Indianapolis Indians 9, Durham Bulls 6
Starter Justin Wilson (photo) pitched 7 innings of one-hit, shutout ball, to earn his third win of the season for the Indians at Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina. Wilson did not allow a hit until the 7th inning, when former Indy Indian 2B JJ Furmaniak singled on a line drive off the glove of Tribe 2B Pedro Ciriaco. While Wilson held the Bulls to just one hit, he put 5 Bulls on base with walks, and had to work around a fielding error by Ciriaco.
Wilson walked LF Justin Ruggiano in the 1st inning, but erased him with a double play. He walked Furmaniak in the 2nd inning and RF Desmond Jennings in the 3rd, but left both on base. The southpaw did retire the side in order in the 4th and 6th innings. He walked both 1B Russ Canzler and C Robinson Chirinos in the 5th, but an unsual play helped him out — SS Ray Olmedo grounded to short, where SS Chase d’Arnaud made the pickup and flipped the ball to 2B Ciriaco covering the bag. But the ball hit Ciriaco’s glove and bounced off, going all the way back to d’Arnaud, who still had time to step on the bag and force out Chirinos for the second out of the inning. That left runners on the corners, but Wilson got a strikeout to end the inning.
After the game, Wilson admitted that he felt “a little shaky” in the first inning, but then settled in and “felt comfortable later as I was able to get in the strike zone more and attack guys…. My plan for the whole night was to get in the strike zone early and make them swing at my pitch, and get ground balls.” Wilson credited his catcher Dusty Brown for calling a great game, and also had props for his defense behind him. 1B Matt Hague made an unassisted double play in the 1st inning on a line drive by CF Brandon Guyer, doubling Ruggiano off the bag. In the 3rd, Ruggiano chopped a ball down the first base line and bounced it off the edge of the first base bag. Luckily for Wilson and the Indians, the ball ricocheted into the infield, back down along the first base line, where Hague could pick it up and make the easy tag out. D’Arnaud made a leaping stab on a line drive by Furmaniak in the 5th inning, saving a hit.
Durham Bulls 1, Indianapolis Indians 0
Brian Burres (photo) gave up just one run and scattered 4 hits in a morning-into-afternoon game at Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park today — but he suffered his 5th loss of the season. Burress had the Bulls under control for the entire game, but there was just one problem. That problem was the only hit that counted — a solo home run by Bulls’ RF Justin Ruggiano in the bottom of the 1st. Ruggiano, who was also the Bulls’ game hero last night, scored the only run of the game with his homer.
Burres matched his season-high 7 innings in this start. He struck out 5 batters and walked only one. After the game, Burres said that he felt that his mistake was not the fast ball that Ruggiano took over the wall, but the two pitches before that, both outside the strike zone, which put Burres behind in the count. Burres gave up a single to 3B Russ Canzler in the 2nd, but erased him when C Jose Laboton bounced into a 6-4-3 double play (SS Pedro Ciriaco to 2B Chase d’Arnaud to 1B John Bowker).
The lefty Burres retired the Bulls in order in the 3rd and 4th innings, then gave up back-to-back singles to 1B Leslie Anderson and C Jose Lobaton in the 5th. Another double play, off the bat of former Indy Indian SS JJ Furmaniak got Burres and the Indians out of that jam. Another 1-2-3 inning took care of the Bulls in the 6th, then Burres walked LF Brandon Guyer to begin the 7th, but got three quick outs to end his afternoon.
Durham Bulls 2, Indianapolis Indians 1
The Indians and the Bulls took it into extra innings at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, but it was the Bulls who came out on top. After taking advantage of an Indians’ error, Bulls’ LF Justin Ruggiano lined a bases-loaded single for the walk-off win.
Rudy Owens (photo) made the start for the Indians, one day later than he would have been regularly scheduled, because he was serving out the end of his suspension from last week. Owens gave up only a single over the first two innings, then found himself needing to work out of big jams in the 3rd and 4th. With one out in the 3rd, Bulls’ SS Ray Olmedo reached base when his Indians’ counterpart, SS Pedro Ciriaco, dropped his grounder for an error. CF Desmond Jennings walked, and Ruggiano beat out an infield hit on a swinging bunt down the third base line. 3B Josh Harrison was not expecting such a short hit, and by the time he charged in to get it, Ruggiano was already at first base. RF Brandon Guyer stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, and bounced to third, where Harrison made the scoop and instead of trying for an around-the-horn double play, he fired to the plate, and C Dusty Brown made the force out on Olmedo. Owens struck out 3B Felipe Lopez to end the inning without a run scoring.
Owens had to work out of a jam again in the 4th. He walked DH ChrisCarter, then C Robinson Chirinos smacked a grounder to third base, which hit Harrison on the leg and ricocheted all the way behind second base and into short right field. By the time 2B Brian Friday could track it down, Carter had rounded second and alertly advanced to third base. 1B Leslie Anderson followed with a line drive into right field, scoring Carter from third base with the first run of the game. There were still two runners on base and no outs. 2B Omar Luna dropped down a bunt that got too close to the mound — Owens was able to snatch it up and throw to third base for the force out of the lead runner Chirinos. A single into center field by Olmedo loaded the bases again, but Owens held tight. He got a pop out (infield fly rule) and a fly out to end the inning without any more runs scoring. Bulls 1, Indians 0.
Owens retired the next 6 Bulls in order to finish his evening’s work. In 6 innings, Owens threw 90 pitches (55 strikes), and allowed that one run on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Durham Bulls 5
Home runs by RF John Bowker and DH Andrew Lambo and a triple by LF Corey Wimberly gave the Indians the offense they needed to power past the Bulls tonight. The game was played at the old Durham Athletic Park, which is the original stadium in Durham — the one where the old A-level team played, and where the movie “Bull Durham” was filmed. Last season, the Bulls played one game at the old stadium, which sits about 5 blocks from their “new” stadium, Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Everyone must have had fun, because they decided to do it again this year, and this time the Indians were the visitors who got to participate. It was a bit awkward for the players — they had to change clothes and do batting practice at the new stadium, then take a bus to the old stadium for the game. After the game, they rode back to the new facility to shower up and change clothes again. Lambo said that the players had fun at the old park, even though the dugout was a little cramped. The teams wore “retro” uniforms for the game.
Jose Ascanio (photo) made a one-inning start for the Indians, throwing 31 pitches (20 strikes) and giving up 2 runs. Ascanio began the inning by allowing a single to SS Ray Olmedo. CF Justin Ruggiano reached base on a fielding error by 3B Josh Harrison. A wild pitch by Ascanio let both runners move up a base, then a walk to LF Brandon Guyer loaded the bases with no outs. Ascanio got a strikeout, but then RF Chris Carter lined a double into right field, bringing in both Olmedo and Ruggiano to score. Another strikeout and a ground out got Ascanio out of the inning, though with the Indians trailing 2-0.
Indianapolis Indians 6, Norfolk Tides 2
The Indianapolis Indians earned a split of both the 4-game series and the 8-game season series with the Norfolk Tides, with a win today at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia. Brad Lincoln (photo) earned his second win of the season, following a win in his last start — his best two starts of the season. LF Alex Presley provided the big offensive spark, with 3 hits for the second day in a row. The Tribe posted 12 hits, all singles, with each member of the lineup getting at least one hit. DH Andrew Lambo was the other batter with a multi-hit game, recording 2 singles and 2 RBI. In past Mothers’ Days and breast cancer awareness days, the Indians had taken advantage of the Magic Pink, using pink bats and jerseys to earn wins. Today, with the Tides wearing the pink jerseys and wielding pink bats, the Indians had to make do with pink on their spikes, particularly Lincoln’s entirely pink shoes.
The Indians missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the 1st, when the first three batters reached base safely. SS Chase d’Arnaud walked, 2B Pedro Ciriaco lined a single just past the middle infielders and into center field, and Presley lifted his first hit of the game into center field to load the bases. All three were left right there, though, when 1B Matt Hague and new RF John Bowker both struck out, and C Jason Jaramillo bounced out back to the mound. 3B Brian Friday also singled in the 2nd inning, but was caught stealing second base.
The next time the Indians loaded the bases, they took advantage of the opportunity. In the 3rd, the Tribe sent 8 batters to the plate, and scored 3 runs. D’Arnaud led off with a single, and Ciriaco bunted him to second. Presley (photo) slapped a grounder over the shoulder of Tides’ 1B Rhyne Hughe’s shoulder and into right field, and d’Arnaud came around from second to score the first run of the game. A fielding error at third put Hague on first and moved Presley to second base, then Jaramillo worked a walk to load the bases with two outs. Lambo came through on a 3-2 pitch, zipping a grounder up the middle, past the swipe of the pitcher’s glove, and past the middle infielders through to the outfield. Both Presley and Hague scored, to give the Indians a 3-0 lead. There was a brief scare, when Jaramillo slid into second base then got up favoring his right ankle. Manager Dean Treanor and the training staff checked him out, and Jaramillo was able to walk around a bit and remain in the game.
Lincoln used the pink shoes to keep the Tides from scoring in the first three innings. He gave up a lead-off single to RF Tyler Henson, then after two outs, another single to 3B Josh Bell, putting runners on the corners, but got out of the inning with a strikeout. He also gave up a single to former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled off Lincoln in the 2nd, and walked 2B Ryan Adams in the 3rd, but left them on base too.