Indianapolis Indians 7, Pawtucket Red Sox 5
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The Indianapolis Indians withstood a late-inning surge by the Red Sox, to beat Pawtucket this afternoon at Victory Field, and earn at least a split of this 4-game series. The PawSox won the first game of the series on Friday night, but the Tribe has taken the next two games. The two teams’ final meeting of the season will be on Monday evening.
Before the game even started, there was a bit of drama for the Indians. About 10 minutes before game time, the Indians received word from Pittsburgh that Pirates’ outfielder (and former Indian) Jose Tabata had been injured while running out a bunt. Tabata had crossed the first base bag, then sank to the ground with a left quadriceps problem. He had to be taken off the field on a cart, but was later able to walk around the clubhouse, though limping. The Pirates were strongly considering calling up Tribe outfielder Alex Presley, probably within a couple more days, but depending on the severity of Tabata’s injury, they felt that timetable might have to be moved up. So, just before the Indians’ game began, Presley was removed from the lineup. He may already be on his way to Pittsburgh, or may wait another day, since the Pirates have a scheduled off day on Monday.
With Presley cheering the team on, and coaching first base (photo), the Indians got down to business with the PawSox. They recorded 11 hits (to 12 for Pawtucket), and had only one inning without at least one baserunner. Every member of the line-up got on base at least once during the game, and 1B Matt Hague led the way with 3 hits.
The Tribe got warmed up with two base runners in the 1st inning, when SS Brian Friday walked and Hague lined a single into left field, but both were left on base. The 2nd inning began with a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez and a grounder up the middle for a single by RF Miles Durham. C Wyatt Toregas dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt toward the third base side of the mound. Pawtucket starter Felix Doubront fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to first base sailed high over the 1B Lars Anderson’s head and into the visitors’ bullpen. By the time the PawSox chased the ball down, Rodriguez and Durham had both scored (Durham from first), and Toregas was standing on second base. CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded out to third, and Toregas held at second, but when DH Corey Wimberly blooped a single into right-center field, Toregas advanced to third — and took himself out of the game. Toregas had apparently suffered an injury, though it was not apparent what was wrong. He did not seem to be limping, and didn’t slide into third oddly. Kris Watts, who was brought up from AA Altoona (again) yesterday, took Toregas’ place at third base as a pinch-runner, then remained in the game as catcher. Watts did not get to run from third, though, as Friday bounced into an inning-ending double play, but the Indians had taken a 2-0 lead.
Josh Harrison’s throw to Brian Friday at second base was not in time to beat Pawtucket base runner Ryan Lavarnway.
Indianapolis Indians 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 5
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The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of a wild Pawtucket pitcher to score the winning run in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off win at Victory Field tonight. The Indians were sporting camouflage jerseys tonight in honor of the Indianapolis National Guard. The jerseys were auctioned off during the game with the proceeds going toward the National Guard’s fund that assists families of soldiers serving overseas.
The game began ominously for starter Garrett Olson (photo) and the Indians. Since coming off the Disabled List earlier this month, Olson had made 3 other starts and had pitched brilliantly. He had allowed one run on 3 hits over 14.1 innings, and on June 14th, he pitched 5 hitless and scoreless innings, allowing just one walk. But tonight, the first 5 batters Olson faced reached base safely, and the PawSox scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st. Lead-off batter 2B Yamaico Navarro slapped Olson’s first pitch into left field for a line drive. 3B Brent Dlugach followed with an instant replay — another line drive to the same place in left field. Olson got a full count on LF Daniel Nava, then lost him to a walk, loading the bases with no outs. 1B Hector Luna slipped a grounder through the left side of the infield for an RBI single, bringing in Navarro from third. C Ryan Lavarnway took a slow grounder to short, where Tribe SS Brian Friday made the scoop and threw to 2B Josh Harrison for the force out on Luna, but Harrison’s relay throw to first was not in time to get the double play — the grounder had been too slow. That allowed Dlugach to score from third, an since it was not a double play, Lavarnway was credited with the RBI. RF Nate Spears also picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Nava. But the equally important part of Spears’ at-bat was that Spears ran the count full, and continued to foul off more pitches. It took Olson 10 pitches to retire Spears, and by this point in the inning, Olson’s pitch count was climbing at an alarming rate. Following Spears’ sacrifice fly, Olson gave up another infield single to DH Luis Esposito. Harrison raced to make the stop deep behind the second base bag and tried to flip it to Friday covering second, but was not in time (photo above). SS Jose Iglesias also worked a full count and fouled off another four pitches before finally swinging at strike three to end the inning. The PawSox had scored 3 runs before the Indians had even picked up a bat, and Olson had thrown 39 pitches in the first inning.
Brad Lincoln made the start for the Indians, and was charged with his 7th loss.
Pawtucket Red Sox 12, Indianapolis Indians 3
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Two big innings by the Pawtucket gave the Red Sox plenty of in-game fireworks to warm up the crowd for the post-game fireworks at Victory Field tonight. The PawSox scored 4 runs in the 2nd and 5 runs in the 8th, and their total of 12 runs came on just 10 hits.
Indians’ starter Brad Lincoln mowed down the first five batters he faced, striking out three of them. But with two outs in the top of the 2nd, Lincoln suddenly got into trouble. DH Ryan Lavarnway ripped a double into the right-center field gap for a double. RF Nate Spears lined a single into center field, which CF Gorkys Hernandez fired back to the plate, as Lavarnway rounded third and headed for the plate. The throw was on-target and on-time, but C Eric Fryer couldn’t keep hold of it as he went to make the tag. The ball dropped to the ground, and Lavarnway slid across the plate safely. Lincoln walked C Luis Expositon on four pitches, then 2B Brent Dlugach rocketed a double over RF Alex Presley’s head and off the top of the right field wall. That brought in Spears, but Presley’s strong throw in from right made Exposition hold up at third. With both runners in scoring position, CF Che-Hsuan Lin blooped a single into short center field, which dropped in between three Tribe fielders, brining in both Exposito and Dlugach, for a 4-0 lead.
Hernandez (photo) came through with a clutch double to help the Indians cut the PawSox lead in half in the bottom of the inning. With one out, 3B Josh Harrison, just back from Pittsburgh, took a 4-pitch walk from Pawtucket starter Kyle Weiland. Fryer grounded out, then 2B Josh Rodriguez also walked. Hernandez followed with a double off the top of the wall in the right-center field gap, and both Joshes raced around to score. The rally ended when Presley popped out to second, leaving Hernandez stranded, but the Tribe had made progress: 4-2.
Indianapolis Indians 5, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 3
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A sudden storm drove the Indians and the Iron Pigs from the field with one out and two runners on base in the bottom of the 9th at Coca Cola Park in Allentown, PA tonight. The tarp was pulled as the rain came down harder and harder, and after the game was in a delay, the storm continued to increase in intensity.
RF Alex Presley (photo) continued his hitting dominance with 4 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague gave the Indians a big boost with two home runs. The first homer, a high fly over the left field wall, got the game started in the top of the 1st. With one out in the top of the 3rd, Presley and SS Brian Friday hit back-to-back infield singles right back to Iron Pigs’ starting pitcher Ryan Feierabend. Hague followed with his second homer, a 3-run shot into the bullpen behind left field, to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.
Tribe starter Brian Burres pitched into the 6th inning. He gave up a 2-out single to CF John Mayberry in the 1st, a 2-out walk to 1B Cody Overbeck in the 2nd, and a 2-out double to 2B Josh Barfield in the 3rd, but each time kept the Iron Pigs scoreless. Barfield’s double hit the top of the left field wall and bounced in, but away from Tribe LF Miles Durham. The Pigs cut the Indians lead in half in the 4th. Former Indian LF Brandon Moss led off with a single, then after two outs, Overbeck lifted a rising line drive over the left field wall, well over Durham’s desperate leap. Indians ahead, 4-2.
Indianapolis Indians 10, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 5
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The newest Indian, Josh Rodriguez, went 3-for-3 with 4 RBI as the Indianapolis Indians overcame a 4-0 deficit to beat the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA tonight. The Indians posted 15 hits, while the Iron Pigs put up 14 hits; the Tribe also worked 8 walks. SS Brian Friday also had 3 hits for the Indians, as all but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit. The Tribe pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Iron Pigs’ batters.
Once again, several former Indy Indians were on the field for Lehigh Valley: CF Rich Thompson (2005-06), LF Brandon Moss (2010), 1B Tagg Bozied (2009).
Starter Rudy Owens (photo), who has been having trouble getting through the first inning in many of his starts this season, had problems again tonight. Rich Thompson led off with a line drive off 1B Matt Hague’s glove and into short right field for a single. As usual for the speedy Thompson, he stole second base. SS Pete Orr moved Thompson to third base with a single tapped back to the mound and deflected by Owens. RF John Mayberry brought in both Thompson and Orr with a 3-run homer. Owens got Brandon Moss to pop out, but Tagg Bozied blasted a no-doubt-about-it homer over the left field wall and well past the bullpen, for a 4-0 lead. Owens also gave up a double to 2B Josh Barfield after the homer, but a fly out and a strike out ended the inning.
The Tribe put runners on base in each of the first three innings, though none of them came around to score. Chase d’Arnaud, who was on third base again tonight, led off the top of the 1st for the Indians by reaching first when SS Orr made a high throw to first base, bouncing it off the screen in front of the Indians’ bullpen. Friday singled, moving d’Arnaud to second, and a fly out by LF Alex Presley moved d’Arnaud to third. But RF John Bowker bounced into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning, keeping d’Arnaud from scoring.
The Indians threatened again in the 2nd inning, when Hague lined a ball off the Iron Pigs’ 3B Cody Overbeck’s glove and into left field. With one out, new Indian 2B Josh Rodriguez grounded to short, where SS Orr made the scoop then fumbled the ball a bit, and Rodriguez was credited with his first Indians’ hit. A grounder by CF Gorkys Hernandez forced out Rodriguez at second, but left runners on the corners with two outs. They got no further that time either, as Owens struck out to end the inning. Presley singled in the 3rd inning, but was left on base.