Columbus Clippers 6, Indianapolis Indians 4
A big inning by the Clippers and too many missed opportunities by the Indians added up to another loss for the Tribe as the two teams opened a 3-game series at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Neither starting pitcher made it out of the 4th inning. 3B Josh Harrison (photo) had two hits for the Indians and came around to score twice.
The Indians got started with an unearned run in the top of the 1st. With one out, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled up the middle and LF Alex Presley singled into left field, sending d’Arnaud to third. Presley stole second base, then 1B Matt Hague walked to load the bases. DH Andy Marte grounded to short, where Columbus SS Cord Phelps had the ball pop out of his glove. Everyone was safe on the error and d’Arnaud scored from third. But the inning ended with a strikeout by C Dusty Brown, and all three runners were left on base. Josh Harrison made it a 2-0 lead when he led off the top of the 2nd with a long and high blast into the left field bleachers.
Brian Burres, in his fourth start of the season, zipped through the bottom of the 1st, thanks to a stunning play by Harrison at third. His counterpart at third base, Lonnie Chisenhall, smacked a sharp grounder to third, where Harrison made the scoop, then made a throw across his body on the run, in time to nab Chisenhall at first. Burres gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd, to RF Travis Buck, followed by a double by Phelps, though Burres was able to work around the double and leave Phelps on base.
Toledo Mud Hens 7, Indianapolis Indians 1
The Indianpolis Indians struggled in the cold and the fog tonight at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio, as they lost to the Mud Hens, earning a split of the 4-game series. Starter Rudy Owens (photo) suffered his first loss of the season, after having won his first two starts.
The Mud Hens attacked Owens as soon as they came to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. CF Andy Dirks led off with a grounder to first. Tribe 1B Matt Hague made a diving stop, but he had to wait for Owens to move to first, and by the time Owens got there, Dirks was safe. After a strikeout, LF Timo Perez and 1B Ryan Striekby both singled, and Dirks came in to score. A sacrifice fly by RF Clete Thomas brought in Perez, and the Mud Hens had a 2-0 lead.
Owens put the Mud Hens down in order in the 2nd, and that was the only inning in which he did that. Toledo picked up another run in the 3rd, when Perez singled to the right side of the mound, just out of reach of Owens. Strieby doubled over RF Andrew Lambo’s head and off the wall, and by the time Lambo was able to chase down the ricochet, Perez had scored easily. The bottom of the 4th began with a triple by DH Danny Worth. That ball also hit the wall over CF Alex Presley’s head, and the throw came back in to the infield, but was cut off by 2B Brian Friday, as Worth slid into third. Owens threw a wild pitch, and Worth scored easily. Owens gave up a double to Perez (his third hit of the game) in the 5th, and walked Strieby, but kept them from scoring. Owens finished up with 5 innings of work, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, with 7 strikeouts. He threw 87 pitches, of which 59 were strikes.
Toledo Mud Hens 6, Indianapolis Indians 0 (Game 1)
The Indianapolis Indians began this double header on a down note, as they were held to just one hit at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.
Mud Hens’ starter Charlie Furbush dominated the Indians’ batters through all 7 innings of this game. He struck out 9 Tribe batters and did not walk any. The only hit he allowed was by C Jason Jaramillo to lead off the top of the 3rd inning. Jaramillo did not even reach second base — he was forced out on a grounder by LF Corey Wimberly. Wimberly was the only other Indian to reach base, when he was safe at first on a fielding error by 3B Danny Worth in the 6th.
The Mud Hens got to Tribe starter Brad Lincoln early in the game. In the bottom of the 1st, lead-off batter CF Andy Dirks began the inning with a double down the left field line. 2B Scott Sizemore was hit by a pitch, and LF Timo Perez moved both along one base with a sacrifice bunt. DH Scott Thorman brought in Dirks with an RBI single, and 1B Ryan Strieby drove in both Sizemore and Thorman with an RBI double into center field.
Lincoln retired the side in order in the 2nd inning, but the Mud Hens came back at him in the 3rd. The inning began with back-to-back singles by Sizemore and Perez. Lincoln struck out the next two batters, but both base runners stole the next base on the second strikeout. RF Clete Thomas drove both in with a single up the middle. Lincoln and the Indians had a bit of better luck, when Jaramillo threw out Thomas as he tried to steal second base, ending the inning. Toledo picked up one more run in the 4th, with singles by 3B Danny Worth and C Max St. Pierre, then a sacrifice fly by Dirks.
Lincoln also retired the side in the 5th, and that was all for him for the night. He had allowed the 6 runs on 8 hits, no walks, and 5 strikeouts. He threw 86 pitches, with 60 strikes. Cesar Valdez relieved Lincoln to begin the 6th inning. He gave up a single to former Indy Indian SS Argenis Diaz in the 6th, but left him on base.
Indians Hitting Gem of the Game: Well, there was only one hit to choose from — Jason Jaramillo’s (photo) single in the third inning.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the bottom of the 5th, Corey Wimberly made a diving catch of a line drive in left-center field, off the bat of Scott Thorman. Both Wimberly and Alex Presley, who was in center field tonight, raced for the ball, but Wimberly cut in front of Presley and made the catch.
Indianapolis Indians 4, Toledo Mud Hens 2
The Indianapolis Indians battled the blustery weather as well as the Toldeo Mud Hens in a late-morning school day start in Toledo today. They earned the win, giving them a 3-1 record on the road so far this season.
Justin Wilson (photo) pitched 6 scoreless innings in his third start of the season, to earn his first AAA win. He gave up 2 hits, both in the 3rd inning. RF Andy Dirks dropped a looper into short right field, just out of reach of the leaping Tribe SS Chase d’Arnaud, then 2B Scott Sizemore put a sinking liner into right field, off the glove of RF Gorkys Hernandez. Wilson left both on base with a fly out and a ground out. Wilson also worked around two singles and a batter reaching on a fielding error by SS Pedro Ciriaco in the 2nd inning. That was a wind-blown ball into short right field, with Ciriaco, 3B Josh Harrison, and LF Alex Presley all chasing after it. Ciriaco tried to make a last-second twisting over-the-shoulder catch and missed. Wilson threw 97 pitches with 62 strikes in his 6 innings.
The gusty wind helped the Indians as well as hurt them. In the top of the 2nd, DH Andy Marte lifted the first pitch he saw into the wind, which took it over the left field wall for a solo home run. Marte nearly had another home run in the 5th inning, but that time his fly to left field was just short, and was caught at the wall.
The Tribe had only one hit over the next three innings — a double by Harrison in the 5th, when the wind did the same thing to the Mud Hens that it had done to Ciriaco and the Indians in the 3rd. Harrison’s high pop got caught in the wind, and with the infielders running out and the outfielders running in, the ball fell in just out of reach of SS Cale Iorg. In both instances, the outfielders might have had a better chance at running in to make the catch, but instead they let their shortstops take over. Harrison made a quick steal of third base, but he was left stranded when Hernandez struck out.
Indianapolis Indians 10, Louisville Bats 4
During batting practice today, Indians’ SS Pedro Ciriaco (photo) declared that “tonight is the night”. Then he made good on it, leading the Indians in their win over the Bats at Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ciriaco came into the game with a .059 batting average, with just 2 hits in his first 11 games of the season. Tonight, he posted the first Indians’ run of the game with a single in the 3rd inning. He singled again in the 6th innings, and nearly picked up an RBI, though 1B Matt Hague was out at the plate. Then Ciriaco capped the Indians’ big 8th inning with a 3-run home run, giving the Tribe a defiinive lead that would carry them to the win.
After yesterday’s 13-inning marathon, tonight’s game began in much the same way: two perfect innings by both starters, Sean Gallagher for the Indians and Scott Carroll for the Bats. Ciriaco was the first base runner of the game when he singled up the middle in the 3rd. He stole second base, but was left stranded. Gallagher walked RF Brian Barton and hit C Corky Miller with a pitch to begin the bottom of the 3rd, but when Barton strayed too far off second base, the alert Tribe C Jason Jaramillo picked him off. Gallagher got out of the inning with a strikeout and a fly out.
(Photo: Starter Sean Gallagher)
The Indians got the scoring started in the top of the 4th. 2B Chase d’Arnaud led off the inning with a line drive single into center field. A ground out by LF Alex Presley moved d’Arnaud to second, and a balk by Carroll pushed d’Arnaud to third. D’Arnaud scored the first run of the game when Bats’ SS Zack Cozart bobbled RF Andrew Lambo’s grounder. Lambo reached second base on a passed ball. 3B Andy Marte nearly had an RBI double with a sharply hit ball down the left field line, but it was ruled a foul ball, and Marte went back to try again. He worked a walk, to put two Indians’ runners on base. Jaramillo drove both of them in with a line drive that just barely got past Bats’ CF Dave Sappelt, and the Indians had a 3-0 lead.
Louisville got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning. Cozart reached base on an error, when his grounder skipped off the glove of Marte at third. LF Yonder Alonso walked, and a fly ball gave the Bats runners on the corners. A wild pitch let Cozart come in to score. Alonso stole second base then moved to third when 3B Chris Valaika reached base on Ciriaco’s fielding error. Gallagher stopped the rally with two strikeouts, and held the score at 3-1. The bottom of the 5th began with a single by Miller, which hopped past the diving Ciriaco. Moments later, Sappelt brought in Miller with his 2-run homer, to tie the score at 3-3.