The Indianapolis Indians’ game in Rochester was postponed today — because the Indians were not there! The team was supposed to fly to Rochester this morning, but due to mechanical problems, their flight was delayed. There were not any other flights available to get the team to Rochester in time for the game. The Indians and the Red Wings will play two games on Saturday, the first at 1 pm, and the second at 7 pm. Both will be 9-inning games.
The Pirates have signed two more draft picks: 3B Dan Gamache from Auburn U. and OF Taylor Lewis from University of Maine- Orono. My guess is that they will be heading to State College, but no definite word yet.
The State College Spikes begin their season tomorrow, on the road at Williamsport. The GCL Pirates will begin their 2011 season on Monday.
Don’t forget to vote for the All-Stars:
Eastern League All-Star Voting is here
AAA (International and Pacific Coast Leagues) All-Star Voting is here
Altoona Curve 3, New Britain Rock Cats 1
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Kyle McPherson allowed the New Britain a solo home run in the top of the 1st, and then he and the bullpen shut the Rock Cats down for the rest of the game. McPherson pitched 6 innings and scattered 3 more runs and a walk over the remaining 5 innings for his first win at the AA level. Two singles came in the 3rd, but McPherson left runners on the corners. He left two runners in scoring position in the 6th after a walk and a single. McPherson also struck out 4 batters.
The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. LF Anthony Norman led off with a single lined into right field, and 2B Brock Holt followed with a grounder into right for a second single, moving Norman to third base. Norman scored on a ground out by SS Jordy Mercer. Holt came in on CF Quincy Latimore’s RBI single, to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.
The Curve went down in order over the next three innings. They added an insurance run in the 5th, when C Tony Sanchez and DH Jose Hernandez hit back-to-back singles. Sanchez moved to third base on Hernandez’s hit, then scored on RF Brad Chalk’s sacrifice fly. 1B Matt Curry blasted a triple into right field in the 7th inning, but he was left on base. The Curve threatened again in the 8th, when Chalk and Norman both singled, and Holt walked. They left the bases loaded, though, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.
Matt McSwain pitched two perfect innings in relief after McPherson was done for the evening. Anthony Claggett, who was moved back to the Curve when Jose Ascanio was assigned to Indianapolis, pitched the 9th inning. The first batter of the inning reached on a fielding error by Norman in left. After two fly outs, a single, a wild pitch, and a walk loaded the bases. But Claggett got a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.
Corey Wimberly was the only Tribe batter to reach third base tonight.
Gwinnett Braves 2, Indianapolis Indians 0
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Starter Brad Lincoln pitched 6 strong innings in his first time out after missing his last start, but he didn’t get any run support, and suffered his 6th loss of the season, as the Indianapolis Indians lost to the Gwinnett Braves at Victory Field tonight. The Tribe batters recorded 6 hits, with two by Corey Wimberly, but could not push any of their base runners across the plate.
The Indians had some unusual situations in their defense and also in their lineup tonight. Clearly the injuries affecting the Pirates have the major league club looking more closely at what players in Indianapolis are doing. With Josh Harrison still out due to an oblique muscle strain, the Pirates are looking for another infielder who can play third base. Tonight, Chase d’Arnaud played third base for the first time this year, and the first time since a few games back at State College in 2008. Wimberly played second base for the first time this season. The Pirates have been talking about bringing up Alex Presley next week, when they begin interleague play again. Tonight Presley played right field for the first time this season. He did play some right field during spring training, and also last season when he had his September call-up to the Pirates. Andrew Lambo moved over to left field tonight.
The other change was that Brad Lincoln batted 8th in the order (photo above), with Wimberly taking the 9th spot. Manager Dean Treanor wanted to give Wimberly the chance of being in a position to bunt, and he felt that the 9th spot in the order would be best for that.
Lincoln had to face Atlanta Braves’ rehabbing outfielder Jason Heyward (photo), and it was Heyward who got the Braves’ scoring started in the top of the 1st. Lincoln retired the first two batters, LF Jose Constanza and SS Julio Lugo, both of whom had a hit-fest last night. Heyward ripped a line drive into the left field corner for a double. 1B Mauro Gomez followed with a grounder back up the middle, just out of reach of SS Brian Friday’s dive, driving in Heyward. A fly out left Gomez on first, but the Braves had a 1-0 lead.
Lincoln worked around one runner on base in three of the next four innings. He walked CF Jeff Fiorentino to begin the 2nd inning. 2B Ed Lucas rocketed a liner right back at Lincoln, whose glove hand came up almost in self defense. The ball almost tore the glove off his hand, but stuck in the web for a line out. Lincoln tossed to first, easily doubling off Fiorentino. He retired the side in the 3rd, then gave up a double to Gomez in the 4th. Gomez hit a rising line drive that missed being a home run by inches. Instead, it caromed off the top of the right field fence at the edge of the grass berm and back toward Presley, who got it back to the infield quickly, holding Gomez to two bases. Two other great defensive plays kept more Braves from reaching base in the 4th. Heyward lifted a high foul pop to the left side of the field, which d’Arnaud chased down and caught with a slide on the grass in front of the Indians’ dugout. 3B Wilkin Castillo followed Gomez’s double with a grounder to the middle of the infield. Wimberly went to his right and made a diving stop, keeping the ball from going into the outfield. His foot slipped as he was getting up, but Wimberly was still able to fire over to first base in time for the out on Castillo. Gomez went to third on the play, but Wimberly had saved a run.
Indianapolis Indians 1, Buffalo Bison 0
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Four Indians pitchers combined to shut out the Bison at Coca Cola Park in Buffalo, NY — the first time this season the Tribe has shut out their opponents. The four horsemen held the Bison to just 5 hits, and that was one more hit than the Tribe batters managed. After 7 scoreless innings, the Indians scored the only run of the game in the 8th.
The pitching duel began with Garrett Olson (photo) on the mound. Brad Lincoln had been scheduled to make the start today, but muscle strain in his neck, present for a couple of days now, forced him to miss his start. The possibility that today’s game might have to be a bullpen game was part of the reason that manager Dean Treanor had Chris Leroux make another long (4 inning) relief appearance yesterday. Olson, just off the Disabled List, was able to step in for the emergency start, though it was stated in advance that he would be on a limit of about 50 pitches. Former Pirate DJ Carrasco made the start for Buffalo.
Olson gave up just two hits, both doubles to Bison 1B Lucas Duda. One double came in the 1st, with the line drive off the right field wall. The second double, in the 4th, slipped past the diving 1B John Bowker. The throw back in from RF Andrew Lambo nearly got Duda out at second, but it came in a little too far to the infield side of the second base bag. Both times Duda was left standing on second. Olson also walked 3B Michael Fisher in the 2nd inning, but erased him with a 6-4-3 (SS Chase d’Arnaud to 2B Shelby Ford to 1B Bowker) double play. He struck out 3 Buffalo batters, and threw 45 pitches (29 strikes).
The Indians also had three base runners in the early part of the game — one in each of the first three innings — but no hits. LF Alex Presley was hit on the right foot by a pitch in the 1st inning. C Eric Fryer walked with two outs in the 2nd and stole second base. Ford reached on a fielding error by Buffalo 2B Luis Hernandez in the 3rd inning. They too were all left on base.
The Indians lost the suspended game, but won the regularly scheduled game.
Syracuse Chiefs 6, Indianapolis Indians 4 (completion of suspended game)
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When we last left our heroes, trying to escape the pouring rain….
The Indians/Chiefs game was suspended after a 1 hour 44 minute wait last night. Tribe starter Sean Gallagher had given up a run in the top of the 1st, then the Indians took the lead in the 3rd on a single by CF Gorkys Hernandez, a triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud, and an error by the Syracuse 2B Tug Hulett. Syracuse tied the score in the top of the 6th on a solo homer by Hulett of reliever Chris Leroux. The top of the 7th began with Leroux still on the mound. He gave up a single and a sacrifice bunt, then was relieved by Justin Thomas. With the rain pouring down and the ball wet and slippery, Thomas hit both LF Gregor Blanco and CF Corey Brown with pitches to load the bases. Play was halted …
The game restarted this afternoon at Victory Field, under overcast skies, with sprinkling rain that did not last long. Cesar Valdez (photo) took the mound for the Indians, with two outs and the bases loaded. 1B Chris Marrero stepped to the plate, and rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give Syracuse a 6-2 lead.
The Tribe got two of the runs back in the bottom of the frame. Andrew Lambo, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Gallagher and remained in the game in right field, opened the inning with a double into right field. After d’Arnaud struck out, 2B Brian Friday hit another double, just inside the first base bag and down the right field line, scoring Lambo. John Bowker, who had taken over left field at the restart, flied out. 3B Andy Marte blooped an RBI single into left field, bringing Friday around from second base to score. 1B Matt Hague also singled, and pinch-hitter Shelby Ford walked on four pitches to load the bases, but C Eric Fryer struck out on a checked swing, to end the rally.
Dan Meyer pitched the last two innings for the Indians. He struck out the first two batters in the 8th, then gve up a single to SS Matt Antonelli, then retired the next 4 Chiefs in order.
The Indians managed only one base runner over the last two innings — Hernandez led off the bottom of the 8th with a double to the center field wall. The remaining 6 Tribe batters went down in order, and the Chiefs had the win.
Alex Presley is congratulated after one of his two home runs.
Indianapolis Indians 13, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
The Indianapolis Indians exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits to defeat the Yankees at Victory Field tonight, earning a split of both the 4-game series and the 8-game season series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LF Alex Presley blasted a pair of 3-run home runs to lead the offense, as each member of the line-up collected at least one hit, and all but one scored at least one run.
Both starting pitchers began their evening with struggles in the first inning. For Tribe starter Justin Wilson (photo), the game started with a triple off the bat of Yankees’ 2B Kevin Russo. Russo’s lined into right field, where RF Miles Durham raced in and made a feet-first slide, but missed the ball. By the time, Durham got up and chased the ball down, Russo was gliding into third base. SS Ramiro Pena dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, with Wilson scrambling off the mound to make the scoop and throw right back to C Eric Fryer as Russo came from third. Fryer blocked the plate, but he dropped the ball, and Russo was safe. It was first ruled a sacrifice bunt and a fielders’ choice — but then the ruling was changed to a missed catch error on Fryer, with no RBI for Pena.
With a runner still on first base, Wilson got C Jesus Montero to fly out and struck out 3B Jorge Vazquez. A wild pitch moved Pena to second base, then he scored on 1B Brandon Laird’s single, lined over SS Chase d’Arnaud’s head and into left field. Both runs were unearned, but the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.
But Yankees’ starter Andrew Brackman was having his own troubles. His pitches were going everywhere, with no apparent control on his part. He walked lead-off batter d’Arnaud, with d’Arnaud ducking out of the way as one pitch came in a little too close to his head, and ball four going crazy wild all the way to the backstop. Another crazy wild pitch to 2B Brian Friday let d’Arnaud advance to second base. Brackman settled down enough to get Friday to fly out, then retired Presley on a high bouncer back to the mound, and struck out 1B John Bowker. When Brackman came out for the second inning, his command was even worse — reminiscent of the “Wild Thing” character in the movie “Major League”. Brackman walked both 3B Andy Marte and DH Matt Hague, with pitches going everywhere. After three more balls for a 3-1 count on Fryer, Brackman threw another wild one that hit Fryer on his helmet, then bounced off the helmet and into the stands behind the visitors’ dugout. That was the last pitch for Brackman, who was quickly yanked.
Reliever Ryan Pope came on for the Yankees, with the bases full and no outs. RF Miles Durham cleared the bases on Pope’s first pitch, with a ringing double to the base of the wall in right-center field, and the Indians took a 3-2 lead as Marte, Hague, and Fryer all scored (photo). Pope also gave up a single to CF Gorkys Hernandez and walked Friday before ending the inning on two fly outs.
Wilson was able to relax after that first inning. He gave up a two-out single to CF Austin Krum in the 2nd inning, but struck out Russo to end the inning. He loaded the bases in the 3rd inning with singles by Montero and RF Jordan Parraz and a walk to Vazquez. But with two outs and the bases loaded, Wilson reached deep, and fired two pitches at 92-93 mph to strike out LF Dan Brewer and end the inning. Wilson went on to pitch 3 more innings, without allowing another hit. He walked two batters in the 5th, but erased one base runner with an around-the-horn double play (Marte to Friday to Bowker, 5-4-3). Alex Presley made the final out of the inning with a spectacular leaping catch of Laird’s fly ball to deep left field, snatching the ball at the top of the left field scoreboard.