This Time Indians Can’t Overcome Late Inning Rallies

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Syracuse Chiefs� 4,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 (box)

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Like yesterday, the Indians had an early lead in this afternoon’s game against the Syracuse Chiefs at Victory Field.� Like yesterday, the Chiefs’ late inning rallies had them catching up and taking the lead.� But, unlike yesterday, today, the Indians could not stage a last-minute rally for the dramatic win.� Rehabbing right-hander Chris Jakubauskas (photo above) could not hold off the Chiefs, and he suffered the loss.

Jeremy Powell (photo) made the start for the Indians, under yet another 90+ degree sunny sky.� For the first 6 innings, he was brilliant.� He retired the side in order in half of his innings.� He worked around a one-out single by C Wilson Ramos in the 2nd inning.� Ramos singled again with two outs in the 4th, but Powell ended the inning by inducing a pop out.� He also worked around a one-out double by opposing pitcher Jordan Zimmerman in the 3rd.� Zimmerman surprised almost everyone in the stadium by ripping a line drive to the 418′ sign in left-center field.� For anyone else, that would have been an easy triple, but not wanting to overtax the pitcher, particularly in the heat,� Zimmerman started slowing down shortly after he rounded first base, and all but walked into second base, where he watched LF Kevin Melillo’s throw come back to the infield.

IMG_4365Melillo got the Tribe out to a good start with a lead-off single in the bottom of the 1st, though he was left stranded.� The Indians had two runners on in the 2nd inning, when 1B John Bowker (photo, on right) lined a single into right field, and SS Pedro Ciriaco bunted to the left side of the mound, where Zimmerman could not find the handle on the ball to make a throw.� 2B Brian Friday popped up, and the infield fly rule was invoked.� That brought up Jeremy Powell with two outs, and he could only bounce a grounder to short, ending the inning with the two runners on base.

The first Indians’ run came in the 3rd inning.� With one out, 3B Akinori Iwamura worked a walk.� Then CF Alex Presley worked his magic again, taking a long bouncer just barely fair down the right field line.� The carom off the wall in the right field corner fooled Syracuse RF Leonard Davis, and while Davis was busy chasing down the ball, Iwamura scored and Presley cruised into third base with a triple.� Indians up, 1-0.� The inning ended without further runs scoring.� RF Brandon Moss’s oops-swing lifted a low, twisting flop of a fly right to Chiefs’ 3B Pete Orr.� Presley had been taking a lead, and he could not get back to the bag in time, so was doubled off to end the inning.

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Wild Pitch Gives Away The Win In The 11th

Norfolk Tides� 2,� Indianapolis Indians� 1 (box)

IMG_4292A run scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 11th inning made the difference tonight at Victory Field, as the Norfolk Tides slipped by the Indians by a score of 2-1.� The win gives the Norfolk a 3-5 win of the 8-game� season series.

Pitchers were the big story of the game.� Tides’ starter Rick VandenHurk pitched 8 innings and allowed only one run on 3 hits and a walk, and all three of those hits came in the 3rd inning.� VandenHurk retired the first 7 Tribe batters of the game.� Then with one out in the 3rd, SS Pedro Ciriaco (photo) sliced a single off the tip of his counterpart’s glove and into left field for a single.� 2B Brian Friday followed with another single.� Ciriaco took off for second base with the pitch, and when SS Robert Andino moved to cover second base, Friday slipped a grounder right through the spot where Andino had been.� Ciriaco’s aggressive running put him on third base.� LF Kevin Melillo came through with the third consecutive single, a short fly into left field.� Melillo’s counterpart, Nolan Reimold made the running dive, but the ball fell in just a quarter of a step in front of him, allowing Ciriaco to score from third base.

The Indians ran themselves out of further run scoring chances in that inning.� 3B Akinori Iwamura flied out to short left field for the second out.� Brian Friday, who had advanced to third on Melillo’s hit, tried to take the Tides by surprise with a tag-up even though the fly out was short.� Unfortunately, the Tides were not as surprised as Friday had hoped they’d be.� The throw in from Reimold, to 3B Scott Moore, and on to C Adam Donachie, reached the plate when Friday was still three steps away, and he was easily tagged out.

That was all the scoring for the Indians.� VandenHurk, a Dutch native, retired the Indians in order in the 4th and 5th innings.� He walked Brian Friday to begin the 6th, then retired the next 9 Indians in order.

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Indians Turn The Tide

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Indianapolis Indians� 10,� Norfolk Tides� 6 (box)

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Joe Martinez made his home debut and his first start for the Indianapolis Indians tonight at Victory Field, and he earned his first win as the Tribe halted a 3-game losing streak by beating the Norfolk Tides.� Each team recorded 12 hits in the game, and the two teams traded the lead back and forth before the Indians settled in with a big enough lead to hold on.

The game began in an unfortunate way for Norfolk.� They had one base runner in the top of the inning, when DH Michael Aubrey doubled, but he was left on base.� Then with one out in the bottom of the inning, Tides’ starter Chris George was hit by a screaming line drive off the bat of the second batter he faced, 3B Akinori Iwamura. The ball hit George on his upper body, though it was not clear exactly where (UPDATE: it hit him in the elbow, and x-rays were negative), and ricocheted all the way over to where his first baseman Brandon Snyder was positioned, allowing Snyder to easily make the out at first.� George was clearly hurting, and he walked right off the field, not even trying to throw a practice pitch.� The Tides brought in reliever Jim Miller to take over for George.� CF Alex Presley greeted Miller with a single into right field, but Presley was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Over the next three innings, the scoring was fast and furious.� Norfolk got onto the scoreboard with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd.� After a quick ground out, Snyder grounded sharply to first base, but the ball skipped off 1B Doug Bernier’s glove and up and over his left shoulder, and Snyder was safe on the error.� For the second night in a row, 3B Scott Moore hit a 2-run homer over the right field wall in the 2nd inning, bringing in Snyder, and the Tides had a 2-0 lead.

LF John Bowker got one run back for Joe Martinez with his own home run.� His blast, his first since joining the Indians, sailed just inside the right field foul pole, and landed in the back of the beer garden patio behind the right field corner.

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Bulls Stampede Lincoln, But Burres Gets Revenge

Durham Bulls� 10,� Indianapolis Indians� 1 �� (Game 1) (box)

IMG_3094Two 5-run innings by the Bulls stampeded Indians’ starter Brad Lincoln in the first game of today’s double-header at Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina.

Lincoln (photo) hit a batter in his first inning of work, then struck out the next two batters.� But in the 2nd inning, the Bulls began running.� The first three batters reached base safely– singles by 2B Joe Dillon and LF Leslie Anderson and a 2-run double by DH Dioner Navarro.� Lincoln got C Jose Labaton to ground out, then walked 3B Angel Chavez.� CF Desmond Jennings lined a single into right field, bringing in Navarro.� A passed ball by rehabbing C Ryan Doumit moved the two runners into scoring position, then a single by SS Elliot Johnson and a double by RF Justin Ruggiano each drove in a run, to give the Bulls a 5-0 lead.� A ground out and pop out finally ended the inning.

Lincoln breezed through the 3rd inning, again striking out two batters, but got right back into trouble in the 4th.� Once again, the first three batters reached base safely, scoring 2 runs.� This time it was a single by Chavez and a walk to Jennings, followed by a triple by Johnson.� Lincoln struck out Ruggiano, then former Indy Indian 1B Chris Richard doubled, bringing in Johnson.� That was all for Lincoln.� He had given up 9 hits and 2 walks, and ultimately was responsible for 9 of Durham’s 10 runs.� He had thrown 83 pitches (50 strikes) in just 3.1 innings.

Brian Bass came on to relieve Lincoln, entering the game with one out and Richard on second base.� But Bass fell victim to the Bulls’ stampede too.� The first three batters he faced — Dillon, Anderson, and Navarro — all singled, and along with a fielding error by CF Alex Presley, two more runs scored, with one charged to Lincoln.� Bass got Lobaton to bounce back to the mound, where he started a 1-6-3 (Bass to SS Pedro Ciriaco to 1B John Bowker) double play.

Bass went on to pitch the 5th inning, allowing a single to Jennings, but getting Johnson to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play (2B Brian Friday to Ciriaco to Bowker).� Daniel Moskos took the final inning, allowing only a walk. (Only 7 innings in an International League double-header game.)

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Burres Looks Good In Pitching Duel, But Indians Lose In Extras

Norfolk Tides� 3,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 (box)

IMG_2689A 9th-inning rally by the Tides tied up the game, and an 11th-inning rally gave them the win over the Indianapolis Indians at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia tonight in the first game of a 4-game series.� Pitching ruled in the game, as the Indians were held to just 5 hits, and the Tides were held to only 6, and a wild pitch and a fielding error made the difference in the game.

The Indians jumped out to the early lead in the top of the 1st inning.� LF Kevin Melillo looked at strike one, then took 4 balls for a walk.� Two outs later, DH Brandon Moss (photo) rocketed a 2-0 pitch over the right center field wall for a 2-run homer.

But that was all the scoring the Tribe would do, and they collected only 4 hits in the rest of the game, plus 3 more walks.� No Tribe batter got as far as third base for the rest of the game.� 1B Jonathan Van Every singled with one out in the 2nd inning, and moved to second base on a ground out by C Luke Carlin, but got no farther.� Newcomer RF Mitch Jones, in his first game with the Indians, was hit by a pitch to lead off the 4th inning, and 2B Jim Negrych followed with a single, moving Jones to second base.� But Van Every lined out to first base, and Jones was doubled off second base, and Negrych was left stranded at the end of the inning.

The Indians threatened again in the 7th, when Luke Carlin walked and 3B Brian Bixler singled, but both were left on base that time.� In the top of the 11th, Brandon Moss picked up his second hit of the game, a single lined into right field, but he was forced out at second when Mitch Jones grounded out, and moments later, Jones was picked off first and caught stealing.� Jones and SS Brian Friday were the only other batters to reach base, both on walks, and both were left stranded.

Brian Burres made the start for the Indians.� He pitched 7 innings and allowed one run on 3 hits and 4 walks, with 2 strikeouts.� Burres gave up a bunt single to the first batter he faced, CF Matt Angle, then picked Angle off first base.� He proceeded to retire the next 9 Tides’ batters, until he gave up a one-out single to SS Robert Andino in the 4th.� Walks to former Indy Indian RF Jeff Salazar and 3B Scott Moore loaded the bases.� After a quick chat with pitching coach Dean Treanor, Burres got the next batter, LF Nolan Reimold to bounce to third base, where Brian Bixler stepped on third for the force out, then fired across the diamond to 1B Jonathan Van Every for the double play.

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