Presley’s Pinch-Hit Triple Sparks 7th Inning Rally

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“With the first pick in the 2011 draft, the Pirates take UCLA’s RHP Gerrit Cole”

Indianapolis Indians  6,  Syracuse Chiefs  4
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A 7th-inning rally featuring a pinch-hit triple by Alex Presley gave the Indians the win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Victory Field tonight.   Reliever Justin Thomas earned his 4th win, and closer Tim Wood earned his lucky 13th Save.  2B Brian Friday went 3-for-4 and all three hits were doubles, while SS Chase d’Arnaud and C Eric Fryer had 2 hits each.  

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In three of the past four games, the Indians had surrendered at least one run in the top of the 1st inning.  Tonight, starter Brian Burres (photo) broke that tradition, even though the Chiefs threatened in the top of the 1st.  2B Matt Antonelli opened the game with a double over the head of Tribe 1B Miles Durham and down the right field line into the corner.  Antonelli had to stay at second while Burres struck out CF Corey Brown and got RF Jesus Valdez to bounce into a ground out at second.  Burres walked 1B Chris Marrero, then C Jesus Flores ripped a line drive into right field.  It looked like both runners were going to have plenty of time to come around to score, but RF Andrew Lambo had other thoughts.  He raced toward the line and made a diving catch as the line drive sank, to end the inning for Burres and the Tribe.  

Tom Milone made the start for Syracuse and before he could get himself settled in on the mound, d’Arnaud rifled Milone’s first pitch into the right center gap, all the way to the wall, and raced around to third base as the Chiefs’ outfielders chased it down.  Brian Friday quickly followed the lead-off triple with a double down the left field line, ending up the Indians’ bullpen bench.  That drove in d’Arnaud for a 1-0 lead.  

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Grand Slam Gives Chiefs The Restart; Homers For Fryer And Durham In 2nd Game

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The Indians lost the suspended game, but won the regularly scheduled game.

Syracuse Chiefs  6,  Indianapolis Indians  4  (completion of suspended game)
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When we last left our heroes, trying to escape the pouring rain….
IMG_5966The Indians/Chiefs game was suspended after a 1 hour 44 minute wait last night.  Tribe starter Sean Gallagher had given up a run in the top of the 1st, then the Indians took the lead in the 3rd on a single by CF Gorkys Hernandez, a triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud, and an error by the Syracuse 2B Tug Hulett.  Syracuse tied the score in the top of the 6th on a solo homer by Hulett of reliever Chris Leroux.  The top of the 7th began with Leroux still on the mound.  He gave up a single and a sacrifice bunt, then was relieved by Justin Thomas.  With the rain pouring down and the ball wet and slippery, Thomas hit both LF Gregor Blanco and CF Corey Brown with pitches to load the bases.  Play was halted …

The game restarted this afternoon at Victory Field, under overcast skies, with sprinkling rain that did not last long.  Cesar Valdez (photo) took the mound for the Indians, with two outs and the bases loaded.  1B Chris Marrero stepped to the plate, and rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give Syracuse a 6-2 lead.  

The Tribe got two of the runs back in the bottom of the frame.  Andrew Lambo, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Gallagher and remained in the game in right field, opened the inning with a double into right field.  After d’Arnaud struck out, 2B Brian Friday hit another double, just inside the first base bag and down the right field line, scoring Lambo.  John Bowker, who had taken over left field at the restart, flied out.  3B Andy Marte blooped an RBI single into left field, bringing Friday around from second base to score.  1B Matt Hague also singled, and pinch-hitter Shelby Ford walked on four pitches to load the bases, but C Eric Fryer struck out on a checked swing, to end the rally.  

Dan Meyer pitched the last two innings for the Indians.  He struck out the first two batters in the 8th, then gve up a single to SS Matt Antonelli, then retired the next 4 Chiefs in order.  

The Indians managed only one base runner over the last two innings — Hernandez led off the bottom of the 8th with a double to the center field wall.  The remaining 6 Tribe batters went down in order, and the Chiefs had the win.

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Rain Suspends Indians And Chiefs

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Butler University’s Blue II chases down the first pitch.

Indianapolis Indians 2,  Syracuse Chiefs  2   (suspended)
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A storm moving through Central Indiana tonight forced the suspension of the Indians/Chiefs game at Victory Field, with the score tied at 2-2 in the 7th inning.  The game began under sunny skies with a game-time temperature of 92 degrees (though my car thermometer was reading 100 degrees at about 4 pm).  But in the 4th inning, the wind suddenly changed from blowing out to right-center field to blowing straight in from left field (from the north).  Dark clouds hovered over downtown Indianapolis, and lightning was visible in the distance to the north. The skies got darker and darker, and the wind blew more and more, until the rain began in the 6th inning.  It was just a light rain at first, but by the top of the 7th, large drops were falling and coming down heavily, and the game was suspended, to be finished on Sunday afternoon.

IMG_5965Sean Gallagher (photo, making a throw to first base) made the start for the Indians, and had a shaky 1st inning.  Chiefs’ LF Gregor Blanco led off with a soft liner into left field for a single, and he advanced to second base when Gallagher balked on a throw to first base.  CF Corey Brown worked the count full then walked.  1B Chris Marrero lined another single into left field, allowing Blanco to score from second base, giving Syracuse a 1-0 lead.  Gallagher retired the next three batters in order, with two strikeouts, leaving two Syracuse runners on base.  

Gallagher went on to retire the side in the 2nd inning.  He gave up a one-out single through the right side of the infield to Brown in the 3rd.  A grounder by Marrero looked like it could be an inning-ending double play, and 2B Brian Friday flipped to SS Chase d’Arnaud for the force out on Brown, but d’Arnaud’s throw on to first bounced in the dirt and got past 1B Matt Hague.  C Eric Fryer was right where he was supposed to be, backing up first base, so the ball did not get far enough away for Marrero to advance past first base.  Gallagher struck out 2B Tug Hulett for the second time to end the inning.  

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Two Bombs By Presley Lead Tribe Explosion

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Alex Presley is congratulated after one of his two home runs.  

Indianapolis Indians  13, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  2
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The Indianapolis Indians exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits to defeat the Yankees at Victory Field tonight, earning a split of both the 4-game series and the 8-game season series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  LF Alex Presley blasted a pair of 3-run home runs to lead the offense, as each member of the line-up collected at least one hit, and all but one scored at least one run.  

IMG_5929Both starting pitchers began their evening with struggles in the first inning.  For Tribe starter Justin Wilson (photo), the game started with a triple off the bat of Yankees’ 2B Kevin Russo.  Russo’s lined into right field, where RF Miles Durham raced in and made a feet-first slide, but missed the ball.  By the time, Durham got up and chased the ball down, Russo was gliding into third base.  SS Ramiro Pena dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, with Wilson scrambling off the mound to make the scoop and throw right back to C Eric Fryer as Russo came from third.  Fryer blocked the plate, but he dropped the ball, and Russo was safe.  It was first ruled a sacrifice bunt and a fielders’ choice — but then the ruling was changed to a missed catch error on Fryer, with no RBI for Pena.  

With a runner still on first base, Wilson got C Jesus Montero to fly out and struck out 3B Jorge Vazquez.  A wild pitch moved Pena to second base, then he scored on 1B Brandon Laird’s single, lined over SS Chase d’Arnaud’s head and into left field.  Both runs were unearned, but the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.  

But Yankees’ starter Andrew Brackman was having his own troubles.  His pitches were going everywhere, with no apparent control on his part.  He walked lead-off batter d’Arnaud, with d’Arnaud ducking out of the way as one pitch came in a little too close to his head, and ball four going crazy wild all the way to the backstop.  Another crazy wild pitch to 2B Brian Friday let d’Arnaud advance to second base.  Brackman settled down enough to get Friday to fly out, then retired Presley on a high bouncer back to the mound, and struck out 1B John Bowker.  When Brackman came out for the second inning, his command was even worse — reminiscent of the “Wild Thing” character in the movie “Major League”.  Brackman walked both 3B Andy Marte and DH Matt Hague, with pitches going everywhere.  After three more balls for a 3-1 count on Fryer, Brackman threw another wild one that hit Fryer on his helmet, then bounced off the helmet and into the stands behind the visitors’ dugout.  That was the last pitch for Brackman, who was quickly yanked.

IMG_5930Reliever Ryan Pope came on for the Yankees, with the bases full and no outs.  RF Miles Durham cleared the bases on Pope’s first pitch, with a ringing double to the base of the wall in right-center field, and the Indians took a 3-2 lead as Marte, Hague, and Fryer all scored (photo).  Pope also gave up a single to CF Gorkys Hernandez and walked Friday before ending the inning on two fly outs.  

Wilson was able to relax after that first inning.  He gave up a two-out single to CF Austin Krum in the 2nd inning, but struck out Russo to end the inning.  He loaded the bases in the 3rd inning with singles by Montero and RF Jordan Parraz and a walk to Vazquez.  But with two outs and the bases loaded, Wilson reached deep, and fired two pitches at 92-93 mph to strike out LF Dan Brewer and end the inning.  Wilson went on to pitch 3 more innings, without allowing another hit.  He walked two batters in the 5th, but erased one base runner with an around-the-horn double play (Marte to Friday to Bowker, 5-4-3).  Alex Presley made the final out of the inning with a spectacular leaping catch of Laird’s fly ball to deep left field, snatching the ball at the top of the left field scoreboard.  

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Presley’s Inside-The-Park Homer Not Enough

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  2,  Indianapolis Indians  1
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IMG_5603LF Alex Presley made the most exciting hit of the game, an inside-the-park home run, but that was the only run the Indians would score, as they lost to the Yankees at PNC Field in Moosic, PA this evening.   1B Matt Hague punched 3 hits for the Tribe, and starter Brad Lincoln struck out 7 batters in 6 innings, but even those were not enough.

The game got off to a late start, due to a nearly two-hour rain delay.  Lincoln (photo) got off to a bit of a shaky start in the bottom of the 1st, when he walked the first batter he faced, LF Austin Krum, then gave up a single to SS Ramiro Pena.  Then Lincoln got C Jesus Montero to bound to the newest Tribe player, SS Greg Picart, who started a 6-4-3 double play (Picart to 2B Josh Harrison to Hague).  A strikeout ended the inning without a run scoring.

Lincoln was not so lucky in the 2nd inning.  CF Justin Maxwell led off with an “oops” swing bunt along the third base line, which 3B Andy Marte was able to get to, but he did not have a play at first, and Maxwell was safe with a single.  Maxwell stole second base, then moved to third on 3B Brandon Laird’s ground out.  2B Kevin Russo grounded a slow roller to second, where Harrison made the scoop and fired back to the plate, but the ball reached the plate after Maxwell did, for the Yankees’ first run.  RF Dan Brewer walked, pushing Russo to second base.  DH Gustavo Molina grounded to second for what should have been an inning-ending double play.  Harrison got the ball to second base, for the force out on Brewer, but Picart was disrupted by Brewer’s slide, and his throw to first base was wide on the outfield side of the bag. That allowed Russo to round third and score on the error, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.  

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