Indianapolis Indians 7, Rochester Red Wings 5 (Game 1)
[ box ]
A 4-run 6th inning gave the Indians the edge this afternoon at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY, despite being out-hit 13-9. SS Chase d’Arnaud led the Tribe with 3 hits and 2 RBI, and LF Alex Presley and 3B Andy Marte had 2 hits apiece.
Both teams got their scoring started early with 2 runs in the 1st inning. With former Indy Indian (2009) Eric Hacker making the start for Rochester, d’Arnaud began with a strikeout, then 2B Corey Wimberly was hit by a pitch. Presley walked, and when Hacker pick-off attempt went wild, both runners moved into scoring position on the error. RF John Bowker’s grounder let the Rochester third baseman fire back to the plate, where Wimberly was tagged out. With Bowker still on first base, Marte lined a double into left field, scoring both Presley and Bowker for the early 2-0 lead.
The Red Wings came right back in the bottom of the inning. The first batter Brian Burres faced, CF Dustin Martin, doubled into right field, and the next batter, SS Trevor Plouffe, smacked a 2-run homer to tie the score.
Marte doubled again in to lead off the top of the 4th, and when the Wings’ right fielder misplayed the ball, Marte advanced to third. A sacrifice fly by 1B Matt Hague plated Marte, to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
Burres had a tough second inning to work through. The lead off batter, 3B Chase Lambin, led off with a single, but was picked off first and caught stealing. After a ground out, a walk, a single by Martin, and another walk loaded the bases. Burres got out of the jam with a ground out, leaving the bases full. Burres also got lucky in the 4th, when another single by Lambin and a double by C Steve Holm had Lambin rounding third and heading for the plate. Presley made the play on the double in left field, then his throw in was relayed by d’Arnaud, who fired on to C Wyatt Toregas for the tag out of Lambin at the plate.
We’re on the road, so just brief recaps for a few days….
Rochester Red Wings 7, Indianapolis Indians 4
[ box ]
Indians’ errors contributed to the Red Wings’ big inning, and the Indians’ own big inning was not big enough, as the Tribe lost to the Red Wings at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY.
The Wings jumped all over Tribe starter Rudy Owens in the bottom of the 1st, beginning with a ground-rule double on the first pitch Owens threw. A walk and a grounder force out gave Rochester runners on the corners. Both of those runners scored on 1B Aaron Bates’ double down the right field line, for a 2-0 lead.
The Indians got one run back in the top of the 2nd. 1B John Bowker led off with a single, then stole second base. C Eric Fryer lined a single to short, and Bowker scored from second base.
Owens worked around a walk and a single in the bottom of the 2nd inning, then allowed just one hit over the next three innings. But things fell apart on him in the 6th. Bates led off with a double into right field. After a walk, 2B Toby Gardenhire dropped down a sacrifice bunt. Owens fielded the bunt but threw wildly to first, and all three runners were safe on the error. Owens walked the next batter, forcing in a run. He was relieved by Justin Thomas, but Thomas hit the first batter he faced with a pitch, forcing in another run. A single drove in two more runs. A double play finally gave the Tribe two outs, and Thomas was relieved by Jose Ascanio, who had just been assigned to the Indians. The first batter Ascanio faced grounded to third, but a throwing error by 3B Matt Hague allowed the batter to reach safely, while the runner from third base scored the 5th run of the inning. Red Wings 7, Indians 1.
Jared Hughes and Sean Gallagher each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to finish the game for the Tribe. Meanwhile, the Tribe batters were not having much success with the Red Wings’ pitchers. CF Gorkys Hernandez singled in the 3rd, but was caught trying to steal second base. Bowker and Hague hit back-to-back singles in the 6th, but were left on base. Hernandez also doubled down the right field line in the 7th, but was stranded.
The Tribe rallied in the top of the 9th. Three pinch-hitters started the inning: Andy Marte led off with a double into center field, Wyatt Toregas struck out, then Miles Durham singled, bringing Marte across the plate. After a fly out, Hernandez hit his second double of the game, a ground-rule double, moving Durham to third base. SS Chase d’Arnaud also doubled, which drove in Durham and Hernandez to bring the score to 7-4. But Rochester ace reliever Anthony Slama was brought in from the bullpen, and Slama got DH Corey Wimberly to ground out, ending the game.
The Indians and Red Wings play a split double header on Saturday — one game at 1:05 pm, and the second game at 7:05 pm.
Corey Wimberly got back to first base safely this time… but was picked off moments later.
Gwinnett Braves 4, Indianapolis Indians 0
[ box ]
Another pitching duel erupted at Victory Field tonight, as the Indianapolis Indians and the Gwinnett Braves battled it out over a scoreless tie for 8 innings. The loss dropped the Indians to below the .500 mark as they finish this home stand. The Indians and the Braves split this 4 game series, two games each.
Tribe starter Garrett Olson pitched 5 hitless and scoreless innings but did not figure into the decision. He allowed one base runner over those innings. Braves SS Julio Lugo worked the count full then took a walk in the top of the 1st. After Olson struck out rehabbing Atlanta Brave outfielder Jason Heyward (photo, not looking too pleased), he got 1B Mauro Gomez to ground to short to force out Julio at second base. Olson retired the next 12 batters in order, including 4 more strikeouts. He got some help from his fielders. In the 5th inning, 3B Dan Nelson took a long fly ball into deep right field. Alex Presley, playing right field for the second day in a row, headed back for the wall. He turned one way, then the other, and finally made the over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track for the second out of the inning. That play was followed by a nice play by SS Brian Friday on a sharp grounder off the bat of 2B Ed Lucas. Friday went to his right for a back-hand catch, then fired over to 1B Matt Hague to end the inning.
Olson was relieved by Chris Leroux after 5 innings. Olson was on a 50 pitch count for his last start on June 8th — due to working in relief in the earlier part of the season, and also having been on the Disabled List. So, even though he was pitching a no-hitter, Olson’s outing was cut short after 66 pitches (44 strikes). Leroux continued the no-hitter with a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th.
Corey Wimberly was the only Tribe batter to reach third base tonight.
Gwinnett Braves 2, Indianapolis Indians 0
[ box ]
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.
Kris Watts’ first AAA hit is a triple, as he slides in ahead of the tag.
Indianapolis Indians 4, Gwinnett Braves 3
[ box ]
The Indianapolis Indians took a step above the .500 level today, with a win over the Gwinnett Braves this afternoon at Victory Field. Starter Justin Wilson made his 13th start of the season and earned his 8th win, but had to work around a lot of base runners to do it. 3B Andy Marte, just back in the line-up after a hamstring injury, went 3-for-3 at the plate, and sparked the Tribe’s key rally in the 6th inning.
The Indians jumped out to an early lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. With two outs, CF Alex Presley (photo), who leads the International League in hits, got hit #83 on a line drive into short center field. He stole second base, then a walk to LF John Bowker gave the Indians runners on first and second bases. 1B Matt Hague grounded to short, where Braves’ SS Julio Lugo could not get the ball out of his glove fast enough to throw anyone out. That loaded the bases for Marte, who took a 3-1 pitch into right field for a single. Presley and Bowker scored easily, and as RF Stefan Gartrell made the throw in to the plate, Hague also rounded third and was sent home. Hague slid in to the plate, but by then C Wilkin Castillo had the ball and was planted in front of the plate — Hague was tagged out at home to end the inning. Indians up, 2-0.
With one out in the 2nd inning, the newest member of the Tribe, C Kris Watts, who made his first AAA start today, also picked up his first AAA hit — a triple into right field. Gartrell made a dive for the ball, but missed, and the ball bounced all the way to the right field wall, as Watts raced around second and slid into third base (photo above). A walk to SS Chase d’Arnaud gave the Indians runners on the corners, but a ground out at second base ended the inning. The Tribe had only one hit over the next two innings, and that was Marte’s second hit of the game, a double to center field to lead off the bottom of the 4th. Braves’ CF Jose Constanza ran all the way back to the wall, where he made a leap for a catch. But the catch threw him into the outfield wall, and that jarred the ball out of his glove. The umpires ruled that it was not a catch, and Marte reached second base. He was stranded there, though, as Braves’ starter Erik Cordier retired the next three batters on fly outs.