Homers Break Indians’ Losing Streak

Indianapolis Indians � 9, �Louisville Bats �7 (box)

IMG_3215The Indianapolis Indians and the Louisville Bats traded home runs at Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky tonight, but it was the Indians who held on for the win, ending their 8-game losing streak. �The Indians, who had not had a home run in almost a week, tonight had long bombs by RF Brandon Moss (photo), 3B Akinori Iwamura, and 1B Jeff Clement, while the Bats hit four home runs — two by 3B Juan Francisco, and one each by CF Gary Matthews Jr and lF Yonder Alonso.

The game began ominously for the Indians, as their first inning looked like many of the innings they’ve had during their losing streak. �LF Kevin Melillo led off with a walk and stole second base. �Aki Iwamura also walked, but 2B Jim Negrych bounced right to the Bats’ 2B Wilkin Castillo, who started a 2-6-3 double play. �Jeff Clement flied out to end the inning. �It was the 13th double play the Indians had batted into in the past 5 games. �The Tribe did fall victim to another double play, but not until the 9th inning, and not until after they had clearly broken their tough streak.

Things started looking up in the 2nd inning. �The Bats’ starting pitcher, Mark Serrano, had just been brought up from their A+ Lynchburg Hillcats’ affiliate to make a spot start because their scheduled starter Matt Maloney had been called up to Cincinnati to make a start. �Once they got going, the Indians were able to take advantage of the A+ level pitcher. �Brandon Moss led off the 2nd with a line drive into center field for a double, and CF Alex Presley beat out a bunt for an infield single, moving Moss over to third base. �A balk by Serrano let Moss score and put Presley on second base. �C Erik Kratz lined a single in to left field, which moved Presley to third base. � SS Argenis Diaz grounded back to the mound, and Serrano made the scoop then looked at Presley, who stopped in his tracks. �But instead of charging at Presley and probably catching him in a run-down, or whirling and throwing fast to second base to start a double play, Serrano hesitated. �He did throw to second, where he forced out Kratz, but that was the only out he got, and Presley scored on the play, and the Indians had a 2-0 lead.

IMG_3290With Jeremy Powell (photo) on the mound for the Indians, the Bats got the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning. �Juan Francisco started the Bats’ scoring with a solo home run over the wall in right field. �RF Danny Dorn followed the homer with a double into right field. �Erik Kratz tried to pick Dorn off second base, and the when his throw got past second base, Dorn moved to third on the throwing error. �That put him in position to score an unearned run on SS Chris Valaika’s sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Brandon Moss gave the Indians the lead again in the top of the 3rd. �With two outs, Jeff Clement singled through the hole into right field, and Moss blasted a 2-run homer over the wall in the right field corner. �Indians ahead, 4-2.

The Bats responded again in the bottom of the 3rd, also with two outs. �C Ryan Hanigan doubled to the base of the wall in right-center field, and he scored on Yonder Alonso’s single. �Juan Francisco tied the game again in the 4th inning with his second home run of the game, another solo shot.

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Early Lead And More Double Plays Drop Tribe

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Louisville Bats �4, �Indianapolis Indians �2 (box)

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A 3-run first inning and four more double plays gave the Bats the win over the Indians tonight at Victory Field. �Charlie Morton (photo) suffered the loss, and the rehabbing Edinson Volquez (Cincinnati Reds) held the Indians to just 4 hits in 5 innings and took the win.

Charlie Morton got into trouble right from the start, as five of the first six Bats’ who came to the plate in the top of the 1st reached base safely. �CF Gary Matthews Jr led off with a single lined into right field. �Matthews stole second base, as SS Zack Cozart took four pitches for a walk. �After a fly out, LF Todd Frazier doubled to the wall in center field, driving in both Matthews and Cozart, who came around all the way from first base. �3B Juan Francisco followed with another double, down the right field line. �The ball bounced around in the corner, making RF Brandon Moss chase it around before he could pick it up and fire it back to the infield. �That brought in Frazier with the third run of the inning. �RF Danny Dorn was hit by a pitch, and both runners moved up one base when Morton got another out, a grounder back to the mound. �Finally a fly out to Alex Presley in center field ended the inning, with the Bats up 3-0.

IMG_3897That first inning took Morton 28 pitches to get through. �He settled down in the next few innings. �In the 2nd, Morton walked Matthews, but got Cozart to bounce a grounder to behind second base. �SS Doug Bernier went to his left to make a diving stop, then flipped the ball with his glove to 2B Jim Negrych, forcing out Matthews. �Negrych threw on to first base, but Cozart was fast enough to beat the throw and he was safe. �Not a problem for Morton, who just got 1B Yonder Alonso to fly out to end the inning. �Morton retired the side in order in the 3rd, then worked around a single by 2B Chris Valaika in the 4th.

Photo: �Erik Kratz, pitching coach Dean Treanor, and Charlie Morton

The Bats added an unearned run in the 5th inning, as they proved the old warning about walking the lead-off batter. �Cozart walked to lead off the 5th, and moved to second base on a ground out. �Frazier grounded to short, where Doug Bernier made a nice pick-up, but airmailed the ball to first base. �Cozart rounded third and headed for the plate as the Indians chased after the ball, but he scored easily. �The play was initially ruled a hit and a throwing error that allowed the run to score, and the run was earned. �A few innings later, that was changed so that it was not a hit at all, but just an error, making the run unearned.

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Jakubauskas Pitches 2 Rehab Innings In Indians’ Loss

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Erik Kratz, pitching coach Dean Treanor, and Jeremy Powell confer on the mound

Columbus Clippers �6, �Indianapolis Indians �1 (box)

IMG_3839The Clippers pounded out 12 hits, with each member of their line-up reaching base at least once, while their pitching staff held the Indians’ batters to 3 hits at Victory Field tonight.

Starter Jeremy Powell, back in the Indians’ starting rotation again, struck out the first batter he faced, CF Michael Brantley. �The next three batters reached base: �a single slipped past SS Doug Bernier by Clippers’ 2B Josh Rodriguez, a walk to DH Luis Valbuena, and a single through the hole into left field by 3B Jared Goedert. � Goedert’s hit drove in Rodriguez from second base for the Clippers’ first run. �Powell got a second out when LF Jordan Brown hit a high pop fly, caught by Tribe 3B Akinori Iwamura on the infield fly rule (photo). �Then 1B Wes Hodges drove a long fly ball to center field. �CF Alex Presley, who had been playing a little shallow, turned and raced for the wall, and tried for the catch over his shoulder. �He got his glove on the ball at the warning track, but the ball popped into and out of his glove. �Instead of out #3, Hodges had a double, and had driving in two more runs. �(photos below)

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Presley at the wall — in the second photo, the ball is partly behind Presley’s left hand.

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Ejections Abound In Indians’ Loss

Columbus Clippers �7, �Indianapolis Indians �3 (box)

IMG_3305A 5-run 4th inning by the Columbus Clippers made the difference tonight at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio, as the Indians could not catch up after having three members of their team ejected from the game. �Manager Frank Kremblas, pitcher Corey Hamman, and DH Brian Myrow were all ejected by home plate umpire Derek Crabill.

(Photo: �Frank Kremblas chats with an umpire in Indianapolis)

The game had begun hopefully for the Indians. �2B Akinori Iwamura started the game with a single into center field, though two outs later he was thrown out trying to steal second base, ending the inning. �C Erik Kratz doubled off the top of the wall in right-center field with two outs in the 2nd inning, then went to third on a wild pitch. �Brian Myrow lined a single into center, and that brought in Kratz with the first run of the game.

Tribe starter Charlie Morton got out of a jam in the bottom of the 1st. �LF Michael Brantley led off the frame with a single, but SS Josh Rodriguez followed by bouncing into a 6-4-3 double play (SS�Argenis Diaz to 2B Aki Iwamura to 1B Jeff Clement). �2B Luis Valbuena doubled into left field and 3B Jared Goedert walked, but a strikeout ended the inning for Morton and left the two Clippers on base. �Morton gave up another double, to C Lou Marson, and a walk to CF Jose Constanza in the 2nd inning, but also got out of that inning with both runners still on base.

IMG_3556An error by Morton (photo) contributed to an unearned run in the 3rd as the Clippers tied the score. �With one out, Valbuena smacked a grounder into center field, and when Morton tried to pick Valbuena off first, his throw went wild, allowing Valbuena to reach third base. �That made it easy for a single by 1B Jordan Brown to bring in the tying run.

Then disaster struck in the bottom of the 4th. �RF Nick Weglarz led off the inning with a long fly ball for a home run over the right-center field wall, to give the Clippers a 2-1 lead. �After a ground out, Constanza blooped a single into center field. �Constanza stole second base, then went on to steal third base, not even drawing a throw. �A fielder’s choice grounder to short was fielded by Argenis Diaz, but the throw to the plate was not in time, and Constanza scored, while Brantley was safe at first. �That was all for Charlie Morton, who had thrown 85 pitches (55 strikes) in just 3.1 innings, and allowed 7 hits and 3 walks. �He would ultimately be responsible for 5 runs (4 earned). �It was a disappointing start for Morton, after an outstanding effort in his last start.

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Melillo’s Walk Off Homer Gives Indians Sweep

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Doug Bernier, Argenis Diaz, and Jim Negrych

Indianapolis Indians �6, �Toledo Mud Hens �5 (box)

IMG_3247LF Kevin Melillo (photo) launched a pitch into the night in the bottom of the 9th at Victory Field, and when it landed in the grass berm in front of the right field scoreboard, the Indians had a walk-off win over the Toledo Mud Hens. �They also had a sweep of the 4-game series against Toledo, and combined with the Columbus Clippers’ loss to the Gwinnett Braves tonight, that puts the Indians 2 games behind the first-place Clippers in the International League Western Division, and drops Toledo to 3 games behind the Indians.

Compared to last night, when the Indians cranked out 19 hits, tonight’s game began rather quietly. �Only one Tribe batter reached base in the first three innings, and that was 1B Steve Pearce, who led off the 2nd inning with a line drive just over the head of Toledo SS Brent Dlugach. �Pearce stole second base, but he was left there when a flu out and two strikeouts ended the inning.

Indians’ starter Brian Burres also held the Mud Hens scoreless in the early innings. �He worked his way out of a jam in the top of the 1st. �Lead-off batter 2B Will Rhymes singled up the middle, and Brent Dlugach walked. �LF Jeff Frazier made the first out, on a short fly ball to center, with CF Alex Presley making a very nice running catch. �Burres and the Indians caught a break when Rhymes made a base-running mistake: �with Burres looking right at him, Rhymes led off second base, then went a little too far, and was caught in the middle of nowhere when Burres came off the mound. �Rhymes was easily thrown out at third base, with 3B Doug Bernier putting down the tag (photo below).

IMG_3823Brent Dlugach advanced to second base while Burres and Bernier were taking care of Rhymes. � Another walk, to 1B Ryan Strieby, put two runners on base with two outs. �Burress got out of the inning by striking out 3B Jeff Larish.

Bernier allowed just one hit over the next three innings. �He retired the side in order in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. �Jeff Frazier led off the 4th with a double into left-center field, but he was still standing there on second base when Burres struck out Strieby, Larish, and RF Wilkin Ramirez and was out of the inning.

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