9th Inning Heroes: Friday and Presley

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Erik Kratz is a good sport.

Indianapolis Indians� 4,� Syracuse Chiefs� 3 (box)

IMG_43212B Brian Friday (photo) and CF Alex Presley were the big heroes in the bottom of the 9th inning, giving the Indianapolis Indians a walk-off win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Victory Field tonight.� Friday, Presley, and SS Pedro Ciriaco all had 2 hits in the game and all had a hit in the 9th, and reliever Justin Thomas earned the win.

The Indians were clinging to a 2-1 lead going into the 9th inning.� Justin Thomas had come on in relief in the top of the 8th, striking out RF Pete Orr to end that inning.� He began the 9th by getting CF Michael Martinez to ground out to second.� Former Indy Indian, pinch-hitter Carlos Maldonado made the Victory Field crowd gasp as he drove the first pitch he saw on a high line drive into center field.� Tribe CF Alex Presley went back and back, but was able to catch up to the ball just in time, for the second out of the inning.

Thomas walked LF Boomer Whiting, and that was worrisome, because Whiting is a big base-stealing threat� — he had already stolen 30 bases this season.� Before he threw even one pitch to the plate, where SS Danny Espinosa was waiting, Thomas threw to first base three times, trying to keep Whiting on first base.� Then, with the southpaw Thomas looking right at him, Whiting ventured a little too far off first.� Thomas’ 4th pick-off throw clearly had Whiting, who then turned and raced for second base.� 1B John Bowker took that throw from Thomas and threw to second base, where Pedro Ciriaco was waiting to tag out Whiting by several steps — but Bowker’s throw hit Whiting in the back and bounced into short left field.� It was ruled a stolen base and a throwing error on Bowker, and by the time the ball was retrieved, Whiting was standing on third base.

Finally, Thomas pitched to Espinosa.� He got Espinosa to a 2-2 count, and Espinosa fouled off two more pitches, but Thomas was one out away of an Indians’ win.� Then Espinosa lifted a long high fly to right center field… which CF Alex Presley and RF Brandon Moss quickly realized that it would do no good to chase it� — a 2-out 2-run homer, to give the Chiefs the lead, 3-2.� A tapper back to the mound ended the inning, and sent the game to the bottom of the 9th.

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Tides Wash Over Indians

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a lot of jawing going on

Norfolk Tides� 9,� Indianapolis Indians� 1 (box)

IMG_4188Norfolk Tides’ starter Chris Tillman pitched into the 7th inning and struck out 9 Tribe batters as the Tides easily washed over the Indians at Victory Field tonight.� Indians’ starter Jeremy Powell (photo) had a rough outing, and did not get through the 4th inning, as he allowed 7 runs on 10 hits.

Powell allowed at least one base runner on in each of his 4 innings, though he did have a bit of luck in the top of the 1st.� CF Matt Angle opened the game with a double into the right-center field gap.� He moved to third base when one of Powell’s pitches to SS Robert Andino came up and in and high, and got past C Jason Jaramillo for a wild pitch.� Andino struck out, then Powell struck out former Indy Indian RF Jeff Salazar.� On strike three to the left-handed hitting Salazar, Jaramillo hopped up and fired down to third base, surprising Angle, who was a little too far off the bag.� 3B Akinori Iwamura was easily able to tag out Angle to end the inning.

Unfortunately, there was not much more luck going for Powell.� In the 2nd inning, with one out, DH Michael Aubrey smacked a sharp grounder to the right of 2B Brian Friday. Friday was able to make the diving stop, but had no time to throw Aubrey out at first.� Aubrey went to second base on 1B Brandon Snyder’s ground out.� Then 3B Scott Moore rocketed a rising line drive out of the park just inside the right field foul pole for a 2-run homer.

Three straight hits off Powell gave the Tides another run in the 3rd.� With one out, Andino tripled into the left-center field alley, with the ball rolling to the wall in the deepest part of Victory Field.� Salazar brought Andino in with a bloop single into short center field.� Salazar was thrown out trying to steal second base — the first time this season that Salazar has been caught stealing, in 17 attempts.� LF Nolan Reimold grounded a single up the middle, just out of reach of SS Pedro Ciriaco, but he was left stranded when Powell struck out Aubrey.

IMG_4210Things got worse in the 4th.� Brandon Snyder began the inning with a line drive down the right field line and into the corner.� Powell walked Moore, and C Adam Donachie, just arrived from AA Bowie, dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving the runners to second and third bases.� 2B Paco Figueroa grounded toward short, where the ball scooted past the diving Ciriaco, who might have been distracted by Moore, who was running in front of him and between Ciriaco and the oncoming ground ball.� It was ruled a hit, and Snyder came in to score.� Angle drove a high bouncer just barely inside the chalk line and into the right field corner for a triple, plating both Moore and Figueroa, and the Tides had a 6-0 lead.� That brought up Andino.� When Powell’s first pitch came in tight and hit Andino’s jersey, Andino took exception (remember that high and tight wild pitch in the first inning? ).� Andino stood at the plate and yelled out at Powell.� He was restrained by the home plate umpire and Jaramillo, and by his own teammates who quickly came out of the dugout.� Powell returned the jawing, and took several steps toward the plate, but was also blocked by the umpires and his teammates.� Manager Frank Kremblas kept the rest of the Indians’ bench from emptying, and after a bit more yelling and milling around, order was restored (photo here and at the top).� No one was ejected, but Kremblas decided that it was a good time to end Powell’s night.

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Indians Held To 2 Hits in Shutout

Durham Bulls� 2,� Indianapolis Indians� 0 (box)

IMG_4041The Indians were held to just 2 hits as they were shut out at Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina this evening.� The win by the Bulls gives them a 3-1 win of this 4-game series, and a 5-3 win of the season series.

The Bulls used 5 different pitchers, who combined to strikeout the Indians 14 times in the game.� Aneury Rodriguez made an unexpected spot start for the Bulls, and he pitched into the 5th inning.� He struck out 6 Indians, and gave up 4 walks plus one hit.� CF Alex Presley worked a walk in the 1st inning, but was left there as Rodriguez struck out two batters in that frame.� After one out in the 3rd, 2B Brian Friday (photo) blooped a single over the reach of the leaping Durham SS Elliot Johnson.� Friday stole second base and then advanced to third base on a wild pitch that bounced into the grass between the plate and the pitchers’ mound.� 3B Akinori Iwamura walked, but the two runners were left standing on the corners.� Rodriguez walked two batters, SS Pedro Ciriaco and Friday in the 5th inning, then was relieved by Joe Bateman.� Bateman struck out LF Kevin Melillo, and Ciriaco steal third and Friday steal second base on strike three, but a fly out ended the inning and the Indians had still not scored.

The next three Durham pitchers,� Jake McGee, RJ Swindle, and Winston Abreu, retired all but one of the rest of the Indians’ batters in the game.� The Indians went down in order in the 6th (McGee struck out the side), 7th, and 8th innings.� With two outs in the 9th, RF John Bowker grounded to third, where Bulls’ 3B Angel Chavez struggled with an odd hop and fumbled the ball behind the third base bag.� Bowker reached first base, and was given a single on the play.� But pinch hitter Mitch Jones struck out, ending the game and leaving Bowker on first base.

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Martinez and Bowker Shine In Indians’ Debut

Indianapolis Indians� 5,� Norfolk Tides� 3 (box)

IMG_2548The Indianapolis Indians avoided being swept out to sea by the Tides with a 5-3 victory at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia this afternoon.� Starter Jeremy Powell (photo) earned his 8th win of the season, and reliever Joe Martinez earned a Save in his Indians’ debut.� Another debuting Indian, 1B/RF John Bowker, made a good impression with a 3-for-4 day at the plate including 2 doubles and an RBI.

The game began with the Tribe batters securing a nice packet of run support for their starter Powell, as they batted around in the top of the 1st.� The first four batters reached base safely.� LF Kevin Melillo led off with a double into center field, and a wild pitch sent Melillo to third.� SS Pedro Ciriaco blooped a single into right, scoring Melillo with the first run of the game.� Ciriaco stole second base, then advanced to third base on CF Alex Presley’s single through the hole into right field.� The hot-hitting DH Brandon Moss added a double, bringing in both Ciriaco and sending Presley to third.� After a strikeout by the rehabbing RF Ryan Doumit, newcomer John Bowker began his Indians’ career with an RBI single that plated Presley.� Norfolk starting pitcher Chris Tillman tried a pick-off throw, but it went wild, and Moss scored from third base.� 3B Jim Negrych also singled, moving Bowker to second base.� Both were left on base when two strikeouts ended the inning, but the Indians had secured a 4-0 lead for Powell.

Powell missed a complete game shutout by a strike in his last start (July 29th), and today he looked just as good.� He retired the first 15 batters he faced, including 3 strikeouts, zipping through 5 innings.� But in the 6th, Powell began to struggle.� He gave up a lead-off walk to 1B Brandon Snyder and a single to former Indy Indian (2008) C Michel Hernandez.� A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position.� CF Matt Angle singled, scoring Snyder, and former Indy Indian (2009) RF Jeff Salazar lifted a sacrifice fly, allowing Hernandez to score.� One more single, by SS Robert Andino, drove in Angle, and the Tides had come within a run of the Indians, 4-3.� Powell was relieved by Corey Hamman, who finished the inning with a strikeout.

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Burres Looks Good In Pitching Duel, But Indians Lose In Extras

Norfolk Tides� 3,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 (box)

IMG_2689A 9th-inning rally by the Tides tied up the game, and an 11th-inning rally gave them the win over the Indianapolis Indians at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia tonight in the first game of a 4-game series.� Pitching ruled in the game, as the Indians were held to just 5 hits, and the Tides were held to only 6, and a wild pitch and a fielding error made the difference in the game.

The Indians jumped out to the early lead in the top of the 1st inning.� LF Kevin Melillo looked at strike one, then took 4 balls for a walk.� Two outs later, DH Brandon Moss (photo) rocketed a 2-0 pitch over the right center field wall for a 2-run homer.

But that was all the scoring the Tribe would do, and they collected only 4 hits in the rest of the game, plus 3 more walks.� No Tribe batter got as far as third base for the rest of the game.� 1B Jonathan Van Every singled with one out in the 2nd inning, and moved to second base on a ground out by C Luke Carlin, but got no farther.� Newcomer RF Mitch Jones, in his first game with the Indians, was hit by a pitch to lead off the 4th inning, and 2B Jim Negrych followed with a single, moving Jones to second base.� But Van Every lined out to first base, and Jones was doubled off second base, and Negrych was left stranded at the end of the inning.

The Indians threatened again in the 7th, when Luke Carlin walked and 3B Brian Bixler singled, but both were left on base that time.� In the top of the 11th, Brandon Moss picked up his second hit of the game, a single lined into right field, but he was forced out at second when Mitch Jones grounded out, and moments later, Jones was picked off first and caught stealing.� Jones and SS Brian Friday were the only other batters to reach base, both on walks, and both were left stranded.

Brian Burres made the start for the Indians.� He pitched 7 innings and allowed one run on 3 hits and 4 walks, with 2 strikeouts.� Burres gave up a bunt single to the first batter he faced, CF Matt Angle, then picked Angle off first base.� He proceeded to retire the next 9 Tides’ batters, until he gave up a one-out single to SS Robert Andino in the 4th.� Walks to former Indy Indian RF Jeff Salazar and 3B Scott Moore loaded the bases.� After a quick chat with pitching coach Dean Treanor, Burres got the next batter, LF Nolan Reimold to bounce to third base, where Brian Bixler stepped on third for the force out, then fired across the diamond to 1B Jonathan Van Every for the double play.

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