Owens Can’t Overcome Shaky First Inning

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Shelby Ford’s lead-off home run was a bright spot for the Indians.  

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  10,  Indianapolis Indians  3
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A shaky first inning from Tribe starter Rudy Owens gave the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees a lead they would never give up, as the Indians lost at Victory Field tonight.  Owens suffered his 4th loss of the season, and with the Tribe bullpen getting thin, outfielder Corey Wimberly made his professional pitching debut.  The Yankees posted 17 hits and scored in every other inning.  

IMG_5869It was a tough night for Owens (photo).  He lasted 5 innings and allowed 7 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks.  The first inning began with three consecutive hits:  a double by CF Austin Krum, a single by SS Ramiro Pena, and a 2-RBI triple by C Jesus Montero.  The triple hit near the top of the right field wall, over the leaping RF Miles Durham, who then crashed into the wall and fell to the ground, as CF Alex Presley chased down the ricochet.  Montero held at third when 1B Jorge Vazquez grounded to third for the first out of the inning, then Owens walked LF Justin Maxwell.

 Maxwell was leaning off first, and Owens’ throw to first picked him off.  Maxwell took off for second base.  1B Matt Hague took a quick look over at Montero on third to make sure he was not thinking of going home on the steal attempt.  But that extra second it took Hague to look to third was enough so that the throw to SS Brian Friday, covering second, was a second too late.  Montero made an awkward slide into second base and Friday’s tag was late, and Montero was called safe (photos below).  As Friday looked at the umpire in protest, Montero, still off balance, rolled off the base — if Friday had held the tag, Montero would have been out.  

  After a strikeout by 3B Brandon Laird, DH Jordan Parraz lined a 2-RBI single into center field, driving in both Montero and Maxwell.  2B Kevin Russo also walked, then RF Dan Brewer’s RBI single plated Parraz.  Brewer tried to advance to second base on the throw in from Durham in right, but a quick throw by 3B Andy Marte to Friday this time let Friday tag out Brewer.  The Yankees had a 5-0 lead.

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Ford, Bowker, and Watson Lead Come-From-Behind Win

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Shelby Ford gets the force out at second base, as Brian Friday backs him up.

Indianapolis Indians  8,  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  5
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The Indianapolis Indians engineered another come-from-behind win tonight, to defeat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Victory Field.  2B Shelby Ford (photo), who last played for the Indians in 2009, celebrated his return to AAA with 3 hits and started two big Tribe rallies.  LF John Bowker also contributed 3 hits and 3 RBI.  Reliever Tony Watson celebrated his 26th birthday with two scoreless innings of work, including 5 strikeouts.  

When starters Sean Gallager and Adam Warren squared off last week, Warren dominated the Indians and held the Tribe batters to just 3 hits in 8 innings.  Today, Gallagher and the Tribe turned the tables on Warren.

The Yankees began the game by taking advantage of an error in the top of the 1st.  With one out, Gallagher walked SS Ramiro Pena, then gave up a single up the middle to DH Jesus Montero.  1B Jorge Vazquez tapped a fast bouncer back to the mound, which Gallagher easily fielded.  He whirled and fired to Ford covering second base (photo above), for the force out on Montero.  Ford’s relay on to first base, though, was airmailed and landed in the visitor’s dugout.  Vazquez was awarded second base, and Pena, who had reached third base, was sent on home, for the Yankees’ first run of the game.  The run would have been unearned, but while pitching to CF Justin Maxwell, Gallagher threw a wild pitch.  If the throwing error had not been made, Pena would have been on third base, and would have scored on the wild pitch, which changed to run from “unearned” to “earned”.  Maxwell popped out to Ford to end the inning.  

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Tribe Bullpen Quiets Yankees

Indianapolis Indians  5,  Scranton /Wilkes-Barre Yankees  3
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IMG_5741The Indians’ bullpen shut down the Yankees’ bats in the second half of the game, as the Tribe took the first game of this 4-game series at PNC Field in Moosic, PA.  Starter Brian Burres earned his second win of the season, while RF John Bowker and C Jason Jaramillo contributed 2 RBI each.  

The Indians got right down to business in the top of the 1st, opening the game with back-to-back line drive singles into left field by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 2B Josh Harrison.  After a strikeout by LF Alex Presley, Bowker loaded the bases with a line drive single to right field.  1B Matt Hague (photo) made it four line drive singles (to left again), and his single drove in both d’Arnaud and Harrison to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

The Yankees came right back with two runs off Tribe starter Brian Burres in the bottom of the 1st.  Burres got a ground out, then gave up a single to SS Romiro Pena, followed by a 2-run homer to C Jesus Montero.  LF Justin Maxwell struck out, then 1B Brandon Laird singled, and Burres walked 2B Kevin Russo.  A grounder to short by RF Dan Brewer forced Russo out at second base, to get Burres and the Indians out of the inning, with the score tied 2-2.
 
Burres settled in after that first inning.  Relying on his breaking ball and changeup, Burres retired the next 8 S/W-B batters in a row, before allowing a single in the 4th inning.  Brewer lifted a fly ball into right field, and advanced to second base on a fielding error by Bowker in right.  The error was made meaningless with a fly out to end the inning.  

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Tribe Win The Series In The Pink

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Andy Marte (right) celebrates with Rudy Owens and Dusty Brown after his 2-run homer.  

Indianapolis Indians  3,  Buffalo Bison  2
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For the third year in a row, the Indianapolis Indians found that the pink breast cancer awareness jerseys brought them luck.  They beat the Buffalo Bison at Victory Field tonight, to win the 4-game series 3 games to 1.  Rudy Owens pitched 7 innings, allowing only one run on 7 hits for his third win of the season.  Former Pirate DJ Carrasco took the loss for the Bison.

IMG_5752This was Owens’ (photo) first win in 5 weeks, and only the second game in which he pitched 7 innings (the other was on April 11th).  He did not walk any batters.  He had two strikeouts — both on Carrasco, who also struck out Owens twice.  

Owens took advantage of three double plays in the first four innings.  His first two innings were twins.  The southpaw gave up a single (to 3B Luis Figueroa in the 1st and to 1B Valentino Pascucci in the 2nd), then got an out (pop up and fly out), then erased the base runner and ended the inning with a double play.  In the 1st, CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis bounced into a standard 4-6-3 (2B Josh Harrison to SS Chase d’Arnaud to 1B Matt Hague) double play.  In the 2nd, LF Jesus Feliciano grounded to first, where Hague stepped on first, then threw to second base where d’Arnaud tagged out Feliciano for the reverse force double play.  

Owens retired the Bison in order in the 3rd, but got into some trouble in the 4th.  Former Indy Indian Luis Figueroa zapped a grounder just inside the third base line and down into the left field corner, where LF John Bowker had to chase it down, as Figueroa raced to third base with a triple.  2B Michael Fisher lined a single up the middle, scoring Figueroa.  Then Owens returned to the first/second- inning form.  He got Nieuwenhuis to fly out, and got Pascucci to ground into an around the horn double play, started by 3B Andy Marte.

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Gallagher Struggles As Bison Get Revenge

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Trainer Brian Housand and Pitching Coach Tom Filer conference with pitcher Dan Meyer and catcher Dusty Brown, with plate umpire Mark Lollo listening in.

Buffalo Bison  5,  Indianapolis Indians  1
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After two days of being pounded by the Indians, the Buffalo Bison got their revenge this afternoon at Victory Field, as the Bison posted 12 hits in their win.  The Indians were held to just 5 scattered hits by the Buffalo pitching staff.  Buffalo starter Brian Sweeney earned his first win of the season and allowed the Indians only one run.

IMG_5676Sean Gallagher (photo) made the start for the Indians.  The plan had been to move Gallagher from the starting rotation to the bullpen, and he did make a relief appearance last week, coming in to take over for Garrett Olson, who had been injured.  But now, with Olson going onto the Disabled List, Gallagher has been moved back to the starting rotation.  The Bison jumped right on Gallagher in the top of the 1st inning.  After getting the first batter, former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa to pop up for the first out, Gallagher gave up a single to 2B Michael Fisher and a bunt single to C Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  1B Valentino Pascucci followed with a hard liner along the left field line for a double, driving in both Fisher and Nieuwenhuis for a 2-0 lead.  Gallagher left Pascucci on second base, ending the inning with a pop out and a ground out.  

Gallagher set the Bison down in order in the 2nd inning, but the Bison scored again in the 3rd.  Figueroa led off with another double down the left field line, similar to Pascucci’s.  Fisher singled up the middle, and the speedy Figueroa scored from second base.  C Dusty Brown threw out Fisher as he tried to steal second base.  The next three Bison batters all reached base safely —  a grounder through the hole into left field by Nieuwenhuis, a 4-pitch walk to Pascucci, and C Mike Nickeas hit on the left wrist or forearm by a pitch.  Nickeas took his time moving down to first base, but was not able to stay in the game.  He was replaced by pinch-runner/catcher (another former Indy Indian) Raul Chavez.  That loaded the bases with one out for the Bison.  Gallagher got out of the jam by getting LF Jesus Feliciano to bounced into a double play, 2B Chase d’Arnaud to SS Pedro Ciriaco, to 1B John Bowker.

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