Syracuse Chiefs 5, Indianapolis Indians 4
[ box ]
The Indians were one out away from a win at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY tonight, but a two-out rally led to a walk-off for the Chiefs.
The Tribe went into the bottom of the 9th with a 4-3 lead, and Justin Thomas (photo) in from the bullpen. Thomas got two quick outs, with a ground out and a strikeout. Then he gave up a soft looper into center field by Syracuse 2B Steve Lombardozzi. 3B Matt Antonelli singled on a grounder up the middle, moving Lombardozzi to second base. Thomas was relieved by Jose Ascanio, so that the righty Ascanio could face the right-handed RF Jesus Valdez. Valdez lifted a fly ball into the right-center gap. Tribe RF Andrew Lambo gave chase, and after a long run he made a desperate dive — but could not come up with the ball. The ball got past him, and turned into a 2-RBI double, scoring Lombardozzi with the tying run and Antonelli with the winning run.
Rudy Owens made the start for the Tribe. He had missed his last turn for a start, due to a bruise on his hand, suffered when a come-backer hit him while on the mound. Owens worked around a fielding error by SS Pedro Ciriaco and a walk to Jesus Valdez in the 1st inning, escaping the jam with the help of a timely around-the-horn double play, 3B Andy Marte to 2B Brian Friday to 1B Matt Hague. With one out in the 2nd inning, LF Jeff Frazier and Indiana University product SS Seth Bynum hit back-to-back doubles. Frazier scored to put the Chiefs onto the scoreboard. After a fly out, Syracuse starter JD Martin singled through to left field, and Bynum raced around from second base. But LF John Bowker’s throw to C Kris Watts was on target, and Watts tagged out Bynum at the plate for the third out of the inning. Syracuse manager Randy Knorr argued the call at the plate, but only got himself ejected by plate umpire Chad Whitson for his efforts.
Indianapolis Indians 3, Syracuse Chiefs 0
[ box ]
Thursday was a very good day for Indianapolis Indians’ 1B Matt Hague (photo). He was named to the International League’s All-Star Team in the morning, then led his team to a victory over the Chiefs at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY in the evening.
This won’t be Hague’s first All-Star Game — he participated in the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game. He is the Indians’ only player on this year’s IL All-Star Team, though Tribe manager Dean Treanor will be serving the IL as a bench coach. The Louisville Bats have 3 position players in the IL’s starting line-up, plus one reserve player. The Durham Bulls have 2 position players among the starters, plus one reserve player. Lehigh Valley and Columbus both have 2 pitchers named to the team. Former Indy Indian C Erik Kratz, now with Lehigh Valley, has been named to the IL All-Star team for the third season in a row. In his first AAA All-Star Game, Kratz was named the most valuable player, and in last season’s game, he was notified of his major league call-up in the middle of the game and his astonished response was on national television. There will be a familiar face on the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star Team — LHP Dana Eveland, who pitched for the Indians and the Pirates will be represeting the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers).
Hague continued his day with a 3-for-3 night at the plate, including a double, and he was responsible for driving in 2 of the Indians’ 3 runs. C Kris Watts also had a fine night, with a pair of doubles. Pitchers Garrett Olson and Steven Jackson combined for a 2-hit shutout.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Syracuse Chiefs 3
[ box ]
Brian Friday (photo) was not even in the Indians’ starting line-up today, but he ended up being the big basher for the night as the Indians defeated the Chiefs at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY. The Indians came from behind, scoring in three of the last four innings, and posting 14 hits. CF Gorkys Hernandez went 4-for-4 with a double and three singles, and RF Miles Durham had a triple and two singles, plus 3 RBI.
Sean Gallagher won his 3rd game of the season (3-8 record), going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs (one earned). He gave up a double in each of the first three innings. Chiefs’ 2B Steve Lombardozzi doubled and was left stranded in the 1st, and C Jhonatan Solano doubled in the 2nd, and was left on base, along with LF Gregor Blanco, who was hit by a pitch. The double in the 3rd inning brought Gallagher some trouble, though. Rehabbing major leaguer Rick Ankiel doubled into right field, then was sacrifice bunted to third base by Lombardozzi. SS Matt Antonelli drove in Ankiel with a sacrifice fly. Ankiel also reached second base in the 5th due to a fielding error when RF Miles Durham dropped his fly ball. Lombardozzi again put down a sacrifice bunt, moving Ankiel to third. This time Antonelli brought Ankiel home with an RBI single lined into center field.
The Indians had one batter reach base in each of the first five innings. SS Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch in the top of the 1st. Hernandez hit his lined his first single into left field to lead off the top of the 3rd, and 1B Matt Hague doubled into right field in the 3rd. Hernandez’s second single came in the 5th inning. None of them were able to come around to score. And to possibly make it worse : Mercer was able to return to the field after being hit by the pitch (?hand or arm?), but he was not going to be able to swing the bat, so Friday came in to pinch-hit for Mercer in the 3rd, then remained in the game at shortstop.
Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Indianapolis Indians 1
[ box ]
The Indianapolis Indians came away with a series split against Pawtucket, giving them a 5-3 win of the season series with the Red Sox. The Indians out-hit the PawSox 9-4 at Victory Field tonight, but Pawtucket made their runs count and left town with the win.
Equally as big for the Tribe: the flurry of roster moves that affected the Indians today. The Pirates optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to the Indians, in order to make room for the move that has been eagerly anticipated by Tribe fans — OF Alex Presley (photo) was promoted to Pittsburgh. The Pirates had a scheduled day off today, but Presley will join the team tomorrow in Toronto. He may make appearances as a pinch-hitter in the intraleague games, or he might also play some outfield since Jose Tabata has been injured.
Tribe C Wyatt Toregas, who left yesterday’s game due to injury, was placed on the Indians’ Disabled List today, yet another catcher in the Pirates’ organization to be sidelined. The Pirates do not feel that catchers Tony Sanchez and Travis Scott are ready for moving up to AAA. They sought help from outside the organizaton : former Indy Indian and Altoona Curve catcher Miguel Perez is once again an Indian. Perez played in the Pirates’ organization during the 2008 and 2009 season. He hit .281 for the Curve in 57 games in 2008, with 2 homers and 22 RBI, and in 30 games for the Curve in 2009, Perez hit .262 with another 2 homers and 12 RBI. Perez got into just 7 games for the Indians in 2009, and hit .182.
And, last but not least, pitcher Mike Crotta finished his rehab assignment, and was reinstated of the Pirates’ Disabled List. He was immediately optioned to Indianapolis. In order to make space on the roster, pitcher Brad Lincoln was moved to the Altoona roster. This was a paper move only. Lincoln is in a holding pattern, expected to be called up to pitch for the Pirates when they have a double header on Saturday. And, Lincoln was right here tonight, coaching at first base (photo).
OK, on to the game:
Justin Wilson made his 15th start for the Tribe, in search of his 10th win of the season. He was foiled, though by two tough innings. After retiring the first four PawSox he faced, Wilson walked 1B Hector Luna in the 2nd. The next batter, 2B Nate Spears, with his own private cheering section from Anderson, Indiana in the stands, smashed a long fly ball over the right field wall for a 2-run homer.
Wilson struck out the next two batters to finish the inning, then retired the side in order again in the 3rd. The 4th inning began with Wilson hitting DH Lars Anderson with a pitch. Luna grounded to short, where SS Brian Friday made the scoop and the toss to 2B Josh Harrison. But with Anderson barrelling down on him and an off-balance toss, Harrison made the out at second, but dropped the ball as he went to transfer, and they could not get the double play they’d hoped for. Spears flied out to center field, but 3B Brent Dlugach hit a single to behind second base, moving Luna to third. Wilson walked SS Jose Iglesias to load the bases with two outs. LF Matt Sheely took advantage of the loaded bases and lined a single into left field, scoring both Luna and Dlugach, to give the PawSox 4 runs.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Pawtucket Red Sox 5
[ box ]
The Indianapolis Indians withstood a late-inning surge by the Red Sox, to beat Pawtucket this afternoon at Victory Field, and earn at least a split of this 4-game series. The PawSox won the first game of the series on Friday night, but the Tribe has taken the next two games. The two teams’ final meeting of the season will be on Monday evening.
Before the game even started, there was a bit of drama for the Indians. About 10 minutes before game time, the Indians received word from Pittsburgh that Pirates’ outfielder (and former Indian) Jose Tabata had been injured while running out a bunt. Tabata had crossed the first base bag, then sank to the ground with a left quadriceps problem. He had to be taken off the field on a cart, but was later able to walk around the clubhouse, though limping. The Pirates were strongly considering calling up Tribe outfielder Alex Presley, probably within a couple more days, but depending on the severity of Tabata’s injury, they felt that timetable might have to be moved up. So, just before the Indians’ game began, Presley was removed from the lineup. He may already be on his way to Pittsburgh, or may wait another day, since the Pirates have a scheduled off day on Monday.
With Presley cheering the team on, and coaching first base (photo), the Indians got down to business with the PawSox. They recorded 11 hits (to 12 for Pawtucket), and had only one inning without at least one baserunner. Every member of the line-up got on base at least once during the game, and 1B Matt Hague led the way with 3 hits.
The Tribe got warmed up with two base runners in the 1st inning, when SS Brian Friday walked and Hague lined a single into left field, but both were left on base. The 2nd inning began with a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez and a grounder up the middle for a single by RF Miles Durham. C Wyatt Toregas dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt toward the third base side of the mound. Pawtucket starter Felix Doubront fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to first base sailed high over the 1B Lars Anderson’s head and into the visitors’ bullpen. By the time the PawSox chased the ball down, Rodriguez and Durham had both scored (Durham from first), and Toregas was standing on second base. CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded out to third, and Toregas held at second, but when DH Corey Wimberly blooped a single into right-center field, Toregas advanced to third — and took himself out of the game. Toregas had apparently suffered an injury, though it was not apparent what was wrong. He did not seem to be limping, and didn’t slide into third oddly. Kris Watts, who was brought up from AA Altoona (again) yesterday, took Toregas’ place at third base as a pinch-runner, then remained in the game as catcher. Watts did not get to run from third, though, as Friday bounced into an inning-ending double play, but the Indians had taken a 2-0 lead.