied in the 7th inning, against Tribe reliever Jesse Chavez. With one out, Eric Duncan walked, and 3B Chris Basak singled, sending Duncan to second base. Alberto Gonzalez’s single scored Duncan to bring the Yankees within one run of the Indians. Angel Chavez’s home run to left field scored three, to give the Yankees the lead.
Scranton added another insurance run in the 8th inning. With Tribe reliever Franquelis Osoria on the mound, Kevin Reese singled and went to second when Andy Phillips walked. A fly out by Shelley Duncan moved Reese to third, and a sacrifice fly by Eric Duncan scored Reese.

Michael Ryan  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians managed only 6 hits in the game. They put up all 5 of their runs in the 4th inning. With Yankees starter Eric Junge on the mound, 3B Russ Johnson led off the inning by blasting a home run over the left field wall. After a quick ground out by 1B Yurendell de Caster, DH Brad Eldred and RF Michael Ryan (photo by NancyZ ) both singled and LF Chris Aguila walked to load the bases. A double by CF Luis Matos scored Eldred and Ryan, and advanced Aguila to third. 2B Luis Ordaz’s sacrifice fly brought in Aguila, and a wild throw from Yankees RF Shelley Duncan sailed into the dugout, allowing Matos to score.
Michael Ryan went 2 for 4 in the game. Luis Matos was 1 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI, and Russ Johnson went 1 for 5 with a home run.
Yankees starter Junge gave up 5 runs on 5 hits and struck out 5 in his 5 innings. Reliever Ben Kozlowski pitched two perfect innings for the Yankees and got the win. Chris Britton pitched one inning, giving up only one hit. Former Indian Jim Brower got the save, pitching a perfect 9th inning. Jesse Chavez took the blown save and the loss for the Indians. It was Chavez’s first loss of the season.
Russ Johnson hit a home run -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Russ Johnson’s (photo by NancyZ ) home run in the 4th inning, his second of the season. It was just inside the foul pole in left field.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the first inning, Chris Aguila picked up the grounder hit from Eric Duncan in left field, and fired a beautiful throw to Einar Diaz at home. Diaz was in perfect position blocking the plate, and tagged out the baserunner Andy Phillips to keep a run from scoring.
This is the end of the Indians’ longest road trip of the season. The Tribe went 6-6 on the trip, splitting each series 2-2 at each stop on the trip, in Syracuse, Buffalo, and Scranton. They will return to Indianapolis to start the longest home stand of the season — 12 games — 4 games each against Buffalo, Charlotte, and Rochester.
Brian Rogers pitches for the Pirates -- photo  by NancyZ
Roster moves:
Josh Sharpless was called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates overnight, and he was in Cincinnati for the Pirates/Reds afternoon game, though didn’t get into the game.
Brian Rogers (photo by NancyZ ) was returned to the Indians from the Pirates. He had appeared in 3 games with the Pirates, for a total of 2 innings. He gave up 3 hits, 3 earned runs, one walk, one strikeout, and two back-to-back home runs in Saturday’s game against the Reds.
Michael Ryan increased his hitting streak to 10 games.
Rajai Davis did not play in today’s game, so his hitting streak stands at 14 games.
Go Tribe!

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Game #50 at Cincinnati

Great American Ballpark | 1:15 | Snell vs. Kyle Lohse | Box Drive Thru Attendent: May I help you? Ian Snell: I’d like some run support, please Attendent: I’m sorry we’re out of that. How about a season full of tough losses? Snell: No thanks Attendent: You’re getting some anyway Snell: This stinks Attendent: Welcome to the Pirates Had you told me that a Reds pitcher would throw a complete game shutout at the...

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Transaction Analysis – Sharpless recalled, Rogers optioned to AAA

Pirates recall RHP Josh Sharpless from AAA Indianapolis; RHP Brian Rogers optioned to AAA Indianapolis. Sharpless receives another shot with the big league club after failing to make the team out of spring training. The Beaver, PA native threw 12 innings for the Bucs in 2006, posting a 1.50 ERA while strugglling with his control (11 walks.) Never a control artist, Sharpless had issues with the free pass in Indianapolis as well,...

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