Caribbean Series Begins

One quick signing note:  pitcher Chris Jakubauskas, who was released by the Pirates after the 2010 season, has signed a minor league contract with the Orioles.

The Caribbean series got underway today (Wednesday) with an afternoon game.   It took 15 innings, but Mexico (Los Yaquis de Obregon) beat Indy Indians’ manager Dean Treanor’s Dominican Republic team (Los Toros del Este) 4-3.  The Dominicans took the lead with a run in the 3rd on two singles and a throwing error.  They made it 3-0 in the 6th with the help of another error that led to two unearned runs.  The Mexican team came back with 2 runs on three singles in the 7th.  The Dominicans were one out away from a win in the bottom of the 9th, when the Mexicans tied the score at 3-3 with a pair of two-out singles and a stolen base.  Five and a half scoreless innings followed, as the relief pitchers took over.  Neither team did much during the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings.  Both teams put two runners on base but couldn’t score in the 13th.  The Dominicans threatened in both the top of the 14th and the top of the 15th, but could not push a runner across the plate.  Finally in the bottom of the 15th, the Mexican team again came through after two outs had been recorded.  Three straight singles gave them the winning run.

This evening’s game, between Venezuela (Los Caribes de Anzoategui) and Puerto Rico (Los Criollos de Caguas) is in the middle of the 5th, with Venezuela ahead 4-2.  
UPDATE:  VENEZUELA  5,  PUERTO RICO  3  —  The game began with Venezuela scoring 4 runs in the top of the 1st.  The first batter of the game reached base on a throwing error.  A single and a sacrifice fly plated the first run of the game.  After a walk, LF Jose Castillo singled in a run, then a fielding error allowed 2 more runs to score.  A double and an RBI single gave the Puerto Ricans one run in the 3rd inning.  An RBI double in the 5th brought a runner all the way from first base to score Puerto Rico’s second run.  The Venezuelans added one more run in the 7th, on another double/single combination.  Puerto Rico also added another run in the 8th.  A single, a walk, and a single by SS Luis Figueroa loaded the bases with no outs.  The next batter bounced into a 3-6-3 double play, but the runner from third was able to score.  

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Roster Updates

Gone for a few days, and all kinds of changes going on….

006_06The Pirates have removed starting pitcher Zach Duke, infielder Andy LaRoche, and outfielder Delwyn Young from their 40-man roster.  

Duke (photo) was the starting pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians on Opening Day in 2005, the beginning of the Pirates’ affiliation with the Indians.  Duke faced the rehabbing Curt Schilling, and he and the Indians beat Schilling pretty easily.  

The open spots on the 40-man roster, plus two other already open spots, went to a group of minor league pitchers:  

Mike Crotta, a righty who made 4 starts for Altoona before he was promoted to Indianapolis.  He made 24 starts for the Indians and pitched 131.1 innings, with a 4.93 ERA.
Daniel Moskos,
who split the season between the Indy Indians and the Altoona Curve.  The lefty was outstanding for the Curve, with a 1.52 ERA and 21 saves, though he struggled for the Indians, where he earned a 10.38 ERA in 17.1 innings of relief.
Tony Watson, another lefty who spent the season with the Curve.  He made a few starts (9) but mostly worked in relief, earning a 2.67 ERA in 111.1 innings.  
Jeff Locke, split the season between Altoona and the Bradenton Marauders.  After earning a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts for Bradenton, Locke was promoted to AA, where the southpaw made an additional 10 starts and earned a consistent 3.59 ERA.   
Kyle McPherson, a right-hander who spent most of the season with A-level West Virginia.  McPherson made 21 starts and 5 relief appearances for the Power, with a 3.59 ERA in 117.2 innings, though he had some hot and cold swings.  McPherson also pitched 4 scoreless innings for Bradenton in September.  

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Moss Takes IL RBI Title As Indians Win

Indianapolis Indians� 5,� Louisville Bats� 3 ..��� (box)

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RF Brandon Moss’s (photo) double in the top of the 7th inning gave the Indians the winning run and gave Moss his league-leading 96th RBI at Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky this evening.� RBI #96 secured Moss’ win of the International League’s RBI title.� The second-place slugger, Durham’s Dan Johnson, is now playing in the major leagues, and the third-place slugger, Gwinnett’s Freddie Freeman, is also in the majors. Two players are tied for fourth, Lehigh Valley’s Andy Tracy and Charlotte’s Stefan Gartrell, are both still in this league, but one of them would have to get 16 RBI tomorrow to catch up to Moss.�

Tribe LF Kevin Melillo got down to business with the first pitch of the game, which he ripped on a line drive into right field for a triple.� SS Pedro Ciriaco lined a single into center field, allowing Melillo to score easily from third base.� After a strikeout by CF Alex Presley, Moss lined a single into right field, moving Ciriaco to second base.� Another strikeout to 1B Mitch Jones, then C Erik Kratz singled up the middle, driving in Ciriaco, and the Indians had the early 2-0 lead.

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IMG_4455Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made the start for the Indians, and he was happy to take the mound with two runs in his pocket.� Jakubauskas buzzed through the first three innings, allowing only a double — to Bats’ pitcher Jeremy Horst — in the 3rd inning.� Jakubauskas began the 4th inning by giving up a single to SS Zack Cozart and a walk to Danny Dorn, but he retired the next three batters, and the two runners were left standing on base.

The Bats did get to Jakubauskas in the 5th.� Three consecutive singles opened the inning — by 3B Eric Eymann, 2B Kris Negron, and pinch-hitter Mike Costanzo.� Eymann scored on Costanzo’s grounder that just barely got past 2B Brian Friday and into right field. � CF Dave Sappelt followed with a grounder to Friday, who was able to get the force out at second base.� The speedy Sappelt beat out Pedro Ciriaco’s relay throw to first base, as Negron scored the tying run from third base.� Zack Cozart grounded to 3B Doug Bernier, who also got the force out of Sappelt at second base, but Friday’s thow to first base was not in time to get the out on Cozart.� The inning ended with a pop out by Danny Dorn.

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Clippers Sail Past Indians

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Columbus Clippers� 5,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 ..�� (box)

IMG_3243The Columbus pitching staff held the Indianapolis Indians to just 4 hits at Victory Field tonight, while the Clippers’ batters took advantage of timely hitting to slide past the Tribe.� The Clippers’ win, combined with the Louisville Bats’ 4-1 loss to the Toledo Mud Hens, means that the Clippers have regained first place in the International League Western Division by half a game.� It also means that Louisville is now on top of the Wild Card pile, with the Buffalo Bison and Syracuse Chiefs both tied at 4 games back.

RF Brandon Moss (photo) had two of the Indians four hits, a double and a single.� LF Kevin Melillo and 3B Akinori Iwamura each had a hit.� Three batters walked — Iwamura, CF Alex Presley, and 1B John Bowker – and that was all the base runners the Indians had.

The Indians threatened in the top of the 1st inning, when Presley walked with two outs, and Moss ripped a line drive down the right field line for a single, sending Presley to third base.� That inning ended when Bowker struck out.� The Tribe were first onto the scoreboard, with a rally in the 3rd inning.� Kevin Melillo got things stared with a grounder through the hole, just past the back-handed dive by Clippers’ 1B Wes Hodges, for a one-out single.� Aki Iwamura worked a walk.� Alex Presley grounded to second base, and it looked like the Clippers were going to halt the rally with an inning-ending double play.� Iwamura was forced out at second base, but the speedy Presley beat out the relay throw back to first base.� That gave Brandon Moss a chance to come to the plate, and he took a fly ball past CF Ezequiel Carrera and into the deepest part of the stadium in the left-center alley.� The double drove in both Melillo and Presley, who was hustling all the way from first base, and the Indians had a 2-0 lead.

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Jakubauskas Is Sharp In Start

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Jakubauskas on the mound

Indianapolis Indians� 2,� Toledo Mud Hens� 1 ..���� (box)

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A pitching duel erupted at Victory Field tonight, and it ended with the Indians and starter Chris Jakubauskas (photo above) on top.� The win gives the Indians an 11 – 9 game lead of the season series.

Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made his first start as an Indian since early April.� He was told in advance that he’d be limited to about 60 pitches.� It turned out that he threw 61, 41 of which were strikes.� He was clearly sailing, with his curve ball working well.� Jakubauskas said after the game that his sinker was also working well for him, and that was a bit unusual. He allowed only 3 hits and one walk, and struck out 5 batters.

Jakubauskas gave up a single to Mud Hens’ 2B Scott Sizemore with two outs in the 1st inning, but ended the inning with a grounder force out.� He worked around a walk to 1B Michael Bertram in the 2nd inning, finishing that inning with a strikeout.

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(Photo:� John Bowker and Brian Myrow)

The only inning in which Jakubauskas had any trouble was the 3rd.� Mud Hens’ 3B Shawn Roof led off the inning with a triple into right-center field.� RF John Bowker went way to his right to try to catch up to the line drive, but it got just past him and rolled all the way to the wall, as Roof cruised into third base.� Toledo RF Justin Henry follwed with a twisting single into left field, bringing in Roof, to give Toledo a 1-0 lead.�

But that was all the scoring the Mud Hens would do.� In fact, it was all the anything they would do until the 9th inning.� After Henry’s single, Jakubauskas retired the next three batters, finishing the 3rd inning with two strikeouts.� Then he retired the next six batters he faced, including a strikeout in each of the 4th and 5th innings.� With the pitch limit imposed on him, he knew that would be all, but he looked as if he could have gone at least another inning if needed.

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