Shortstop Chase d’Arnaud has to leave the second base bag to keep this throw from C Eric Fryer from going into center field, as Braves’ Jose Constanza stole second base in the first inning.
Indianapolis Indians 1, Gwinnett Braves 0
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For the second time in less than a week, the Indians battled through a pitching duel to win by a score of 1-0. On Wednesday in Buffalo, the Tribe scored one run in the top of the 8th to beat the Bison. Today, the Indians won the opening game of a 4-game series with the Gwinnett Braves at Victory Field by the same score.
Brian Burres (photo, getting a turn at the plate) made the start for the Indians, and again he could not get the win while pitching at Victory Field. It was not through any fault of his own — he pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing only 3 hits, with 4 walks and 6 strikeouts. But the Tribe batters could not come through with any runs for him in the early innings of the game.
Burres had to work out of a jam in the top of the 1st. Braves’ CF Jose Constanza lined the first pitch of the game into right field for a single. Burres struck out SS Julio Lugo, but Constanza stole second base on strike three. The throw from C Eric Fryer was wide of the bag at second, and Constanza slid in easily. Constanza also stole third base, sliding in just a split second ahead of the tag by 3B Matt Hague. Burres walked RF Stefan Gartrell to put Braves on the corners. 1B Mauro Gomez lifted a fly ball to center field, and it looked like it was going to fall in for a single, so Constanza started down the third base line to the plate. But at the last second, CF Gorkys Hernandez charged in to make the running catch at knee-level. Constanza had to scramble back to third, and by then it was too late to tag up and try again to head for home. That was a big break for Burres and the Indians. The next batter, 2B Ed Lucas hit the first pitch into center field, an easier catch for Hernandez, to end the inning.
Burres retired the Braves in order in the next two innings. He began the 4th inning by giving up a single to Gartrell, on a line drive that looped over Hague’s head and into left field. After a strikeout by Gomez and another great running catch by Hernandez on a fly ball by Lucas, Burres got LF Wilkin Ramirez to ground to third base. Hague’s throw to 2B Brian Friday was wide to the outfield side of the bag, and Friday had to reach and fell to the ground, but still kept the ball in his glove and his toe on the bag, for the inning-ending force out.
Indianapolis Indians 12, Buffalo Bison 6
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The Indians and the Bison held a hit-fest at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, NY tonight, with the two teams combining for 30 hits (16 for the Indians and 14 for the Bison). The Tribe made the better use of their hits, though, and with three 3-run innings, the Tribe came out on top. SS Chase d’Arnaud went 4-for-5 with a homer and 5 RBI, and RF Miles Durham went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Rudy Owens (photo) earned his 6th win of the season, with 3 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks.
The Tribe got onto the scoreboard first, with 3 runs in the top of the 2nd innning. With one out, C Eric Fryer walked, then after a second out, Owens also walked. That brought up d’Arnaud, who rocketed a rising line drive over the right-center field wall to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Owens got through the first inning allowing only a double by 1B Valentino Pascucci. He gave the Bison back a run in the 2nd inning. A single by 3B Zach Lutz, a walk to LF Jason Botts, and a single by C Mike Nickeas loaded the bases. CF Jesus Feliciano brought in Lutz with a sacrifice fly, to cut the Indians’ lead to 3-1. A sacrifice bunt by Buffalo starter Mark Cohoon was fielded by Owens, but the throw to first pulled 2B Brian Friday, who was covering, off the bag. Cohoon was credited with a sacrifice, and Owens was charged with an error. But with the bases loaded again, Owens got 2B Michael Fisher to fly out to left field. LF Alex Presley made the catch, then fired the ball in to the plate, where Fryer made the catch and held on to tag out Botts as he tried to tag up and score. The outfield assist saved at least one run, and possibly more, if the inning had continued. Durham also made an outfield assist in the 3rd inning. SS Luis Hernandez walked, then Pascucci lined into right field. Hernandez tried to go from first to third on the play, but Durham fired in to third base, where 3B Matt Hague mad the tag out.
Buffalo Bison 15, Indianapolis Indians 2
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It was getting ugly by the third inning at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, NY this morning, and unfortunately for the Indians, things never got better. The Bison scored 5 runs in the 3rd inning and 6 runs in the 8th, as they stomped on the Tribe. The Indians and the Bison each posted 11 hits, but the Bison were handed 9 walks and took advantage of an error as they got some revenge for being shut out yesterday.
Starter Sean Gallagher (photo) retired the Bison in order in the bottom of the 1st, but Buffalo got going in the 2nd. Singles by RF Fernando Martinez and CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis put runners on first and second, then 2B Luis Hernandez bounced a ground-rule double over the center field wall. That scored Martinez. A ground out by former Indy Indian C Raul Chavez brought in Nieuwenhuis from third base, for a 2-0 lead.
Things started getting ugly in the bottom of the 3rd. Another former Indy Indian, SS Luis Figueroa, led off with a walk. 3B Michael Fisher singled and LF Lucas Duda walked, loading the bases. Martinez grounded to first, but when 1B John Bowker tossed to Gallagher, who was covering the bag, Gallagher could not make the catch. The error was charged to Bowker, and it allowed Figueroa and Fisher to score. With runners on the corners, 1B Valentino Pascucci homered over the left field wall, to lift the lead to 7-0.
2B Brian Friday and CF Alex Presley had both singled for the Tribe in the 1st inning, but Friday was caught stealing and Presley was left on base. The Indians loaded the bases in the 3rd. Gallagher started by looping a single into left field. SS Chase d’Arnaud grounded to deep short, where his counterpart Luis Figueroa made a dive, but missed (and broke his belt in the process). A walk to Friday loaded the bases with just one out. But Raul Chavez made a perfect throw to second base to pick off d’Arnaud, and that broke the Indians’ rhythm. A ground out ended the inning, without the Tribe scoring a run. The Tribe did get onto the scoreboard in the 4th. Bowker led off with a double into right field. He advanced to third base on a tag-up when 1B Matt Hague flied out, then RF Miles Durham brought in Bowker with a sacrifice fly. Bison still way ahead, 7-1.
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.
Indianapolis Indians 13, Buffalo Bison 4
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The Indianapolis Indians exploded for two big innings, as they stampeded the Buffalo Bison at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, NY tonight. The Tribe took advantage of 3 physical errors, plus several mental errors by the Bison, and scored their 13 runs on only 10 hits, leaving only 2 runners on base.
Buffalo starter Josh Stinson faced the Indians on May 17th here in Indianapolis, and he did not have a good outing. He allowed 4 runs in the 1st inning, one in the 3rd, and 3 more in the 5th inning, as the Indians won the game 10-1, posting 16 hits. In that game, Stinson lasted 4.2 innings before being relieved.
Tonight, the Indians were even less kind to Stinson. He got through the 1st inning unscathed, allowing a single up the middle by SS Chase d’Arnaud, then removed d’Arnaud from the bases with a double play. It was in the 2nd inning that the wheels fell off for Stinson. 1B John Bowker began the fun with a double through into right field. 3B Matt Hague reached base safely when 1B Valentino Pascucci could not handle a low throw to first base, and Bowker moved to third base. RF Andrew Lambo bounced to Pascucci, who wanted to throw to the plate, but Pascucci hesitated and got himself set before making the throw. The hesitation was just enough to let Bowker slide into the plate ahead of the throw, for the Indians’ first run. That left Hague and Lambo on base, and brought up C Eric Fryer. Fryer (photo) made it a 4-0 game when he took the first pitch he saw over the left field wall on a no-doubt-about-it 3-run homer.
CF Gorkys Hernandez followed the homer with a smash off the wall in the right-center gap, and raced all the way to third base, credited with a triple, when the Bison CF Fernando Martinez had trouble hitting his cut-off man on the throw in. Tribe starter Justin Wilson hit his second RBI double of the season into left field, scoring Hernandez easily. A wild pitch put Wilson on third base, and a walk to d’Arnaud gave the Indians runners on the corners. D’Arnaud stole second base on strike three when 2B Brian Friday struck out. LF Alex Presley walked to load the bases. That brought up Bowker again, and Bowker’s second double of the inning, going into the left-center field gap, cleared the bases to give the Indians an 8-0 lead. That sent Stinson to the showers. Reliever Brian Sweeney got Hague to pop out, then former Indy Indian C Raul Chavez picked Bowker off second base to end the inning.