Corey Wimberly congratulates John Bowker on his 2-run homer in the 4th inning.
Indianapolis Indians 10, Toledo Mud Hens 4
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It was a good night for hitting, at least for the Indians, tonight at Victory Field. The Tribe posted 13 hits, 10 more than they allowed the Mud Hens, as they easily defeated Toledo to even up this 5-game series at 2 games each. The Indians had scored only one run in each of their last two games, but tonight, all but one member of the Indians’ line-up scored at least one run, and all but two had at least one hit. SS Jordy Mercer (photo), who did not have a hit, scored one run. CF Anthony Norman, who had neither a hit nor a run scored, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. 2B Corey Wimberly and DH Dusty Brown each smacked 3 hits, while LF John Bowker and C Kris Watts had 2 hits each.
The Tribe scored in each of the first 5 innings:
In the 1st — Wimberly led off with a double down the left field line, which landed about a foot inside the foul line and continued down to the left field corner. Toledo LF Timo Perez had to fight the sun a bit, and had a little trouble tracking it down, so Wimberly made it into second base easily. Mercer was hit in the back as he ducked away from the first pitch from Toledo starter LJ Gagnier. A ground out to first by Bowker pushed Wimberly to third and Mercer to second. Then rehabbing Pedro Alvarez, who played third base today, snuck a single between the Mud Hens’ first- and second-basemen and into right field, scoring both Wimberly and Mercer for a 2-0 lead. Two fly outs ended the inning.
In the 2nd — RF Miles Durham led off with a blast into the right-center field gap, past the diving Toledo CF (and former Indy Indian) Jeff Salazar. Once the ball got past Salazar’s desperate reach, it bounced to the wall, and Durham had all the time in the world to motor around and into third base standing. Brown ran the count full, fouled off five more pitches, then doubled down the left field line to almost the same spot as Wimberly hit in the 1st inning. That brought in Durham to boost the lead to 3-0. Norman bounced back to the mound, where Gagnier whirled and caught Brown in between second and third bases. Brown dodged back and forth long enough so that Norman could reach second base before he was tagged out. Norman reached as far as third on Wimberly’s ground out, but a strikeout ended the inning.
In the 3rd — With one out, Alvarez worked a walk, as ball four bounced about two feet in front of the plate. 1B Matt Hague hit the Indians’ third double down the left field line, just barely fair, which ducked under the bullpen bench so that Time Perez had to dig it out. Alvarez was running “carefully” on his pretty-much-healed-up quad (photo), but manager Dean Treanor did not want to take any chances, so he held Alvarez at third. Watts followed with a single lined into center field, picking up his first two AAA level RBI, as both Alvarez and Hague scored. Durham hit a sharp bouncer toward third base, which bounced off former Indy Indian 3B Argenis Diaz’s glove and into left field. It was a 2-base error, putting Durham on second base and moving Watts to third. Brown’s long fly ball into right field became a sacrifice fly, bringing in Watts from third, as the throw in from Hens’ RF Ben Guez was way wide of the plate. Indians up, 6-0.
Syracuse Chiefs 5, Indianapolis Indians 4
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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.
Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Indianapolis Indians 1
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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.
Brad Lincoln made the start for the Indians, and was charged with his 7th loss.
Pawtucket Red Sox 12, Indianapolis Indians 3
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Two big innings by the Pawtucket gave the Red Sox plenty of in-game fireworks to warm up the crowd for the post-game fireworks at Victory Field tonight. The PawSox scored 4 runs in the 2nd and 5 runs in the 8th, and their total of 12 runs came on just 10 hits.
Indians’ starter Brad Lincoln mowed down the first five batters he faced, striking out three of them. But with two outs in the top of the 2nd, Lincoln suddenly got into trouble. DH Ryan Lavarnway ripped a double into the right-center field gap for a double. RF Nate Spears lined a single into center field, which CF Gorkys Hernandez fired back to the plate, as Lavarnway rounded third and headed for the plate. The throw was on-target and on-time, but C Eric Fryer couldn’t keep hold of it as he went to make the tag. The ball dropped to the ground, and Lavarnway slid across the plate safely. Lincoln walked C Luis Expositon on four pitches, then 2B Brent Dlugach rocketed a double over RF Alex Presley’s head and off the top of the right field wall. That brought in Spears, but Presley’s strong throw in from right made Exposition hold up at third. With both runners in scoring position, CF Che-Hsuan Lin blooped a single into short center field, which dropped in between three Tribe fielders, brining in both Exposito and Dlugach, for a 4-0 lead.
Hernandez (photo) came through with a clutch double to help the Indians cut the PawSox lead in half in the bottom of the inning. With one out, 3B Josh Harrison, just back from Pittsburgh, took a 4-pitch walk from Pawtucket starter Kyle Weiland. Fryer grounded out, then 2B Josh Rodriguez also walked. Hernandez followed with a double off the top of the wall in the right-center field gap, and both Joshes raced around to score. The rally ended when Presley popped out to second, leaving Hernandez stranded, but the Tribe had made progress: 4-2.
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 4, Indianapolis Indians 3
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The Indianapolis Indians were in the lead for most of the game tonight at Coca-Cola park in Allentown, PA, but the Iron Pigs staged a 8th inning rally to take the win.
SS Chase d’Arnaud began the game with a double into right field, skipping between the Iron Pigs’ 1B Cody Overbeck and the first base bag. 2B Brian Friday singled into left field, and d’Arnaud rounded third and headed for the plate as former Indy Indian (2010) LF Brandon Moss made the throw in from left field. Moss’ throw was on time, and another former Indian (2009-10) C Erik Kratz made the catch and tried for the tag. But d’Arnaud was faster, and Kratz lost the ball when he went for the tag, and the Tribe had a 1-0 lead. LF Alex Presley flied out to left field, and again Moss’ throw to the infield was not in time, so that Friday was safe when he tagged up and raced for third. But Moss got it right on his third try — RF John Bowker also flied out to left, and Moss turned it into a double play when this throw to the plate was on target and on time, allowing Kratz to tag out Friday as he tried to tag up and score from third.
Back-to-back singles by 3B Andy Marte and 1B Matt Hague led off the 2nd inning for the Indians. C Wyatt Toregas bounced into an around-the-horn double play, eliminating Hague at second, but allowing Marte to reach third base. CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded to short, but he was fast enough to beat out the throw to first, earning an infield single and an RBI, as Marte scrambled home from third to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
Garrett Olson began his night on the mound with 4 perfect innings. Moss broke up the (brief) no-hitter with a double to lead off the 5th inning, then was out in a double play. RF Delwyn Young flied out to center, then Hernandez’s throw in to third base allowed Marte to tag out Moss as he tried to advance to third.