Bats Shut Out Indians Behind High-Kicking Willis

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Manager Dean Treanor stands with Dusty Brown, one of only two Indians’ runners to reach as far as third base.  

Louisville Bats  3,  Indianapolis Indians  0
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IMG_5232Louisville starter and former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis (photo) held the Indians to 6 scoreless innings, and his relievers did the same for the remaining 3 innings, as the Indians lost to the Bats at Victory Field tonight.  

Willis allowed 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6 batters in his 6 innings of work.  The Indians had only two base runners reach as far as third base.  In the 2nd inning, C Dusty Brown worked a walk with two outs.  He advanced to third base on RF Gorkys Hernandez’s line drive single down the right field line.  Brown got no further, as Willis struck out both 2B Brian Friday and starting pitcher Brad Lincoln to end the inning.  

Willis gave up back-to-back singles in the 4th inning, but the Indians could not capitalize on that either.  1B Matt Hague slapped a grounder that took a goofy hop on the mound.  Willis stabbed at the ball, but he stumbled, then took a tumble (but came up laughing), and Hague was safe at first.  Moments later, Bats’ catcher Corky Miller picked Hague off first base, and threw him out trying to reach second base.  3B Josh Harrison also lined a single into right field, then stole both second and third bases.  Two strikeouts left him standing there too.

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Bats Pound On Indians

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Dusty Brown is congratulated after his home run

Louisville Bats  10,  Indianapolis Indians  4
(box score)  

The Louisville Bats started their onslaught with 5 runs in the top of the 1st inning, and never looked back at Victory Field tonight.  The Indians out-hit the Bats 12-11, but the Tribe left 10 of their runners on base, while the Bats left only 6.  One high point for the Tribe was that RF Andrew Lambo and 1B Andy Marte, both of whom had been struggling at the plate, both hit well tonight — Marte singled twice and drove in a run, while Lambo singled twice, doubled, and brought in a run.

IMG_5206With Sean Gallagher (photo, with C Dusty Brown) on the mound, things got crazy right away in the top of the 1st.  CF Dave Sappelt lined a double into left field to lead off.  Gallagher got a strikeout and a grounder to first, which moved Sappelt to third.  Then he walked 3B Todd Frazier and hit RF Jeremy Hermida with a pitch to load the bases.  C Devin Mesoraco singled into right field, bringing in both Sappelt from third and Frazier from second.  When Lambo threw the ball in from right field to the plate, it came in up the line, and C Dusty Brown had no chance of tagging Frazier.  Instead he tried throwing to second base, in hopes of catching Mesoraco, who was trying to advance on the throw.  But Brown’s throw bounced in the dirt and away from SS Chase d’Arnaud for a throwing error, and that let Hermida score too.  Mesoraco remained on second base, but only for a few minutes, because 1B Danny Dorn smacked a 2-run homer over the right field wall, giving the Bats a 5-0 lead.  

The Indians answered back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning.  Corey Wimberly, who had center field duties tonight, was hit by a pitch on the right foot to begin the frame.  He was forced out at second when d’Arnaud grounded to third, though there was not time for a double play.  LF Alex Presley kept right on hitting, with a grounder up the middle for a single, and the Indians had runners on the corners.  Matt Hague, playing third tonight, lifted a fly into left center, but it was caught with a very nice effort by Bats’ LF Yonder Alonso.  Andy Marte slipped a single up the middle just past the diving Bats’ shortstop, driving in d’Arnaud from third base.  Andrew Lambo lined a single into left center also, bringing in Presley.  SS Pedro Ciriaco struck out to end the inning, but the Indians had made a dent in the Bats’ lead.  

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Late Inning Rallies OverShadow Van Every’s Blast

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Van Every (#24) was supposed to be the hero

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs� 12,� Indianapolis Indians� 8 (box)

IMG_4052Two 4-run innings by the Iron Pigs stole the thunder from pinch-hitter Jonathan Van Every (photo above), as the Iron Pigs defeated the Indians for the third straight game at Victory Field this afternoon.� Van Every had given the Indians the lead in the 7th inning with the Tribe’s first pinch-hit home run of the season, and the Indians were all set to have Van Every be the hero of the game… until disaster struck in the 8th and 9th.

The Indians took the early lead in the bottom of the 1st, when they jumped all over Iron Pigs’ starter Michael Cisco, who was making his AAA debut.� LF Kevin Melillo led off with a grounder that hit the side of the mound and kept going right up the middle and into center field.� 3B Aki Iwamura dribbled a little oops-swing (not a bunt) down the first base line, and was tagged out, but it was just as good as a sacrifice bunt, as Melillo moved to second base.� CF Alex Presley extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single through the hole and into right field, driving in Melillo (photo).� 1B Jeff Clement moved Presley to third with another grounder to the right side, just past the Iron Pigs’ first baseman, but both Presley and Clement were left on base when Cisco got a strikeout and a grounder to first to end the inning.� Cisco settled down after that first inning.� He faced just the minimum number of batters over the next three innings, striking out the side in the 2nd.� In the third, Melillo singled again, but was thrown out trying to steal second base.

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Brian Burres (photo) made the start for the Indians.� He retired the Iron Pigs in order in the 1st, and easily worked around a single to left-center field by 3B Neil Sellers in the 2nd inning.� He made a mistake in the 3rd, though, and that tied the game — a 2-1 pitch taken over the left field wall and onto the sidewalk behind the grass berm for a solo home run by former Indy Indian LF Chris Aguila.

The Iron Pigs broke the tie in the next inning.� Burres got the first out of the inning, then loaded the bases with the next three batters.� CF John Mayberry chopped a high bouncer off the plate and up and over the mound.� 2B Jim Negrych had to wait for the ball to drop out of the stratosphere before he could make the catch and throw to first, and by then, Mayberry had already crossed the bag.� Neil Sellers lined a single into right-center, moving Mayberry to third base, and 1B Paul Sellers walked to load ‘em up.� Burres struck out C Dane Sardinha, and needed only one more out… but SS Brian Bocock, who had the huge game-winning RBI triple two days ago, doubled down the right field line, driving in both Mayberry and Sellers, and the Iron Pigs had a 3-1 lead.

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Rain Delays Indians and Mud Hens: Indians Pull Out The Win

The Indians were leading the Mud Hens 6-3 in the 6th…

FINAL:� Indianapolis Indians� 6,� Toledo Mud Hens� 4 (box)

The big news, even before the game began, was the player moves made by the Pittsburgh Pirates.� With pitcher Zach Duke done with his rehab assignment in Altoona and ready to come back onto the Pirates’ active roster, someone else had to be removed from the roster.� That someone is reliever Justin Thomas, who has been optioned back to the Indians.

Secondly, the Pirates have announced that they are optioning back-up catcher Jason Jaramillo to Indianapolis.� The reason given is that he has had minimal playing time during the first half of the season, and needs to get the work in.� Jaramillo will become the regular catcher in Indianapolis after the All-Star break.� The Pirates have also moved pitcher Chris Jakubauskas to the 60-day disabled list, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster.� So, who will take his place?

The Pirates intend to make that announcement later in the week.� Possibilities include Indians’ Erik Kratz and Luke Carlin, and Altoona Curve catcher Hector Gimenez (who played for the Indians in 2009).� Kratz is the Indians’ only representative for the AAA All-Star game, which will be played on Wednesday in Lehigh Valley — just a short hop from Kratz’s home town.� He has a lot of family and friends coming to see him play, though he will not be the starting catcher in the game.� SO — is the delay in the Pirates’ announcement so that they can give Kratz time to participate in the All-Star game?� If he were pulled at the last minute, it might be tricky to get someone else there to represent the Indians.� Carlin has only just come back from his ankle injury and is not entirely up to speed yet.� Gimenez could certainly handle things at the major league level — but what would that say to Erik Kratz?� “Sure, Erik, you’re a great guy and we were considering you for the major league back-up back in March, and sure, you are an All-Star for two years running at the AAA level — but we’re going to promote Gimenez from AA over you.� Oh, and when you get back to Indy, you won’t be the starting catcher either.”

Back to the game.. which was delayed for about 15 minutes before even starting, then halted again due to rain in the 2nd inning.� That delay lasted over an hour.

LF Kevin Melillo got the Indians started with a double driven into right field to begin the game.� 3B Akinori Iwamura followed with a single into right field, and Melillo raced around from second to score.�� The Mud Hens came right back in the bottom of the frame, against Tribe starter Dana Eveland. SS Will Rhymes led off with a single through into left field, then Eveland struck out 3B Brent Dlugach.� LF Ryan Strieby doubled, moving Rhymes to third, and DH Jeff Larish brought in both Rhymes and Strieby with a single up the middle, to give the Mud Hens a 2-1 lead.� Eveland walked 1B Jeff Frazier, but then got CF Casper wells to bounce into a double play, ending the inning.

Eveland had gotten two outs and had 2B Max Leon on first base after a single when the rain halted play in the bottom of the 2nd.� The delay was long enough so that Eveland did not come back out, with workhorse Jeremy Powell taking the mound instead.� Powell ended the 2nd inning, then pitched two more scoreless innings, allowing only a walk.

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Indians Are Up.. And Down…And Up…And Down

Columbus Clippers� 10,� Indianapolis Indians� 9 (box)

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It felt like a roller coaster ride — up… then down…. then up…. then down.� The Indians had three home runs… but the Clippers had four homers.� 3B Doug Bernier had 3 hits and 1B Brian Myrow (photos) batted in 4 runs… but the Indians committed 3 fielding errors, one particularly critical.� The Indians had a 5-run 1st inning…� but Charlie Morton gave up 7 runs and let the Clippers catch up.

The game started in the Indians’ favor.� The first five batters of the game all reached base and scored:� Doug Bernier led off with a single lined into center field.� RF Brandon Moss bounced a fly ball off the center field wall, moving Bernier to third.� Brian Myrow singled into right field, scoring both Bernier and Moss.� DH Jeff Clement kept the rally going wtih a single through the right side of the infield, and C Erik Kratz blasted a 3-run home run over the left field wall.� At that point, Clippers’ pitcher David Huff suddenly found his control.� He struck out 2B Jim Negrych, CF Alex Presley, and LF Jonathan Van Every, all swinging, to end the inning.

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IMG_3555Charlie Morton (photo) took the mound with a 5-0 lead… which he promptly began to give away.� The first three batters ripped line drives off him — a single by CF Jose Constanza, a single by SS Josh Rodriguez, and an RBI double by 3B Luis Valbuena.� The only salvation was that when Constanza aimed for third base on Rodriguez’s single, Rodriguez at first hesitated, then tried for second on the throw to third.� The hesitation was all the Indians needed to tag him out at second base.� Morton balked, moving Valbuena to third base, and Valbuena scored from there on a ground out by DH Jared Goedert.� Another groundout ended the inning, and the score was 5-2.

The Indians got the two runs right back again.� SS Argenis Diaz was the only member of the lineup to not get in on the fun in the 1st inning, so he started off the 2nd inning with a single off the top of the wall in the right field corner.� Unfortunately, Diaz stumbled as he was rounding first base, so instead of reaching second base, he had to try to scramble back to first, and didn’t make it in time.� Doug Bernier doubled off the upper part of the right field wall, making Clippers’ RF Jordan Brown chase the ball as it ricocheted back towards the infield.� After a ground out, Brian Myrow lifted a long fly ball over the left field wall, a 2-run shot, to give the Indians a 7-2 lead.

Morton got through the bottom of the 2nd inning, allowing only a walk to C Lou Marson — maybe he was settling down?� No, that hope was dashed in the 3rd, when two errors, including one by Morton, contributed to 4 runs, only one of which was earned.� With one out, Rodriguez doubled into right field.� Brian Myrow had Valbuena’s grounder bounce off his glove and skip a few feet away, but by the time Myrow could get to it and flip over to first base, Valbuena was safe, and Rodriguez had moved to third base.� Goedert tapped one back to the mound, where Morton did the right thing — field the ball quickly, look at Rodriguez, then start walking toward him, still holding the ball, as Rodriguez was trapped in no-mans’-land on the third base line.� As he continued to approach Rodriguez, Morton threw to C Erik Kratz, who threw on to 3B Doug Bernier as they closed in on Rodriguez, and Valbuena sidled into third base.� Bernier threw to Morton, as the trap closed further, and Morton threw back to…. well, he was aiming for Bernier, I think, but instead the ball sailed over his head, over third base, and into the outfield.� Rodriguez, suddenly rescued from certain death, bolted for the plate and scored, and Valbuena also scored from third base, as Goedert reached second base — a 2-run error.� The next batter, RF Jordan Brown followed with a home run to straight out center field, and the Clippers were within one run of the Indians, 7-6.

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