Butler University’s Blue II chases down the first pitch.
Indianapolis Indians 2, Syracuse Chiefs 2 (suspended)
A storm moving through Central Indiana tonight forced the suspension of the Indians/Chiefs game at Victory Field, with the score tied at 2-2 in the 7th inning. The game began under sunny skies with a game-time temperature of 92 degrees (though my car thermometer was reading 100 degrees at about 4 pm). But in the 4th inning, the wind suddenly changed from blowing out to right-center field to blowing straight in from left field (from the north). Dark clouds hovered over downtown Indianapolis, and lightning was visible in the distance to the north. The skies got darker and darker, and the wind blew more and more, until the rain began in the 6th inning. It was just a light rain at first, but by the top of the 7th, large drops were falling and coming down heavily, and the game was suspended, to be finished on Sunday afternoon.
Sean Gallagher (photo, making a throw to first base) made the start for the Indians, and had a shaky 1st inning. Chiefs’ LF Gregor Blanco led off with a soft liner into left field for a single, and he advanced to second base when Gallagher balked on a throw to first base. CF Corey Brown worked the count full then walked. 1B Chris Marrero lined another single into left field, allowing Blanco to score from second base, giving Syracuse a 1-0 lead. Gallagher retired the next three batters in order, with two strikeouts, leaving two Syracuse runners on base.
Gallagher went on to retire the side in the 2nd inning. He gave up a one-out single through the right side of the infield to Brown in the 3rd. A grounder by Marrero looked like it could be an inning-ending double play, and 2B Brian Friday flipped to SS Chase d’Arnaud for the force out on Brown, but d’Arnaud’s throw on to first bounced in the dirt and got past 1B Matt Hague. C Eric Fryer was right where he was supposed to be, backing up first base, so the ball did not get far enough away for Marrero to advance past first base. Gallagher struck out 2B Tug Hulett for the second time to end the inning.
Ready to cheer for the Tribe
Indianapolis Indians 3, Syracuse Chiefs 1
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Indians starter Brad Lincoln (photo) earned his 5th win tonight, beating the Chiefs with both his pitching and his bat at Victory Field tonight. He allowed just one run in his 7 innings of work on 6 hits, with 2 strikeouts.
The game began with both Lincoln and Syracuse starter JD Martin zipping right along on the mound. Lincoln retired the first 9 batters he faced. Seven of those outs were ground balls, and only one ball got out of the infield. Martin retired the first 8 batters he faced — and before we knew it, the game was already in the bottom of the 3rd.
The Indians’ first hit of the game came in the bottom of the 3rd with two outs — a triple by Lincoln. The ball shot down the right field line and bounced around in the bullpen, and by the time the Chiefs’ RF Jesus Valdez got to the ball, Lincoln was cruising into third base. He didn’t slide, despite manager Dean Treanor’s motioning down, down.
2B Shelby Ford followed Lincoln’s triple with a long blast over the right field wall at the 362′ sign, landing on the sidewalk behind the grass berm, for a 2-run home run. It was Ford’s second homer in four games with the Tribe this season.
3B Andy Marte (photo, being congratulated by manager Dean Treanor) made it a 3-0 lead in the next inning, when he also homered. Marte’s bomb out-blasted Ford’s — this one went past the left field berm, past the side walk, and over the grass behind the sidewalk, landing just inside the fence at the edge of Maryland Street.
Lincoln came to the plate again in the bottom of the 5th, and again with two outs. He hit his second extra-base hit of the game, a double off the left field wall. Lincoln sailed into second base easily as the Syracuse outfielders scrambled after the ball. That time, though, he was left stranded.
Lincoln returned to the mound after racing around the bases in the bottom of the 3rd. He gave up a single to 2B Matt Antonelli to lead off the 4th inning. The next batter, Valdez lined softly right to 1B Matt Hague, who was standing just a few feet from first base to hold Antonelli on. With the count full on Valdez, Antonelli took off for second base with the pitch. It was not hard for Hague to turn and tag Valdez on the chest as he tried to return to the bag, for an unassisted double play. A fly out ended that inning.
Alex Presley is congratulated after one of his two home runs.
Indianapolis Indians 13, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
The Indianapolis Indians exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits to defeat the Yankees at Victory Field tonight, earning a split of both the 4-game series and the 8-game season series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LF Alex Presley blasted a pair of 3-run home runs to lead the offense, as each member of the line-up collected at least one hit, and all but one scored at least one run.
Both starting pitchers began their evening with struggles in the first inning. For Tribe starter Justin Wilson (photo), the game started with a triple off the bat of Yankees’ 2B Kevin Russo. Russo’s lined into right field, where RF Miles Durham raced in and made a feet-first slide, but missed the ball. By the time, Durham got up and chased the ball down, Russo was gliding into third base. SS Ramiro Pena dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, with Wilson scrambling off the mound to make the scoop and throw right back to C Eric Fryer as Russo came from third. Fryer blocked the plate, but he dropped the ball, and Russo was safe. It was first ruled a sacrifice bunt and a fielders’ choice — but then the ruling was changed to a missed catch error on Fryer, with no RBI for Pena.
With a runner still on first base, Wilson got C Jesus Montero to fly out and struck out 3B Jorge Vazquez. A wild pitch moved Pena to second base, then he scored on 1B Brandon Laird’s single, lined over SS Chase d’Arnaud’s head and into left field. Both runs were unearned, but the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.
But Yankees’ starter Andrew Brackman was having his own troubles. His pitches were going everywhere, with no apparent control on his part. He walked lead-off batter d’Arnaud, with d’Arnaud ducking out of the way as one pitch came in a little too close to his head, and ball four going crazy wild all the way to the backstop. Another crazy wild pitch to 2B Brian Friday let d’Arnaud advance to second base. Brackman settled down enough to get Friday to fly out, then retired Presley on a high bouncer back to the mound, and struck out 1B John Bowker. When Brackman came out for the second inning, his command was even worse — reminiscent of the “Wild Thing” character in the movie “Major League”. Brackman walked both 3B Andy Marte and DH Matt Hague, with pitches going everywhere. After three more balls for a 3-1 count on Fryer, Brackman threw another wild one that hit Fryer on his helmet, then bounced off the helmet and into the stands behind the visitors’ dugout. That was the last pitch for Brackman, who was quickly yanked.
Reliever Ryan Pope came on for the Yankees, with the bases full and no outs. RF Miles Durham cleared the bases on Pope’s first pitch, with a ringing double to the base of the wall in right-center field, and the Indians took a 3-2 lead as Marte, Hague, and Fryer all scored (photo). Pope also gave up a single to CF Gorkys Hernandez and walked Friday before ending the inning on two fly outs.
Wilson was able to relax after that first inning. He gave up a two-out single to CF Austin Krum in the 2nd inning, but struck out Russo to end the inning. He loaded the bases in the 3rd inning with singles by Montero and RF Jordan Parraz and a walk to Vazquez. But with two outs and the bases loaded, Wilson reached deep, and fired two pitches at 92-93 mph to strike out LF Dan Brewer and end the inning. Wilson went on to pitch 3 more innings, without allowing another hit. He walked two batters in the 5th, but erased one base runner with an around-the-horn double play (Marte to Friday to Bowker, 5-4-3). Alex Presley made the final out of the inning with a spectacular leaping catch of Laird’s fly ball to deep left field, snatching the ball at the top of the left field scoreboard.
Starter Brian Burres threw 7 shutout innings, but got a no-decision.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 1, Indianapolis Indians 0
A pitching duel did not end up in the Indians favor today, as the S/W-B Yankees took a one-game lead in this 4-game series at Victory Field. Tribe starter Brian Burres pitched an outstanding game, going 7 shutout innings, but left the game without any runs on the scoreboard, so he was not involved in the decision. Yankees’ starter DJ Mitchell also pitched 7 scoreless innings, but earned the win. The game was scoreless until the starters were relieved in the 8th inning.
Burres scattered 3 hits and 2 walks over his 7 innings, while striking out 5 Yankees. He began his afternoon’s work by retiring the first 6 batters he faced. He gave up doubles to 2B Kevin Russo to lead off the 3rd, and to SS Ramiro Pena in the 6th, but left both of them on base. Pena also singled in the 4th, dropping a liner into right-center field just out of the reach of CF Gorkys Hernandez. Burres picked Pena off first, then 1B Matt Hague threw to SS Brian Friday, who tagged out Pena as he tried to steal second base (photo). Burres walked 1B Jorge Vazquez in the 4th, but after Pena had been erased, and he walked LF Dan Brewer in the 5th. Both of those runners were left on base, too. Burres needed 98 pitches, with 58 hits, to get through his 7 innings.
Pawtucket Red Sox 9, Indianapolis Indians 2
The Pawtucket Red Sox had enough of losing to the Indians, and enough of losing at home. They had lost 8 of their last 9 home games, including the last 3 games to the Tribe. So maybe it isn’t so surprising that their frustration erupted into a 12-hit game, as they scored in all but two of their at-bats to beat the Indians 9-2 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The Indians started the game on the right foot. With two outs in the top of the 1st and rehabbing Bobby Jenks on the mound for Pawtucket, LF Alex Presley worked a walk, then stole second base. He came around to score from second on a single up the middle by 3B Andy Marte (photo), who also stole second base. That gave the Tribe a 1-0 lead…. and that was all the scoring they would do until the 9th inning.
Brad Lincoln had the start for the Indians. He began the bottom of the 1st by giving up a single to CF Che-Hsuan Lin, and he too stole second base. A ground out moved Lin to third and 3B Hector Luna plated Lin with a line drive single into center field, tying the score at 1-1. As seemed to be the trend, Luna stole second base too.
Unfortunately, the PawSox had their hitting shoes on. They took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd, after Lincoln struck out the first two batters. SS Brent Dlugach was hit by a pitch, and RF Ronald Bermudez doubled into right field. Dlugach raced around from first base to score ahead of the errant relay throw from the cut-off man 2B Josh Harrison. That gave the PawSox a 2-1 lead. Lincoln gave up a single in the 3rd, but did not allow a run to score in that inning. A double by 2B Tony Thomas and an RBI single by Bermudez added a run in the 4th. Lincoln was attacked again in the 5th, with a double by Lin, an RBI single by LF Daniel Nava, bringing in Lin. A fielding error by CF Gorkys Hernandez moved Nava to second, and he tagged up and advanced to third on a fly out. Nava scored on a wild pitch by Lincoln, increasing the PawSox lead to 5-1.