9th Inning Rally Defeats Tribe

Syracuse Chiefs  5,  Indianapolis Indians  4
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IMG_5861The Indians were one out away from a win at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY tonight, but a two-out rally led to a walk-off for the Chiefs.  

The Tribe went into the bottom of the 9th with a 4-3 lead, and Justin Thomas (photo) in from the bullpen.  Thomas got two quick outs, with a ground out and a strikeout.  Then he gave up a soft looper into center field by Syracuse 2B Steve Lombardozzi.   3B Matt Antonelli singled on a grounder up the middle, moving Lombardozzi to second base.  Thomas was relieved by Jose Ascanio, so that the righty Ascanio could face the right-handed RF Jesus Valdez.  Valdez lifted a fly ball into the right-center gap.  Tribe RF Andrew Lambo gave chase, and after a long run he made a desperate dive — but could not come up with the ball.  The ball got past him, and turned into a 2-RBI double, scoring Lombardozzi with the tying run and Antonelli with the winning run. 

Rudy Owens made the start for the Tribe.  He had missed his last turn for a start, due to a bruise on his hand, suffered when a come-backer hit him while on the mound.  Owens worked around a fielding error by SS Pedro Ciriaco and a walk to Jesus Valdez in the 1st inning, escaping the jam with the help of a timely around-the-horn double play, 3B Andy Marte to 2B Brian Friday to 1B Matt Hague.  With one out in the 2nd inning, LF Jeff Frazier and Indiana University product SS Seth Bynum hit back-to-back doubles.  Frazier scored to put the Chiefs onto the scoreboard.  After a fly out, Syracuse starter JD Martin singled through to left field, and Bynum raced around from second base.  But LF John Bowker’s throw to C Kris Watts was on target, and Watts tagged out Bynum at the plate for the third out of the inning.  Syracuse manager Randy Knorr argued the call at the plate, but only got himself ejected by plate umpire Chad Whitson for his efforts.

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All-Star Hague Delivers Win For Indians

Indianapolis Indians  3,  Syracuse Chiefs  0
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IMG_5294Thursday was a very good day for Indianapolis Indians’ 1B Matt Hague (photo).   He was named to the International League’s All-Star Team in the morning, then led his team to a victory over the Chiefs at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY in the evening.  

This won’t be Hague’s first All-Star Game — he participated in the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game.  He is the Indians’ only player on this year’s IL All-Star Team, though Tribe manager Dean Treanor will be serving the IL as a bench coach.  The Louisville Bats have 3 position players in the IL’s starting line-up, plus one reserve player.  The Durham Bulls have 2 position players among the starters, plus one reserve player.  Lehigh Valley and Columbus both have 2 pitchers named to the team.  Former Indy Indian C Erik Kratz, now with Lehigh Valley, has been named to the IL All-Star team for the third season in a row.  In his first AAA All-Star Game, Kratz was named the most valuable player, and in last season’s game, he was notified of his major league call-up in the middle of the game and his astonished response was on national television.  There will be a familiar face on the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star Team — LHP Dana Eveland, who pitched for the Indians and the Pirates will be represeting the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers).  

Hague continued his day with a 3-for-3 night at the plate, including a double, and he was responsible for driving in 2 of the Indians’ 3 runs.  C Kris Watts also had a fine night, with a pair of doubles.  Pitchers Garrett Olson and Steven Jackson combined for a 2-hit shutout.  

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Friday’s First Two Homers Of The Season Lead Tribe

Indianapolis Indians  7,  Syracuse Chiefs  3
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IMG_5605Brian Friday (photo) was not even in the Indians’ starting line-up today, but he ended up being the big basher for the night as the Indians defeated the Chiefs at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY.  The Indians came from behind, scoring in three of the last four innings, and posting 14 hits.  CF Gorkys Hernandez went 4-for-4 with a double and three singles, and RF Miles Durham had a triple and two singles, plus 3 RBI.  

Sean Gallagher won his 3rd game of the season (3-8 record), going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs (one earned).  He gave up a double in each of the first three innings.  Chiefs’ 2B Steve Lombardozzi doubled and was left stranded in the 1st, and C Jhonatan Solano doubled in the 2nd, and was left on base, along with LF Gregor Blanco, who was hit by a pitch.  The double in the 3rd inning brought Gallagher some trouble, though.  Rehabbing major leaguer Rick Ankiel doubled into right field, then was sacrifice bunted to third base by Lombardozzi.  SS Matt Antonelli drove in Ankiel with a sacrifice fly.  Ankiel also reached second base in the 5th due to a fielding error when RF Miles Durham dropped his fly ball.  Lombardozzi again put down a sacrifice bunt, moving Ankiel to third.  This time Antonelli brought Ankiel home with an RBI single lined into center field.  

The Indians had one batter reach base in each of the first five innings.  SS Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch in the top of the 1st.  Hernandez hit his lined his first single into left field to lead off the top of the 3rd, and 1B Matt Hague doubled into right field in the 3rd.  Hernandez’s second single came in the 5th inning.  None of them were able to come around to score.  And to possibly make it worse :  Mercer was able to return to the field after being hit by the pitch (?hand or arm?), but he was not going to be able to swing the bat, so Friday came in to pinch-hit for Mercer in the 3rd, then remained in the game at shortstop.  

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Burres Struggles, But Ciriaco Returns With A Vengeance

Syracuse Chiefs  8,  Indianapolis Indians  5
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IMG_5659The Indians opened a 4-game series against the Syracuse Chiefs tonight with a disappointing loss at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY.  Starter Brian Burres suffered the loss, unable to get out of the 4th inning.  2B Pedro Ciriaco (photo), in his first game back with the Indians after being sent down from Pittsburgh, extended his (interrupted) hitting streak to 8 games with 3 hits.  

The Pirates’ roster shuffling continued today.  OF Jose Tabata was officially placed onto the Disabled List with the injury to his quad.  That move allowed them to bring INF Josh Harrison back to the big league team immediately, instead of having to wait for 10 days after they’d sent him down.  And, as anticipated, OF Alex Presley was officially placed onto the Pirates’ active roster.  

In order to fill in spots on the Indians’ roster, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were promoted from AA Altoona to Indianapolis today.  Mercer had been hitting .268 for the Curve, with 17 doubles, 13 homers, and 48 RBI.  Norman had appeared in 15 games for the Curve, hitting .342 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 RBI.  Also, INF Josh Rodriguez was sent to Altoona.  Just acquired from the Cleveland Indians last week, Rodriguez was 5-for-11 at the plate with 6 RBI for the Tribe in 4 games.  

 
IMG_5998LF John Bowker got the Indians going tonight with his third home run in three days.  Newcomer RF Anthony Norman began the game with a ground-rule double down the left field line.  2B Pedro Ciriaco dropped down a bunt and beat it out for a single, moving Norman to third.  That brought up Bowker, who blasted a 3-run homer over the right field wall.  1B Matt Hague followed the homer with a double, and 3B Andy Marte walked, but the were left on base.  The Indians had a quick 3-0 lead.  

Starter Brian Burres (photo) retired the Chiefs in order in the first inning, but he struggled after that.  The bottom of the 2nd began with a single by 1B Chris Marrero, then a strikeout, then two more singles by LF Jeff Frazier and former Indiana University player SS Seth Bynum.  With the bases loaded and one out, CF Corey Brown tapped a grounder back to the mound, where Burres fired back to C Kris Watts, forcing out Marrero at the plate.  That delayed but didn’t prevent the inevitable — Syracuse pitcher Craig Stammen singled to drive in Frazier from third, cutting the Indians’ lead to 3-1.  

The Chiefs kept on going in the 3rd.  With two outs, Marrero walked, then C Jesus Flores doubled, bringing Marrero all the way around from first base to score.  Frazier also walked, and both Flores and Frazier scored when Bynum lifted a long fly ball to right-center, which bounced off Norman’s glove for a double.  That gave the Chiefs a 4-3 lead.  The 4th inning began with another pair of singles, including a second single by the pitcher Stammen, and one by 2B Steve Lombardozzi.  A wild pitch from Burres put both runners into scoring position.  Burres walked 3B Mark Antonelli, and ball four was another wild pitch, allowing Stammen to score from third.  After a strikeout, Burres was relieved by Chris Leroux.  Leroux gave up a single to Marrero, driving in Lombardozzi, then got out of the inning with a fly out and a ground out.  That gave the Chiefs a 6-3 lead.  Burres threw 90 pitches (59 strikes) in his 3.1 innings, allowing those 6 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts.  

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Bowker’s Homer Is A Bright Spot; Presley Up To Pirates

Pawtucket Red Sox  4,  Indianapolis Indians 1
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IMG_5417The Indianapolis Indians came away with a series split against Pawtucket, giving them a 5-3 win of the season series with the Red Sox.  The Indians out-hit the PawSox 9-4 at Victory Field tonight, but Pawtucket made their runs count and left town with the win.

Equally as big for the Tribe: the flurry of roster moves that affected the Indians today.  The Pirates optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to the Indians, in order to make room for the move that has been eagerly anticipated by Tribe fans — OF Alex Presley (photo) was promoted to Pittsburgh.  The Pirates had a scheduled day off today, but Presley will join the team tomorrow in Toronto.  He may make appearances as a pinch-hitter in the intraleague games, or he might also play some outfield since Jose Tabata has been injured.

Tribe C Wyatt Toregas, who left yesterday’s game due to injury, was placed on the Indians’ Disabled List today, yet another catcher in the Pirates’ organization to be sidelined.  The Pirates do not feel that catchers Tony Sanchez and Travis Scott are ready for moving up to AAA.  They sought help from outside the organizaton :  former Indy Indian and Altoona Curve catcher Miguel Perez is once again an Indian.  Perez played in the Pirates’ organization during the 2008 and 2009 season.  He hit .281 for the Curve in 57 games in 2008, with 2 homers and 22 RBI, and in 30 games for the Curve in 2009, Perez hit .262 with another 2 homers and 12 RBI.  Perez got into just 7 games for the Indians in 2009, and hit .182.

IMG_6188And, last but not least, pitcher Mike Crotta finished his rehab assignment, and was reinstated of the Pirates’ Disabled List.  He was immediately optioned to Indianapolis.  In order to make space on the roster, pitcher Brad Lincoln was moved to the Altoona roster.  This was a paper move only.  Lincoln is in a holding pattern, expected to be called up to pitch for the Pirates when they have a double header on Saturday.  And, Lincoln was right here tonight, coaching at first base (photo).  

OK, on to the game:

Justin Wilson made his 15th start for the Tribe, in search of his 10th win of the season.  He was foiled, though by two tough innings.  After retiring the first four PawSox he faced, Wilson walked 1B Hector Luna in the 2nd.  The next batter, 2B Nate Spears, with his own private cheering section from Anderson, Indiana in the stands, smashed a long fly ball over the right field wall for a 2-run homer.  

Wilson struck out the next two batters to finish the inning, then retired the side in order again in the 3rd.  The 4th inning began with Wilson hitting DH Lars Anderson with a pitch.  Luna grounded to short, where SS Brian Friday made the scoop and the toss to 2B Josh Harrison.  But with Anderson barrelling down on him and an off-balance toss, Harrison made the out at second, but dropped the ball as he went to transfer, and they could not get the double play they’d hoped for.  Spears flied out to center field, but 3B Brent Dlugach hit a single to behind second base, moving Luna to third.  Wilson walked SS Jose Iglesias to load the bases with two outs.  LF Matt Sheely took advantage of the loaded bases and lined a single into left field, scoring both Luna and Dlugach, to give the PawSox 4 runs.

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