Knights Trample Indians in Six Innings

boxscore (Photos by NancyZ)
John Wasdin  -- photo by NancyZ
What did the best job of keeping the Charlotte Knights from scoring this afternoon? It was the rain. When it started raining in the middle of the 6th inning at Knights’ Stadium, the score was 13-2, and the Knights had scored in every inning but the first. Then they capped it off with an 8-run 5th inning.
“It was just one of those days”, said manager Trent Jewett after the game. “They’re hard to explain. Unfortunately, when you play 144 times, you’re going to have results like this every now and then. We’ve been on the positive end of a few 10-run games this year, so you have to take the good with the bad. We will enjoy a day off on Wednesday, and get back to work on Thursday.”
Indians’ starter John Wasdin took the loss for the Tribe, pitching 4.1 innings. He gave up 7 runs (all earned) on 11 hits. The bright spot was that he struck out 8 batters, including 3 strikeouts of Knights’ SS Tomas Perez. In fact, Tribe pitcher Juan Perez also struck out Tomas Perez once. Wasdin’s record is now 1-1, and his ERA ballooned to 8.31.
Wasdin had a little trouble in the first inning, but was able to get out of it. He hit 3B Jason Bourgeois with a pitch, and Bourgeois moved to second base on a wild pitch by Wasdin. He advanced to third base when CF Ryan Sweeney singled into right field. But Wasdin struck out DH Ernie Young and SS Tomas Perez to end the inning without a run scoring.
It was after that inning when the big trouble started. The Knights scored in three straight innings on home runs. They first got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning. 2B Kenny Perez singled into right field, and RF Kenny Kelly lifted a 3-1 pitch over the center field wall for a 2-run homer. Charlotte added two more in the 3rd inning, on another home run. 3B Jason Bourgeois grounded a double into left field, and CF Ryan Sweeney blasted one over the right field wall for another 2-run homer. In the 4th inning, Kenny Kelly led off the inning with his second home run of the game, this time to right field. This was a solo homer, and it made the score 5-0.

Yurendell de Caster -- photo by NancyZ
Knights’ knuckleball-throwing Charlie Haeger held the Indians to two hits over the first 4 innings. In the top of the 5th inning, with two out, C Einar Diaz reached first base on a fielding error by Knights’ 3B Jason Bourgeois. 2B Luis Ordaz walked, and SS Brian Bixler was hit by a pitch to load the bases. RF Yurendell de Caster (photo), owner of the highest batting average in the International League, lined a single into left field, to score Diaz and Ordaz. The rally ended quickly, though, as de Caster was thrown out trying to steal second base.
Charlotte came right back in a disastrous 5th inning — batting around, and chasing Tribe starter John Wasdin from the game. With one out, Wasdin gave up back-to-back singles to 1B Casey Rogowski and 2B Kenny Perez. That was the end of the day for him, as left-hander Juan Perez came in for relief. Juan Perez was greeted by another pair of back-to-back singles, to RF Kenny Kelly and C Gustavo Molina. Kelly’s single brought in Rogowski, making the score 6-2. LF Scott Podsednik smashed a grounder off Tribe 1B Brad Eldred’s glove and into right field, scoring Kenny Perez and Kenny Kelly. When Tribe RF Yurendell de Caster launched a wild throw back into the infield, Molina advanced to third base and Podsednik to second base. Molina scored on Jason Bourgeois’ single and Podsednik scored on Ryan Sweeney’s double. DH Ernie Young capped things off with a 3-run homer, the Knights’ fourth homer of the game. That gave the Knights 8 runs in the inning, and a 13-2 lead.
Trent Jewett complimented the Knights in earning a series split. “You have to give Charlotte credit because they won this series finale in pretty decisive fashion. They excelled in every phase of the game today. We, on the other hand, didn’t do too many things well. We spotted them five runs. Then, the wheels completely fell off the wagon in the fifth. It was a combination of clean hits, obvious errors, and some balls that could’ve been scored either way.”
Rain interrupted the game in the middle of the 6th inning. After a delay and consultation with weather radar, it was decided to declare the game finished. That gave Charlotte’s starter, Charlie Haeger the win, his 3rd of the year. The Tribe managed only three hits off Haeger, by Yurendell de Caster, Brad Eldred, and Luis Matos. Their two runs were unearned. Jason Bourgeois, Ryan Sweeney, and Kenny Kelly each had three hits for the Knights.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Yurendell de Caster’s two-RBI single in the top of the fifth inning. Trent Jewett couldn’t say enough about his team’s versatile player. “Yurendell is such an important piece to this puzzle because he can do so many things. It’s great to have Yurendell when you’re the one filling out the line-up card every day. He can play first base, second base, third base, left field or right field. Yurendell can hit almost anywhere in the line-up, and he can hit for both average and power. He’s been one of our most consistent performers over the past three years, and we’re looking forward to big things from him during the second half of this season.”
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: John Wasdin struck out 8 Charlotte batters in 4.1 innings of work. That’s 2/3 of the outs in the first four innings.
NOTES:
Dan Kolb -- photo by NancyZ
Roster moves:
Reliever Dan Kolb has been called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kolb has appeared in 18 games for the Tribe, going 20 innings. He has given up 19 hits and 9 walks, with 16 strike outs. He has a 2-1 record with 4 saves, and a 3.18 ERA. Kolb spent three weeks last month on the DL because of a hamstring problem. Since returning, he has pitched in 5 games (5.2 innings) and given up 5 runs — 2 in one game and 3 in another game, and earned one win and one save.
Someone will have to be sent down to make room for Kolb, and someone will have to be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for him there too.
Since the Indians already had a roster position open prior to Kolb’s promotion, they reactivated RHP Mark Corey from the DL. Corey has been on the DL since May 17th. He has pitched in 4 games for the Indians, one start and 3 in relief, for a total of 8.1 innings. His ERA is 3.81, with no wins, losses, or saves.
There are still murmurs that Franquelis Osoria might be joining Kolb soon.
Injury reports:
Bryan Bullington’s shoulder discomfort is now being attributed to general arm fatigue. He is expected to miss one start.
Sean Burnett is still on the sidelines, but he threw yesterday on flat ground, and today from the bullpen mound. He might be able to return to the starting rotation by the end of the month.
Record:
Charlotte scored 8 runs in the 5th inning. The Indians’ previous record for number of runs allowed to an opponent in an inning was 6, against Richmond on April 22nd.
Go Tribe!

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Game #64 vs. Texas

PNC Park | 7:05 | Duke vs. Kevin Millwood | Box There’s no such thing as an easy win when you’re a fan of the Pirates, I’m afraid.   I was about to write that there’s no such thing as a laugher—but we all know that’s not the case. The Bucs jumped out to a 6-0 lead tonight and held on to win, 7-5.  Jose Bautista went 3 for 5 from the leadoff spot, doubling twice, homering once and stealing a base. ...

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Youman and Tribe Shut Out Knights

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
Shane Youman -- photo by NancyZ
Shane Youman (photo) seems to like the number zero. He especially likes to see it in his opponents’ line on the scoreboard. So tonight, he put a lot of those zeros on the Charlotte Knight’s line — zero runs, in all 9 innings, as the Indianapolis Indians shut out the Knights 2-0 at Knights’ Stadium. Youman pitched 8 innings, giving up just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 batters, to earn his second win of the season and drip his ERA to 4.81. After the game, Youman had this to say about his win: “This win means a lot because I’ve been battling all season. I’m the first to admit the results haven’t been there, but I feel like I’m throwing the ball much better now. I will continue to push myself because I want to get better each time I head to the mound.”
Brian Bixler  -- photo by NancyZ
The first inning didn’t start out looking like it was going to go Youman’s way. Knights’ 2B Jason Bourgeois led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a single to left, and moved to second base when LF Casey Rogowski walked. But Youman settled down and struck out DH Brian Anderson. Then 1B Craig Wilson grounded to shortstop, where Tribe SS Brian Bixler (photo) scooped up the ball and tossed it to 2B Luis Ordaz, who turned it and fired to 1B Jose Hernandez for the inning-ending double play.
“(Shortstop) Brian (Bixler) started a huge double play to get me out of the first inning, and that gave us some momentum”, said Youman. “Fortunately I was able to settle down and focus on the task at hand. I feel like my concentration was good during all eight innings tonight.”

Youman came back in the bottom of the second inning and gave up one walk to C Wiki Gonzalez. He was left stranded as Youman made short work of three of his teammates. Gonzalez was the last base runner Charlotte managed to get for the next 5 innings, as Youman set 16 Knights down in order. The Knights got a man as far as second base in the 8th inning, when CF Ryan Sweeney singled and then moved to second on Youman’s wild pitch. Once again, though, Youman handled three other Charlotte batters easily, for another scoreless inning.
“After the eighth inning, (Manager) Trent (Jewett) asked if I could finish the game”, said Youman. “I told him I thought I could.”
Youman did go out for the 9th inning, but started the inning by giving up back-to-back singles to Jason Bourgeois and Casey Rogowski. At that point, Trent Jewett decided that Youman had had enough and it was time for reliever Franquelis Osoria to finish the game for him.
“It’s tough when you have to leave in that situation”, said Youman, “but Trent made a good call to get Franquelis (Osoria). Our bullpen has really picked up the starting pitchers this year, and Franquelis did a nice job to preserve the win tonight.”
Osoria did just that, and on only 9 pitches. DH Brian Anderson struck out, 1B Craig Wilson grounded out, and SS Tomas Perez flied out to end the game. Osoria earned his fourth save of the season.
Jose Hernandez -- photo by NancyZ
Charlotte’s starter Lance Broadway kept the Indians scoreless for the first three innings. In the top of the fourth inning, 1B Jose Hernandez (photo) lifted a long fly ball over the left center field wall for a solo home run.
It turned out that the homer was the only run the Tribe would need, but they did add an insurance run in the 6th inning. LF Yurendell de Caster led off the inning with a walk, and he advanced to third base when RF Brad Eldred grounded out to first base. 1B Jose Hernandez was intentionally walked. Then 3B Russ Johnson grounded an RBI single into left field to score de Caster.
Carlos Vasquez came in to relieve Broadway in the 7th inning. Vasquez pitched two innings, giving up only a single to DH Einar Diaz in the 8th inning. Mike MacDougal pitched the 9th inning for Charlotte, setting down the Tribe batters in order. Broadway took the loss for the Knights, his second of the season.
The Charlotte pitchers held the Tribe to 5 hits in the game. Besides Hernandez’s homer, Johnson’s RBI single, and Einar Diaz’s single, Luis Ordaz doubled, and Brian Bixler singled.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Jose Hernandez’s solo home run in the 4th inning.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Shane Youman and Franquelis Osoria combined to pitch nine shutout innings.
NOTES:
Don’t forget to vote for the Indians for the International League All-Star team. Look for the place to click for voting at either of these two sites:
www. indyindians.com
www.milb.com
Go Tribe!

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Bullington Removed Early, Tribe Loses

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
Bryan Bullington
The Indianapolis Indians had to play catch-up ball against the Charlotte Knights in last night’s game at Knights’ Stadium, but they fell just one run short, as the Knights beat the Indians by a score of 4-3. Perhaps the most worrisome part of the loss was the loss of Tribe starter Bryan Bullington (photo ) after just one inning, due to shoulder soreness.
Bullington started the game by walking Knight’s LF Scott Podsednik. 2B Jason Bourgeois grounded into a fielder’s choice, forcing Podsednik out at second base, and leaving Bourgeois safe at first base. A double by CF Ryan Sweeney moved Bourgeois to third base, and an intentional walk to SS Tomas Perez loaded the bases. Bourgeois scored when a Bullington threw a wild pitch.
Bullington had thrown only 24 pitches in the inning, but shortly after he came back to the dugout at the end of the inning, pitcher Michael Tejera was seen running down to the bullpen and starting a warm-up. Tejera was given all the warm-up time he needed, and he entered the game to pitch in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The official word came from the Indians’ clubhouse: Bullington had been taken out of the game as a precaution, complaining of right shoulder discomfort. Since it is just his first year — first few months — back to pitching after missing a season due to surgery, the Indians and the Pirates want to be very careful with Bullington.
Michael Tejera -- photo by NancyZ
Michael Tejera (photo ) pitched 5 innings for the Indians. He allowed only three hits and didn’t walk any Knights. Two of the hits he allowed, though, were solo home runs by 3B Gustavo Molina, one in the 2nd inning and one in the 5th inning.
“(Gustavo) Molina had a really good day at the plate, and you have to tip your cap to a guy like that”, said Tejera after the game. “The first home run was a pitch over the middle of the plate, and he took advantage of it. The second home run was actually a pretty good pitch — down and in — and he just got it. Molina really gave Charlotte a big lift today.”
Brian Rogers relieved Tejera for the 7th, with a perfect inning. Jesse Chavez pitched the 8th inning and allowed the Knights’ final and winning run. With one out, Scott Podsednik doubled, and he scored when Jason Bourgeois singled to left field.
Knights’ starter Gavin Floyd held the Indians to 5 hits scattered over 7 innings. He walked 3 and struck out 8 Indians’ batters. It took the Indians until the 5th inning to put a run on the board. LF Michael Ryan reached base when Knights’ 2B Bourgeois made a fielding error on a ground ball. 1B Chris Truby’s single moved Ryan to second, and SS Nick Green’s single scored Ryan.

Nick Green  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians added another run in the 6th. RF Yurendell de Caster doubled into center field, and advanced to third when 3B Russ Johnson grounded out to shortstop. C Einar Diaz lined an RBI single into center field to bring in de Caster.
The Tribe entered the 9th inning behind by two runs. Things started looking hopeful when DH David Parrish lined a double to left field with one out. Nick Green’s (photo ) single to center plated Parrish, and the Indians were only down by one run. But the game ended on an odd double play. With 2B Brian Bixler batting, Nick Green was leading off first, looking as if he was thinking about stealing second base. On the 3-2 pitch, Bixler swung and missed for a strike out. Green broke for second base late, and was caught in no-man’s-land about a third of the way from first to second base, and was easily tagged out to end the game.
Yurendell de Caster  -- photo by NancyZ
Bryan Bullington took the loss, despite having only pitched one inning. It was his 3rd loss of the season. Bullington still leads the International League with 9 wins. His ERA is not 2.83. Gavin Floyd earned the win, making his record now 4-3, with a 3.58 ERA. David Aardsma, who pitched the last two innings for the Knights’, earned his first save.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Yurendell de Caster and Nick Green each had two hits in the game, with a double for de Caster and 2 RBI for Green. De Caster is currently the International League batting leader, with a .348 AVG. He also has a league-leading on-base percentage (OBP ) of .457. His OPS is .932, fourth in the league.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: The double play by Knights’ Craig Wilson to end the third inning, going Nick Green to Brian Bixler to Chris Truby (6-4-3 ).
Masumi Kuwata -- photo by NancyZ
NOTES:
No news yet today (Monday) about Bryan Bullington’s shoulder status.
Sean Burnett is expected to start throwing again in the next few days, with the hope that he’ll be back pitching before the end of the month.
Dream come true: Masumi Kuwata (photo ) pitched in his first US Major League game yesterday. Wearing #18, the number he wore for 20 years with the Yomiuri Giants, Kuwata pitched two innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their game against the New York Yankees in New York. Kuwata pitched a perfect 5th inning. He had some trouble in the 6th inning, though. Kuwata first got Johnny Damon to fly out and Derek Jeter to line out to shortstop. Then Bobby Abreu took a 3-2 pitch for a walk. Alex Rodriguez took the first pitch he saw from Kuwata over the right field wall for a 2-run homer. Kuwata then walked former Yomiuri Giants teammate Hideki Matsui before getting Robinson Cano to pop up to end the inning.
Trent Jewett -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ manager Trent Jewett (photo ) has a blog on the Indianapolis Star site. In his first entry, he talks about Masumi Kuwata being on the team.
Don’t forget to vote our Indy Indians onto the International League All-Star Team! Vote at either of these two sites:
www.milb.com
www.indyindians.com
Go Tribe!

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Rating the Comedy Central

MVN’s president, Evan Brunell, sent me a link today to ESPN’s player ratings. I’m assuming he was trying—as a Red Sox fan—to point out the fact that Kevin Youkilis is considered to be the best first baseman in baseball. That’s fine, rub it in. I know the Pirates are bad. The more I clicked around, though, the more I got into the ratings. I’m a big fan of the Worldwide Leader’s split...

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Book Review: Roberto! by Bill Christine

This was one of the first books written about Roberto Clemente in the aftermath of his death. It was published in April of 1973. I picked up a badly tattered copy at a baseball card show in Pittsburgh earlier this year for $1.00. Tough to beat that. Christine covered the Pirates while working for Pittsburgh Press in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was the reporter that broke the story about Clemente being abducted at gunpoint by...

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