Walk, Walk, Walk, Walk, SLAM!

The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of nine walks by the Norfolk Tides’ pitchers, and beat the Tides by a score of 7 to 5.� The Tides out-hit the Indians, putting up 12 hits to the Indians’ 5, but so many walks made up for the lack of hits.
Indians’ starting pitcher Marty McLeary pitched 5.1 innings, scattering 5 hits and giving up only two runs, both earned, while walking one and striking out two Tides, to give him a 1.74 ERA.� Norfolk starter Tim Kester went 5 innings, giving up only 2 hits and one run, with one run and 3 strikeouts.� But neither starter figured in the decision.
The Indians’ CF Nyjer Morgan led off the game with a single, but was out when he was caught stealing second base.� The Indians were not able to get on base again until the fourth inning.� LF Rajai Davis doubled and was moved to third base on a wild pitch by Kester.� C Ryan Doumit hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Davis.
The Tides also got a hit in the first inning, by SS Eider Torres, though theirs was complicated by a walk to C J.R. House, and a double steal to bring the runners to second and third.� But Marty McLeary struck out 1b Mike Cervenak and former Indian LF Cesar Crespo flied out to end the inning.� McLeary then kept the Tides off the bases entirely, until the fourth inning.� Back-to-back singles to House and Cervenak got things started, and a sacrifice fly by DH Terry Tiffee brought House in for a run to tie the score.

Both starting pitchers pitched scoreless 5th innings.� Then the Indians scored one run in the top of the 6th to take the lead again.� Reliever Sean Tracey replaced the starter Kester, and with one out, he walked Nyjer Morgan and Rajai Davis back-to-back, then got Ryan Doumit to ground out, then gave up back-to-back walks to Jose Hernandez and Russ Johnson, walking in a run.� Tracey headed for the showers at that point, in favor of reliever Andy Mitchell, who ended the inning.
The Indians couldn’t enjoy the lead for long, though.� McLeary gave up a�single to J.R. House, who went 2 for 3 on the night.� Jesse Chavez came in to relieve McLeary, and Chavez immediately gave up a double to Cesar Crespo and a two-run single to Terry Tiffee, giving the Tides the 3 – 2 lead.�
The Tribe busted loose in the top of the 7th inning.� 1B Yurendell de Caster led off with a single, DH Michael Ryan walked, and 2B Luis Ordaz singled, to load the bases.� Then, for the second time in the game, the Tides’ pitchers (Mitchell this time) walked in a run — Nyjer Morgan, with his third walk of the game.� They weren’t done yet though.� Ryan Doumit blasted a rising ball over the right-centerfield fence for a grand slam, putting the Indians up 7 to 3.�
That was all the scoring for the Tribe.� Reliever Victor Moreno replaced Andy Mitchell, and Moreno pitched a perfect 8th.� In the 9th inning, Moreno gave up 2 walks, one intentional, but then was able to induce SS Jose Hernandez to ground into a double play to end the inning.�
Norfolk tried to catch up to the Indians.� They scored one run in the bottom of the 7th, on two singles given up by Jesse Chavez, and then an RBI single by Tides’ Mike Cervenak given up by the next Tribe reliever, Kevin Gryboski.� Gryboski also gave up one run in the 8th.��2B Brandon Fahey singled, then moved to second on a throwing error by Tribe’s 2B Luis Ordaz, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a single by Eider Torres.�
Reliever Dan Kolb came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th.� He gave up two walks and made a wild pitch, but held on to get a strikeout and two ground outs.� Jesse Chavez got the win for the Indians, and Kolb earned a save.� Andy Mitchell took the loss for the Tides.�
Indians’ hit of the game:� How can you beat a grand slam?� Ryan Doumit, with a huge home run, plus 5 rbi.
Indians’ defensive play of the game:� In the bottom of the fourth, Nyjer Morgan ran all the way to the wall on a long long fly ball by Terry Tiffee.�(Very very deep outfield in Norfolk. )� Morgan made�a final desperate stab at the ball just as he got to the wall �– to come up with it for an out.� It turned out to be a sacrifice fly, as J.R. House was able to tag up and score.� But, Morgan kept two or more runs from scoring with that dramatic catch.
Nyjer Morgan stole two bases in the game, and Ryan Doumit had�one stolen base.� Morgan was also�caught stealing�for the first time in�the season.
Brian Bixler had the night off, so while he now doesn’t�have a hit in each of the Indians’ games, he still has a 9-game hitting streak�intact.
Go Tribe!

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Aguila Is the Hero Again, in Extra Innings

Chris Aguila was the hero again for the Indianapolis Indians, hitting a three-run home run in the top of the 11th inning, to carry the Indians to a 5 – 2 win over the Norfolk Tides in Norfolk.
Both starting pitchers, John Van Benschoten for the Indians and Jon Leicester for the Tides, gave up runs early, and then settled down to throw several scoreless innings.� The Tides scored first, in the bottom of the first inning, on an odd play.� With two outs, the�Tides had�SS Brandon Fahey on third base and former Pirates’ prospect DH J.R. House on second base, Cesar Crespo (Indians’ MVP in 2005 ) hit the ball to Tribe 3B Russ Johnson.� Johnson bobbled the ball so that he didn’t have time to throw to first to get Crespo for the third out.� Instead, just after Fahey crossed the plate, Johnson and 2B Luis Ordaz trapped House in a run-down between second and third bases.� Ordaz tagged House out for the third out.� The official scorer gave Johnson an error on the play, with the thought that the out should have been made at first, to prevent the run from scoring at all.� That meant that Crespo did not get the RBI, and John Van Benschoten also did not get charged for an earned run.�
The Indians threatened first in the top of the first.� With two out, Leicester gave up consecutive singles to C Ryan Doumit and 1B Jose Hernandez, followed by a walk to 3B Russ Johnson, to load the bases.� Leicester then induced LF Chris Aguila to tap a little grounder just a short distance from the plate.� C Eli Whiteside was able to snatch the ball and step on the plate, to force Doumit for the third out.
The Tribe batters were more successful in the second inning.� DH Luis Matos walked, and SS Brian Bixler was hit on the sleeve�by a pitch.� Luis Ordaz’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners.� CF Nyjer Morgan got the big hit, a line drive single to center field to score both runs.�

Both pitchers scattered a few harmless hits over the next several innings.� Jon Van Benschoten pitched 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 3 batters before being relieved in the bottom of the 6th inning by�Josh Sharpless.� Van Benschoten’s ERA is now 5.4o.� Sharpless walked one and struck out three in his two innings.� John Grabow pitched the 8th inning, and gave up two hits, but then induced a double play to get out of the jam.� Meanwhile, Norfolk’s Jon Leicester pitched 6 innings and gave up 5 hits and the Indians’ 2 runs in the second inning, to put his ERA at 3.86.� He was relieved by Nick McCurdy, followed by Kurt Birkins, who both pitched scoreless innings.��Todd Williams, who played for the Indians from 1997 – 1999, pitched two more scoreless innings for the Tides.
It was looking good for the Indians going into the bottom of the 9th, leading 2 – 1.� Jim Brower came in to pitch for the Tribe. With one out, Tides’ RF Luis Montanez singled, and pinch hitter Morgan Clendenin double to score Montanez and tie the game and send it into extra innings.
The 10th inning offered Brian Bixler a nice opportunity.� Bixler had made a hit in every one of the Indians’ games this season, but in the nine regulation innings of this game, he had grounded out twice and been hit by a pitch.� The top of the 9th ended with Bixler in the on-deck circle, looking like his hitting streak was about to end.� The tie -up and extra innings meant that Bixler was going to have a second chance.� Sure enough, he bounced a single up the middle to lead off the 10th, to continue his streak.� Unfortunately, Bixler was stranded on base.��Jim Brower pitched a perfect bottom of the 10th, and the game went on.
The Tides brought Francis�Beltran in to pitch the 11th inning, and the Indians got to him quickly.��Jose Hernandez walked, and Yurendell�de Caster came in to pinch run for him.� Russ Johnson�lined a double to left, moving de Caster to third.� The Tides must have thought about walking Aguila to load the bases and hope for a double play, but probably thought they could get Aguila to either strike out or ground out harmlessly.� But Aguila had other ideas.��He blasted his first homer of the year over the left field wall to�put the Tribe up 5 – 3.
Franquelis Osoria replaced Brower to pitch the bottom of the 11th.� Osoria got three quick outs, a liner and two grounders, to finish off the Tides.
Indians’ hit of the game:��Clearly, Chris Aguila’s first home run of the year, and second game-winning hit of the year.�
Indians’ defensive play(s ) of the game:� Two double plays by the infield.� In the bottom of the second, with runners on first and second, CF Ruddy Yan smashed a grounder to 2B Luis Ordaz, who�threw to SS Brian Bixler covering second, who relayed it to 1B Jose Hernandez for the double play to end the inning and keep the Tides from scoring again.� In the bottom of the 8th, with that 2 – 1 score still in place and runners again on first and second,�Cesar Crespo hit a hard grounder to Bixler, who tossed to Ordaz at second, and on to Hernandez at first, again ending the inning and preventing more runs from scoring.
Jim Brower got the win, and Franquelis Osoria got the save for the Indians; Francis Beltran took the loss.
Sunday’s game between the Indians and the Richmond Braves was postponed due to the heavy rains that soaked the east coast.� In fact, all the Pirates’ minor league affiliates were rained out yesterday.� The Indians and Braves will make up the game in a double header at the beginning of August, when the Indians return to Richmond.
Go Tribe!

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