5-Run Inning Lifts Clippers Over Tribe

Columbus Clippers� 10,� Indianapolis Indians� 5 ..�� (box)

IMG_4254The Indianapolis Indians posted 13 hits this evening at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio, with every member of the batting order but one collecting at least one hit.� But the Clippers posted 14 hits, and added a 5-run 7th inning, to sail past the Indians for the win.� The Louisville Bats also won today, beating the Toledo Mud Hens 8-0, so the Bats remain 1.5 games ahead of Columbus in the International League Western Division, with one week left in the season.

Indians’ starter Mike Crotta (photo) struggled in each inning he pitched, and after 4+ innings, he had already thrown 90 pitches (56 strikes).� He had two runners on base in the 1st inning, but got out of that jam without a run scoring.� With one out, CF Ezequiel Carrera reached base on a throwing error by SS Pedro Ciriaco. Carrera stole second base, and after 2B Cord Phelps walked, both Carrera and Phelps pulled off a double steal to put both into scoring position.� Crotta bore down and struck out 1B Wes Hodges, then ended the inning when DH Jordan Brown flied out.

That was Crotta’s only scoreless inning.� He gave up one run in each of the next three innings and was responsible for 2 runs in the 5th.� 3B Jared Goedert led off the 2nd inning with a single, and he also stole second base.� SS Drew Sutton walked, then LF Matt McBride reached on a tapper back to the mound that Crotta could not handle.� Goedert scored from second base on the play, to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead.

The Indians had gone down in order in the first two innings, but they came right back with 3 runs in the top of the 3rd.� With one out, Pedro Ciriaco doubled into left field.� 2B Brian Friday worked a walk, then LF Kevin Melillo loaded the bases with a line drive up the middle for a single.� 3B Akinori Iwamura lifted a long fly ball into left field, which Columbus LF McBride had to keep chasing back and back.. but he caught it on the warning track for a sacrifice fly, as it let Ciriaco score from third base to tie the score.� CF Alex Presley grounded through the right side of the infield for an RBI single that brought in both Friday and Melillo.� DH Brandon Moss lined another single into right field, but a fly out ended the inning.� The Indians had taken what would be their only lead of the game, 3-1.

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Tough First Inning Sinks Indians

Toledo Mud Hens� 8,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 ..����� (box)

IMG_4387Five runs in the 1st inning gave the Toledo Mud Hens a lead they would not give up, as they defeated the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field tonight.

Joe Martinez (photo) had to work through a tough 1st inning on this start.� The first batter of the game, 2B Justin Henry, fouled off the first two pitches for an 0-2 count, then took 4 straight balls, for a walk.� SS Cale Iorg grounded to third, forcing Henry out at second, but Iorg was safe at first.� 1B Max Leon dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Iorg to second base.� Then, with two outs, LF Jeff Frazier smacked a 2-run homer over the left field wall.� CF Ben Guez followed the homer with a single, and former Indy Indian C Robinzon Diaz reached on an error when Martinez could not handle the tapper back to the mound.� DH Michael Bertram belted a 3-run homer over the right-center field wall, and the Mud Hens had a 5-0 lead.

The Indians got one run back in the bottom of the 2nd when four consecutive batters reached base. With one out, LF Mitch Jones lined a single into left field, then advanced to second base when Robinzon Diaz let a pitch get past him.� C Erik Kratz and DH Brian Myrow both ran the count full then took a walk, loading the bases.� SS Pedro Ciriaco lined another single into left field, scoring Jones from third base.� A foul pop and a grounder back to the mound ended the inning with three base runners still on.

Martinez got through the 2nd and 3rd innings without allowing a run to score, though he gave up back-to-back singles (Henry and Iorg) in the 2nd, and a walk to Bertram in the 3rd.� The Mud Hens picked up another run in the top of the 4th, when RF Christopher White led off with a solo home run.� Henry and Iorg singled again after the home run, but a double play and a ground out got Martinez out of that jam.

The Mud Hens went down in order for Martinez in the 5th, but came right back at him in the 6th.� RF Shawn Roof and Christopher White led off with back-to-back singles.� A ground out to first moved both runners into scoring position, and Cale Iorg’s line drive double into left field brought both Roof and White in to score, giving the Mud Hens an 8-1 lead.� That was the end of Martinez’s night.� He had allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 11 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts.� He threw 93 pitches, 58 for strikes.

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Powell Wins #10 With Early Homers

Indianapolis Indians� 6,� Louisville Bats� 2 ..��� (box)

IMG_2550Both the Indianapolis Indians and the Louisville Bats slammed two home runs, but our big dingers were bigger than your big dingers.� The Bats’ homers were both solo shots, while the Indians’ had a 2-run homer and a 3-run homer.� The Indians home runs both came in the 1st inning, giving starter Jeremy Powell (photo) an early cushion, as he won his team-high 10th win of the season.� This is the first time since 2006 that Powell has had as many as 10 wins in a season.

The big 1st inning was just about all the Indians needed.� The inning began with LF Kevin Melillo rocketing a low liner right back at the mound, where it struck pitcher Matt Klinker on the leg.� Klinker was able to locate the ball and get it over to first base in time to get the out.� He convinced Bats’ manager Rick Sweet and the training staff that he was ok…. but the rest of the inning did not bear that out.� He walked the next batter, 2B Akinori Iwamura. Then CF Alex Presley slammed a no-doubt-about-it homer over the right-center field wall.� The Louisville outfielders did not bother trying to chase it — it was clearly already gone.� Klinker hit the next two Tribe batters — RF Brandon Moss was plunked in the back, and 3B Mitch Jones was only grazed on the jersey.� That brought up 1B Brian Myrow, who was making his first start since coming off the Disabled List.� Myrow showed that the DL stint hasn’t slowed him down, with the second home run of the inning, taking a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for 3 runs.� Klinker began to right himself after that, striking out both C Jason Jaramillo and SS Doug Bernier to end the inning.

Klinker was fine after that, though the damage had already been done.� He allowed the Indians only one more hit over the next 5 innings, though he did walk 2 more batters.� Doug Bernier singled with one out in the 4th, and advanced to second base on Jeremy Powell’s sacrifice bunt, but got no further.� Aki Iwamura walked in the 2nd inning, and he also reached on an error when 2B Wilkin Castillo dropped his ground ball in the 5th.� Alex Presley walked after Iwamura got on base, but Iwamura was doubled off second base when Brandon Moss lined out to first base, and Presley was out in a grounder force out to end the inning.

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Bullpen Falters As Indians Lose Late

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Alex Presley is back to the bag safely

Louisville Bats� 6,� Indianapolis Indians� 3 ..���� (box)

IMG_4467It was a tough night for the Indians’ bullpen, as they stumbled in the last two innings, giving the win to the Louisville Bats at Victory Field.� The Indians wasted an excellent starting effort by Charlie Morton (photo), who pitched 6 shutout innings and allowed only 4 hits.� The Indians posted 5 hits, while the Bats out-hit them with 13 knocks.

Morton got some help from his defense, but he cruised along in this start.� He faced only the minimum over the first three innings, and only one batter over the minimum in the first five innings.� He began each of the first three innings with a strikeout, and struck out one more batter after that.

The second batter in the top of the 1st, SS Chris Valaika, slipped a single up through the middle of the infield, where 2B Brian Friday would have been if the Indians’ defense was not in a shift position.� The next batter, 1B Yonder Alonso, also grounded up the middle, right over the second base bag.� SS Pedro Ciriaco made a diving stop, and as he hit the ground stretched out prone behind second base, the ball fell out of his glove,� Ciriaco scrambled to pick it up, then still on the ground, flipped the ball back and lateral to Friday covering second base.� Friday was at the bag, and he made an outstanding turn, and fired the ball to 1B John Bowker, just in time to beat Alonso to the first base bag.

Morton retired the side in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a lead-off single to CF Dave Sappelt in the 4th — the ball glanced off 3B Mitch Jones’ glove and into left field.� But again the infield stepped up.� Valaika grounded to third base, where Jones started an around-the-horn (5-4-3) double play to erase Sappelt.� Alonso almost put the Bats onto the scoreboard with a long fly ball to left field.� The ball hit the top of the left field wall, missing a home run by inches, then bounced into left field for a double.� Morton did not erase Alonso from the base path, but instead struck out the next batter, RF Wladimir Balentien, to end the inning.

IMG_4480The Bats also went down in order in the 5th, and that inning ended with an odd play.� 2B Wilkin Castillo bunted a 1-1 pitch to right in front of the plate, but as he was moving out of the batters’ box, he came in contact with the ball, so was called out.� C Jason Jaramillo, as the closest fielder, gets credit for the put-out in that situation.

The only time Charlie Morton had two base runners on base at the same time was in the 6th inning.� With one out, Bats’ pitcher Chad Reineke dribbled a little grounder (not a bunt) along the third base line, just fair.� By the time Morton and Jaramillo got over to it, Morton picked up the ball, but he had no play at first, and Reineke was on with an infield hit.� Sappelt followed with a grounder to short, and it looked like Morton was going to have yet another base runner erased with a double play.� Pedro Ciriaco made the scoop, but he got excited and his throw to second missed Brian Friday entirely, and sailed into right field.� Reineke advanced to third and Sappelt to second on the error.� With the Indians leading 2-0 at that point, those two runners in scoring position represented the tying runs, and the go-ahead run was at the plate.� Pitching coach Dean Treanor came out for a little chat with Morton (photo).� Then Morton got Valaika to ground softly to third base, and the runners had to hold up.� Another grounder by Alonso to short ended the inning for Morton, and without a run scoring.

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Stolen Bases Hurt Indians

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Pedro Ciriaco, airborne over Brian Bixler

Syracuse Chiefs� 11,� Indianapolis Indians� 4 (box)

IMG_4386Six stolen bases by the Chiefs, wild pitches, and double plays that weren’t turned made the difference as Syracuse defeated the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field tonight.� Starter Joe Martinez (photo) made his second start for the Indians, giving up 8 of the Chiefs’ 17 hits.� The Indians were held to 6 hits, including two home runs, by LF Kevin Melillo and 1B John Bowker.

Lead-off batter Kevin Melillo got the Indians off on the right foot, by taking the second pitch thrown by Syracuse starter Erik Arnesen down the right field line and over the fence just inside the foul pole for a solo home run.� The Indians went on to score one run in four of the first five innings.

RF Brandon Moss nearly had a double moments after Melillo’s homer.� Moss lifted a long fly to the deep part of left-center field, with both Syracuse LF Leonard Davis and CF Michael Martinez chasing after it.� Martinez called off Davis and had slowed, reaching up for the ball — when the ball bounced into and out of his glove and dropped to the ground for a two-base error.� John Bowker worked a walk, putting two Tribe runners on base, but a strikeout ended the inning.

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C Jason Jaramillo led off the bottom of the 2nd inning with a single grounded off Arnesen’s glove and up the middle, and 2B Brian Friday lined a single into left field, again giving the Indians two base runners.� Joe Martinez did what every good pitcher should be able to do in this situation:� he dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt (photo).� But the Chiefs put on the wheel play, with 3B Seth Bynum charging in to field the bunt.� Bynum fired the ball to former Indy Indian SS Brian Bixler, who was covering third base, forcing out the lead runner Jaramillo.� Friday was safe at second base, and Martinez safe at first.� Kevin Melillo grounded to second, which also resulted in a force out.� Martinez was out at second base, but Bixler took a tick too long getting the ball out of his glove after he fielded it, and there was no time for 2B Danny Espinosa to get Melillo out at first.� Friday advanced to third on the play, and when Arnesen hit 3B Mitch Jones with a pitch, the Indians had the bases loaded with two outs and Alex Presley at the plate.� The first pitch from Arnesen to Presley hit the dirt about 3 feet in front of home plate and bounced all the way to the backstop, and Friday was easily able to score from third base, to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

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