Indians’ Green Goes Deep Twice

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Indianapolis Indians’ infielder Nick Green thought he was having a good day when he smashed a solo home run over the left field wall at PNC Field in Scranton, PA. His day got quite ‘grand’ in the 5th inning, when he hit another one over the left field wall, but this time with the bases loaded. His grand slam capped off a 6-run 5th inning, as Green led the Indians to a 8-5 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
“Today was a lot of fun,” said Green after the game. “It’s really nice to have a game like this, especially when you’re in the first week with a new team. Often times, players put too much pressure on themselves when they’re in this type of situation. Everyone wants to fit in — both on and off the field. I’ve just been taking one game at a time, and it’s been a good first week for me.”
Green joined the Indians just last week, after spending the past several weeks in extended spring training in Bradenton, FL, where he had been rehabbing after a case of turf toe. In 6 games with the Tribe, Green has put up 6 hits in 21 at-bats, with 3 doubles and 3 RBI. Today, Green had 3 hits in 4 at bats, with those two home runs and 5 RBI, raising his batting average to .360.
“I was looking for the first good pitch to hit,” Green said. “Things worked out for me individually, and things worked out for us as a team.”
Brian Bixler -- photo by NancyZ
Things did indeed work out well for the Indians, as they started off quickly in the first inning. CF Rajai Davis led off against Yankees starter Steven Jackson with a single, and then stole second. It was Davis’ league-leading 24th stolen base of the season. SS Brian Bixler (photo by NancyZ ) grounded back to pitcher Jackson, who whirled and caught Rajai Davis in the middle of the base path, unable to get back to second and unable to reach third. While Davis was stalling in the run-down, Bixler slid safely into second base. DH Yurendell de Caster was up next, and he lined into left field for a single, moving Bixler to third. 1B Brad Eldred then doubled to left, scoring Bixler for the Indians’ first run of the game. In the top of the second, with one out, Nick Green hit his solo homer, increasing the Indians’ lead to 2-0.
The Indians’ big inning came in the 5th, when they sent 9 batters to the plate and scored 6 runs. Rajai Davis and Brian Bixler led off with back-to-back triples, and Davis scored on Bixler’s triple. Two ground outs followed, by Yurendell de Caster and Brad Eldred, but neither grounder allowed Bixler to score. RF Michael Ryan and LF Chris Aguila added back-to-back singles, the first scoring Bixler, and the second moving Ryan to third. That sent the Yankees’ Jackson to the showers, and Ben Kozlowski entered the game in relief. Aguila stole second, and then 3B Russ Johnson walked to load the bases. Next up was Nick Green, who cleared the bases, for 4 RBI and a total of 6 runs in the inning.
That was all the scoring for the Indians in the game. Yankees starter Steven Jackson pitched 4.2 innings, giving up 6 runs, all earned, on 11 hits. Ben Kozlowski, who relieved Jackson, went 3.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits. Charlie Manning pitched the last inning for Scranton/W-B, a scoreless inning, with one run and one walk.
Besides Nick Green, Rajai Davis also had three hits for the Tribe, and Brian Bixler and Michael Ryan had two hits and an RBI each.

Marty McLeary -- photo by NancyZ
Meanwhile, Indians’ starter Marty McLeary(photo by NancyZ ), in his first appearance since returning from the Pirates, pitched three solid innings. McLeary gave up only 2 hits and 3 walks, and hit one batter, but gave up no runs. He was on a loose pitch count, though manager Trent Jewett and pitching coach Jeff Andrews would have liked to see McLeary go 4 or 5 innings. McLeary didn’t have much trouble with the Yankees until the top of the 4th, when Yankees’ 2B Andy Phillips singled, and then 1B Eric Duncan and DH Shelley Duncan both walked. At that point, McLeary had thrown 71 pitches, and his day was finished.
Michael Tejera entered the game to relieve McLeary with bases loaded in the fourth. He quickly got RF Bronson Sardinha to loft a fly ball to left field, which LF Chris Aguila easily caught. Yankees’ 2B Andy Phillips, who had been on third base, tagged up and headed for home, but Aguila threw a bullet home, where C Einar Diaz tagged out Phillips, for a double play. The next batter, 3B Chris Basak grounded to short for an easy third out, and the Indians were out of the inning without a run scoring.
The Yankees started nibbling away at the Indians’ lead in the bottom of the 5th, though. Two doubles, one by SS Angel Chavez and one by CF Kevin Thompson, pushed across Chavez for the Yankees’ first run. One inning later, Tejera gave up back-to-back walks to Bronson Sardinha and Chris Basak. Angel Chavez followed with his second double of the game, scoring both Sardinha and Basak.
Franquelis Osoria  -- photo by NancyZ
With one out in the bottom of the 7th, Tejera hit LF Kevin Reese with a pitch, then gave up a single to Andy Phillips and a walk to Eric Duncan to load the bases. That ended Tejera’s outing, and Franquelis Osoria (photo by NancyZ ) entered the game in relief, with the bases loaded just like they were when Tejera entered the game. Osoria was greeted by Shelley Duncan’s line drive single, scoring Reese. Osoria then induced Bronson Sardinha to bounce a grounder right back to him, and the quick throw back to Einar Diaz at home forced out Phillips. Chris Basak slapped a grounder to third, where Russ Johnson scooped it up and threw to Nick Green at second forcing out Sardinha for the third out.
Tejera pitched a total of 3.1 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 4 hits, while walking three and striking out one. He got the win, his second of the season. Osoria pitched 1.2 innings, and gave up one run on two hits. The one run came in the 8th inning, when Angel Chavez hit his third double of the game, moved to third base on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Reese. Juan Perez pitched a perfect 9th inning for the Tribe to end the game.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Clearly, Nick Green, with his solo home run and grand slam home run, for a total of 5 RBI.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Chris Aguila’s catch of Bronson Sardinha’s fly ball in left field, followed by a perfect throw to home plate, to get Andy Phillips out for a double play. Nick Green on the defense today: “Our defense certainly helped us get out of some jams today. Sometimes people forget about all of the little things that can help you win a baseball game. We stayed focused on every pitch, every at-bat, and every inning. It was nice to see Aguila come up with that double play in the fourth inning, and the rest of our position players got the job done too.”
NOTES:
Rajai Davis increased his hitting streak to 12 games, and had his 13th multi-hit game of the season.
Michael Ryan increased his hitting streak to 8 games, the longest he’s had in the past few seasons.
Einar Diaz stole second base in the 8th inning, his second stolen base of the season. No more dissing Einar’s baserunning!
Nick Green’s grand slam was the Indians’ second grand slam of the season. The first came off the bat of Ryan Doumit, on April 17th in Norfolk.
Marty McLeary will be leaving the team for a few days, so that he can be with his wife who is expecting to be delivering their baby any time.
Go Tribe!

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Indians Hang on To Win, and Split the Series

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Luis Matos --  photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians had a big 3rd inning tonight, and then held on as Buffalo tried to come back, keeping the win for the Tribe, by a score of 10-9. This ends the series in Buffalo with a split, and also gives the Indians a split so far on this road trip with 4 wins and 4 losses.
The Indians opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd inning. With one out, back-to-back singles by LF Luis Matos (photo by NancyZ ) and 2B Luis Ordaz put runners on the corners. 3B Nick Green got an RBI when he grounded to second, and was safe when Bison 2B Hector Luna missed fielding the ball, and Matos scored.
The Bison came right back in the bottom of the inning with three consecutive hits. With two out, 2B Hector Luna singled, and 1B Ryan Mulhern doubled to center, allowing Luna to score. DH Brad Snyder hit another single, scoring Mulhern.
Rajai Davis  -- photo by NancyZ
(Rajai Davis hit a 3-run home run — photo by NancyZ )
The Tribe came back with a fury in the top of the 3rd, sending 13 batters to the plate, for the Indians’ highest scoring inning of the season. SS Brian Bixler led off with a double to right field. DH Yurendell de Caster singled, and the speedy Bixler came all the way around to score (1). 1B Brad Eldred lifted a fly ball to center for the first out. RF Michael Ryan singled, moving de Caster to second, and then de Caster scored on Luis Matos’s single (2). Luis Ordaz hit his first triple of the year, which scored Ryan and Matos (3 and 4). Nick Green recorded the second out by grounding softly to second, as Ordaz held at third base. C David Parrish walked, putting runners on the corners again. Rajai Davis hit his second home run of the season, a bomb to the scoreboard above the left field wall, for three runs (5, 6, and 7). Brian Bixler came up again, and this time he walked. De Caster got his second hit of the inning, a double to left field that moved Bixler to third. Eldred singled up the middle just out of the second baseman’s reach, scoring both Bixler and de Caster (8 and 9). At this point, Bison starter Aaron Laffey had been tormented enough, and he was relieved by Jim Ed Warden. Warden got Michael Ryan to pop a fly to center field for the third out. The final total was nine hits in the inning, lifting the score to 10 – 2.

Yurendell  de Caster -- photo  by NancyZ
(Photo — Yurendell de Caster had an outstanding night at the plate — photo by NancyZ )
Buffalo kept battling, though, and chipped away at the Indians’ lead. In the bottom of the third, they scored one more run on a double by SS Luis Rivas and a single by LF Shin-Soo Choo. In the next inning, Ryan Mulhern reached base safely when Tribe 3B Nick Green missed the pick up on a grounder. Brad Snyder followed with a single, and both runners advanced a base when C David Parrish had a ball get past him to the backstop. David Wallace grounded out to third, short enough so that the runners held. But the next ground out, by Franklin Gutierrez, went to second base, and allowed Mulhern to score. A solo home run in the 6th by DH Brad Snyder added another run, making the score 10-5.
The Bison had a rally in the 7th inning. Reliever Jesse Chavez came in for Tribe starter John Van Benschoten, and Chavez was unable to record an out. Shin-Soo Choo singled, then Ben Francisco and Keith Ginter both walked to load the bases, and Hector Luna singled to score Choo. Chavez was sent to the showers, with Josh Sharpless coming in to try his hand. Ryan Mulhern lined a single to center, scoring Francisco, and keeping the bases loaded. A walk to Brad Snyder forced in Ginter for the next run. Former Indian Trent Durrington entered the game as a pinch hitter for C David Wallace, and he ground into a double play, allowing Luna to score and Mulhern to go to third, but at least getting the two outs. Sharpless then got Franklin Gutierrez to strike out on a foul tip that C David Parrish held on to for the third out. Sharpless pitched the last two innings, allowing only one hit in the 8th, but no further runs, as the Indians held on to win.
Indians’ starter John Van Benschoten pitched 6 innings, giving up 9 hits and 5 runs (4 earned ). He got credit for the win, making his season record 4-3, with a 2.90 ERA. Jesse Chavez pitched to 4 batters in the 7th inning, and all four of those batters came around to score earned runs. Josh Sharpless earned his third save of the year, pitching 3 scoreless innings.
Buffalo’s starter Aaron Laffey, went only 2.2 innings, giving up 12 hits and 10 runs, all earned, to take his second loss of the season. The Bison used three relievers, none of whom gave up any runs. Jim Ed Warden, who relieved Laffey, pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5 Tribe batters. Buddie Buzachero pitched 3 innings, giving up only one hit, and Juan Lara gave up one hit in the 9th inning.
All of the Indians’ batters contributed to the offensive attack. Everyone but David Parrish had at least one hit, and Parrish walked twice and scored. Rajai Davis and Yurendell de Caster led the Indians’ offense with 3 hits each, including Davis’s 3-run homer. Brian Bixler, Luis Matos, Luis Ordaz, and Nick Green each had two hits. Ben Francisco and Wayne Snyder each had three hits for the Bison.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Rajai Davis’s 3-run home run to left field in the 3rd inning.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the 5th inning, with runners on first and second and only one out, Bisons’ Ryan Mulhern grounded into a double play to end the inning: SS Brian Bixler scooped up the grounder, and threw to 2B Luis Ordaz, who threw to first as he was being up-ended by the baserunner. That made his throw go down into the dirt, but 1B Brad Eldred was able to pick it out of the dirt to make the play, for the inning-ending double play. The Tribe also made 2 other double plays during the game.
NOTES–
Brian Rogers  -- photo by NancyZ
Roster moves:
RHP Reliever Brian Rogers (photo by NancyZ ) was promoted to the Pittsburgh Pirates after yesterday’s game. He will be joining the Pirates on the road in St. Louis. The 24-year-old has appeared in 15 games with the Indians this season, and has 2 saves and a 1.35 ERA. He has given up 10 hits in 20 innings, with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts.
Matt Peterson, who has been with the Indians for only a week, was sent back to Altoona today. Peterson had appeared in 3 games with the Indians, pitching 4.1 innings, and giving up 3 hits, 1 earned run, 5 walks, with 3 strikeouts, for a 2.08 ERA.
With Marty McLeary returning to the Tribe and the starting pitching rotation, Michael Tejera will move to the bullpen.
From Dejan Kovacevic in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Masumi Kuwata, the Japanese pitcher whose right ankle was severely sprained in spring training, has completed three bullpen sessions and one live batting practice while rehabilitating in Bradenton, Fla. There remains no timetable on when he might be assigned to a minor-league affiliate.

Streaking:
Rajai Davis extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Michael Ryan extended his hitting streak to 7 games.
Go Tribe!

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