Watching from the dugout: Pedro Alvarez, Tom Filer, Dusty Brown, Jordy Mercer, Kris Watts
Toledo Mud Hens 5, Indianapolis Indians 1
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The Indianapolis Indians must have used up too many of the hits in their bats in yesterday’s 10-4 win, because today they were back to scoring just one run, as they did in the two previous games against the Toledo Mud Hens. Tonight at Victory Field, the Tribe posted just 4 hits on their way to their lone run, while the Mud Hens stacked up 12 hits and 5 runs.
Rudy Owens (photo) struck out a season-high 8 batters in his start for the Tribe, but he also gave up 8 hits and could not get through the 5th inning. He was charged with his 6th loss of the season, giving him a 6-6 record.
The game began with LF Will Rhymes lining a double into right field for a double. Owens struck out the next two batters, 3B Danny Worth and rehabbing 2B Carlos Guillen. DH Ryan Strieby lined a single into left field, and Rhymes raced around to score from second base. Owens struck out former Indy Indian CF Jeff Salazar to end the inning, then began the 2nd by striking out 1B Scott Thorman. RF Ben Guez doubled into center field with one out in the 2nd, but a fly out and another strikeout left Guez on base.
(Photo: Pitching coach Tom Filer, Rudy Owens, Dusty Brown, Corey Wimberly)
Owens also worked around a one-out hit by Worth in the 3rd — a bloopy hit that fell into no-man’s land behind first base, out of reach of Tribe RF Miles Durham, 1B Matt Hague, and 2B Corey Wimberly. Salazar struck out again to lead off the 4th inning. Thorman singled into right field, then with two strikes on Guez, Thorman took off to try to steal second base. Guez swung and missed on strike three, and as he finished his swing, he stumbled a bit, causing his bat to come around and hit C Dusty Brown. Brown was in the middle of throwing to second base as he was hit by the bat, and it caused his throw to go off-target. Guez was out on the strikeout, and since he was already out, the penalty for the batter interference ruling was that the base runner Thorman was also called out at second base.
Happy Fourth of July!
Toledo Mud Hens 2, Indianapolis Indians 1
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3B Pedro Alvarez (photo) arrived in Indianapolis today to continue his rehab work, after suffering a strained right quad muscle while playing for the Pirates. He has had some set-backs in his rehab program, but has been on rehab assignments with both the GCL Pirates (1 game) and the A+ Bradenton Marauders (6 games). Tonight Alvarez contributed 2 hits as the Designated Hitter in the Indians’ loss to the Toledo Mud Hens in front of a sold-out crowd at Victory Field.
Tribe starter Sean Gallagher made the start, but suffered his 9th loss of the season. He pitched into the 6th inning, and allowed 2 runs on just 3 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. Gallagher had only one inning in which he retired the Mud Hens in order (the 5th). He allowed a line drive single into center field by LF Timo Perez in the 1st inning, then walked DH Scott Thorman to open the 2nd inning. RF Ben Guez followed the walk with a grounder back through the middle. The ball glanced off Gallagher’s glove then on to 2B Brian Friday, who flipped the ball to SS Jordy Mercer at second for the force out on Thorman. The Indians were hoping for a double play, but Mercer’s throw to first base was wide to the infield side, pulling 1B Matt Hague off the first base bag, and Guez was safe. Gallagher ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound by former Indy Indian Argenis Diaz and a pop out by C Omir Santos.
Indianapolis Indians 4, Toledo Mud Hens 3
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After 5 scoreless innings with a tie score, the Indians pushed across a run in the top of the 12th, then held on for the win over the Mud Hens at Fifth-Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.
With two outs in the top of the 12th, 2B/3B Brian Friday worked a walk. LF John Bowker (photo) lashed a double into the right-center field alley, over the head of Toledo RF Ben Guez, and off the wall. Friday was off and running with the pitch, and he rounded third and headed for the plate as Guez chased down the ball. He crossed the plate well ahead of the throw, scoring the go-ahead run for the Indians.
The Mud Hens jumped right on Tribe starter Justin Wilson in the bottom of the 1st inning. Lead-off batter DH Will Rhymes with a single, and LF Timo Perez doubled, putting runners on the corners. Rhymes scored on an RBI single into right field by rehabbing 2B Carlos Guillen, and Perez came in on an RBI single by 1B Ryan Strieby, for a 2-0 lead. Strieby stole second base and 3B Danny Worth walked. Wilson got out of the inning when he struck out RF Scott Thorman, and C Kris Watts fired down to third base, throwing out Strieby trying to steal third. SS Cale Iorg added a run in the 2nd inning on a solo homer, giving the Mud Hens a 3-0 lead.
Wilson went on to pitch 4 more innings, scattering 3 more singles (by Rhymes, Iorg, and Strieby) and two walks (Guillen and Strieby), but he did not allow another run. He threw 91 pitches, with 52 strikes.
Syracuse Chiefs 5, Indianapolis Indians 4
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The 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.
Syracuse Chiefs 8, Indianapolis Indians 5
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The 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.
LF 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.