Burres Looks Good In Pitching Duel, But Indians Lose In Extras

Norfolk Tides� 3,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 (box)

IMG_2689A 9th-inning rally by the Tides tied up the game, and an 11th-inning rally gave them the win over the Indianapolis Indians at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia tonight in the first game of a 4-game series.� Pitching ruled in the game, as the Indians were held to just 5 hits, and the Tides were held to only 6, and a wild pitch and a fielding error made the difference in the game.

The Indians jumped out to the early lead in the top of the 1st inning.� LF Kevin Melillo looked at strike one, then took 4 balls for a walk.� Two outs later, DH Brandon Moss (photo) rocketed a 2-0 pitch over the right center field wall for a 2-run homer.

But that was all the scoring the Tribe would do, and they collected only 4 hits in the rest of the game, plus 3 more walks.� No Tribe batter got as far as third base for the rest of the game.� 1B Jonathan Van Every singled with one out in the 2nd inning, and moved to second base on a ground out by C Luke Carlin, but got no farther.� Newcomer RF Mitch Jones, in his first game with the Indians, was hit by a pitch to lead off the 4th inning, and 2B Jim Negrych followed with a single, moving Jones to second base.� But Van Every lined out to first base, and Jones was doubled off second base, and Negrych was left stranded at the end of the inning.

The Indians threatened again in the 7th, when Luke Carlin walked and 3B Brian Bixler singled, but both were left on base that time.� In the top of the 11th, Brandon Moss picked up his second hit of the game, a single lined into right field, but he was forced out at second when Mitch Jones grounded out, and moments later, Jones was picked off first and caught stealing.� Jones and SS Brian Friday were the only other batters to reach base, both on walks, and both were left stranded.

Brian Burres made the start for the Indians.� He pitched 7 innings and allowed one run on 3 hits and 4 walks, with 2 strikeouts.� Burres gave up a bunt single to the first batter he faced, CF Matt Angle, then picked Angle off first base.� He proceeded to retire the next 9 Tides’ batters, until he gave up a one-out single to SS Robert Andino in the 4th.� Walks to former Indy Indian RF Jeff Salazar and 3B Scott Moore loaded the bases.� After a quick chat with pitching coach Dean Treanor, Burres got the next batter, LF Nolan Reimold to bounce to third base, where Brian Bixler stepped on third for the force out, then fired across the diamond to 1B Jonathan Van Every for the double play.

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Clement, Presley, And Moss Lead the Tribe

Indianapolis Indians� 7,� Syracuse Chiefs� 5 (box)

IMG_3669The trio of 1B Jeff Clement (photo), CF Alex Presley, and RF Brandon Moss had 7 of the Indians’ 8 hits in tonight’s game at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York, as the Indians held on to defeat the Chiefs.� Derek Hankins made his AAA debut, and earned his first AAA win with a very short one-third-of-an-inning appearance.

The Indians got the game off on the right foot, with a big blast in the top of the 1st.� 2B Brian Friday led off with a walk, and 3B Aki Iwamura singled back to the mound.� But Iwamura collided with one of the Chiefs, and had to be removed from the game, with Doug Bernier taking his place at third base.� CF Alex Presley loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch, which brought up the hot-hitting Moss.� Moss took a 1-0 pitch over the right-center field wall for a grand slam, and the Indians had an instant 4-0 lead, before an out had been recorded in the game.� Jeff Clement singled after the homer, and he was sacrifice bunted to third base by LF Jim Negrych, but two strikeouts ended the inning.� No further word at this point about Iwamura’s condition.��� [UPDATE: Iwamura went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion; he'll be out for at least a few days]

Mike Crotta was the Tribe starter who was the beneficiary of a 4-run cushion before he even took the mound.� Crotta (photo below) breezed through the first two innings, allowing just one hit, a single to 3B Pete Orr in the bottom of the 1st.� He gave up an unearned run in the 3rd inning.� Former Indy Indian C Carlos Maldonado walked, then reached third base when Washington Nationals’ rehabbing pitcher Jason Marquis reached base on a throwing error� by C Luke Carlin on his bunt attempt.� CF Boomer Whiting bounced into a double play, and Maldonado scored from third on the play.

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The Chiefs got within one run of the Indians in the 5th inning.� RF Kevin Mench led off with a bloopy hit over the head of Doug Bernier at third, dropping into left field.� LF Leonard Davis took Crotta’s 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for a 2-run home run.� Indians 4, Chiefs 3.

Jason Marquis held the Indians to just one hit over the next 4 innings.� That was a single by Brandon Moss in the 3rd inning.� Moss was immediately erased, though, when Jeff Clement bounced into a double play.� Marquis was relieved by Jason Jones to begin the 6th inning, and the Indians promptly got going.� Alex Presley slipped a single past Orr at third base, who was playing in a little too far.� Presley stole second base, and when Jeff Clement singled through the right side of the infield, Presley raced for the plate.� He slid in just before the throw came in to Maldonado from Kevin Mench in right field.

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Moss Leads The Offense As Indians Win The Series

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Looking heavenward for help?

Indianapolis Indians �8, �Charlotte Knights �5 (box)

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The Indians posted 14 hits on their way to 8 runs tonight at Victory Field. �The win gives the Indians a win of this 4-game series (3 games to 1) and the season series (6 games to 2) over the Charlotte Knights. �RF�Brandon Moss led the offense by going 3-for-3 at the plate, with a double, an RBI, and a walk. �3B�Akinori Iwamura, CF�Alex Presley, 1B�Jonathan Van Every, and 2B�Brian Friday each had 2 hits, and Presley smacked his 4th home run in his 30 games with the Indians.

The game began with Tribe starter Brian Burres (photo) getting into and out of a jam. �Back-to-back singles by Knights’ CF Alejandro De Aza and 2B Luis Rodriguez, and a walk to RF Stefan Gartrell loaded the bases before Burres could record an out. �DH Josh Kroeger flied out to left field, but it was too short for De Aza to tag up and try to score from third base. �Then Burres got C Tyler Flowers to ground to Aki Iwamura, who started the around-the-horn double play, Iwamura to Brian Friday to Jonathan Van Every (5-4-3). �Big sigh of relief from the Indians’ dugout and the fans in the stands.

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(Photo: �Brian Friday at second base)

Burres retired the Knights in order in the next two innings. �Things got messy again in the top of the 4th. �Stefan Gartrell and Josh Kroeger walked on 9 pitches (one strike for Kroeger). �Burres again got Tyler Flowers to bounce into a double play, this time grounding to Argenis Diaz at shortstop, who started the 6-4-3 play (Diaz to Friday to Van Every). �That erased Kroeger, but put Gartrell on third base. �Gartrell scored when LF Buck Coats grounded up the middle for a single. �3B Brent Morel also reached base on a single to short, but Burres got a ground out to end the inning.

The Indians’ bats had been held to just a walk to Brandon Moss in the 2nd inning and a line drive single by C Luke Carlin in the 3rd inning. �Both Moss and Carlin tried to steal second base, but only Carlin was successful. �The Tribe batters got going in the 4th inning, with three straight hits. �Aki Iwamura and Alex Presley led off with back-to back singles, both liners into right field. �Moss picked up his first hit of the game with a rocket into right field for a double, scoring Iwamura and moving Presley to third base. �DH Jim Negrych grounded out to second, plating Presley and advancing Moss to third. �Jonathan Van Every also singled, and that brought in Moss from third, to give the Indians a 3-1 lead.

It was a brief lead. �With two outs in the top of the 4th, Luis Rodriguez hit his 5th home run in 5 days, and Stefan Gartrell followed with his 20th homer of the season — back-to-back homers, and the score was tied 3-3.

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Another Big 6th Inning Powers Indians Over Knights

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Mound conference

Indianapolis Indians� 8,� Charlotte Knights� 5 (box)

IMG_4118For the second night in a row, the Indians had an exciting 6th inning that gave them the lead and the eventual win over the Charlotte Knights.� Tonight, five consective hits in the 6th, with RBI from LF Kevin Melillo, 2B Akinori Iwamura, and 1B Jeff Clement, powered the Indians to the win at Victory Field.

Jeremy Powell made the start for the Indians tonight — his first start in almost three weeks.� (He’s had three relief appearances in that interval.)� Powell breezed through the first two innings, allowing only a walk to SS Luis Rodriguez in the 1st.� He got into a little trouble in the 3rd inning, when he gave up two hits for a run.� 1B Jeremy Reed led off with a double to the base of the center field wall, and was moved over to third base by 2B Rob Hudson’s sacrifice bunt.� LF Alejandro De Aza slipped a line drive past 2B Aki Iwamura and into right-center field, scoring Reed from third base.� De Aza was also bunted along, putting him on second base, and he proceeded to steal third base.� Powell struck out CF Buck Coats to end the inning and leave De Aza on third.

Powell retired the Knights in order in the 4th inning, and nearly got out of the 5th inning unscathed.� With one out in the 5th, Jeremy Reed picked up his second hit of the game, a bunt that came to a stop in no-mans’-land in front of third base and to the side of the mound.� By the time 3B Jim Negrych got to the ball, he had no play at first.� Rob Hudson grounded slowly to short, fielded cleanly by SS Argenis Diaz. Diaz made the quick toss to Aki Iwamura at second base to force out Reed, and Iwamura fired on to Jeff Clement at first.� But Hudson just barely beat out the throw to first, so instead of getting out of the inning with a double play, Powell still had to work with two outs and a runner on first.� That brought up Alejandro De Aza, who drilled a triple down the right field line and into the corner for a triple, bringing in Hudson with the Knights’ second run.

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Moss’ Two Homers Lead Tribe Over Knights

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Moss’ homer in the 1st.�

Indianapolis Indians� 17,� Charlotte Knights� 11 (box)

DH Brandon Moss went 3-for-5 with a double and two home runs, contributing 6 RBI, in the Indians’ big win over the Charlotte Knights at Victory Field tonight.� The two teams combined for 28 runs and 31 hits (and 5 errors), with the Indians posting 17 runs and 14 hits.� That surpassed the previous season high of 15 runs in a game (June 27th against Toledo), but fell short of the most hits in a game this season (19 hits, in that same game).� The Indians scored in 5 of the first 6 innings, and they capped the offensive onslaught with a 9-run 7th inning.

IMG_4098Mike Crotta (photo) made the start for the Indians, and he earned his first win since June 9th.� Crotta pitched 5.1 innings and allowed 11 hits, with 5 runs and 5 strikeouts.� Crotta had some tough-luck moments in this outing.� In the top of the 1st, with one out, Charlotte’s 3B Luis Rodriguez drove a fly ball to the deepest part of Victory Field, the left-center field alley at 418 feet, for a triple.�� Crotta struck out the next batter, but then RF Stefan Gartrell took a high hop right over the mound.� Crotta, going on instinct, made the leap to try to catch the ball, but only managed to deflect it, and the ball dropped to the grass behind the mound, out of everyone’s reach.� It was ruled a single, and it brought in Rodriguez from third base.� 1B Josh Kroeger dribbled a slow roller to the right of the mound and in from the infield dirt.� 2B Aki Iwamura charged in to make the play, but by the time he got to it, Kroeger was nearly to the bag.� Iwamura rushed his throw and he was off-balance besides, and the throw scooted to the infield side of the first base bag, putting Kroeger safe at first.� Crotta ended that inning with a grounder to short.

The Indians came right back in the bottom of the 1st.� LF Kevin Melillo led off with a walk.� Aki Iwmura slapped a 1-2 pitch right back to the mound, where it hit Charlotte starter Brandon Hynick, probably on the glove.� The ball ricocheted off Hynick, going straight at the visitor’s dugout, crossing the first base line just out of reach of Hynick, who recovered quickly enough to try to chase it.

IMG_3215A sacrifice bunt by CF Alex Presley moved both base runners into scoring position, and the speedy Presley nearly beat out the throw to give the Indians full bases.� Hynick struck out 1B Jeff Clement, bringing up Brandon Moss (photo).� Moss responded by taking the first pitch he saw over the wall in straight-away center field for his first home run of the season while in the Designated Hitter role.� The Indians had a 3-1 lead, which they never surrendered.

The Tribe added two more runs in the 3rd inning.� Alex Presley singled off the end of his bat and into right center field, then Jeff Clement walked.� After a fly out, a walk to RF Jonathan Van Every also walked to load the bases.� 3B Jim Negrych drove a liner into center field for an RBI single, bringing in Presley and Clement for a 5-1 lead.

Mike Crotta kept the Knights scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd innings.� He had to deal with loaded bases in the 2nd, when C Donny Lucy reached base on throwing error (low throw that Clement couldn’t handle) by SS Brian Friday.� DH Jeremy Reed blooped a single into short right field, where Jonathan Van Every tried to dive for it but missed.� A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, but the next batter, Alejandro De Aza lined out right to Jeff Clement.� It happened so fast that neither runner had time to even get off his respective bag.� Crotta retired the side in order in the 3rd inning, then began the 4th with a strikeout and a grounder to first.� With two outs, the next three batters all had hits.� SS Rob Hudson doubled down the left field line to the left field wall, where Kevin Melillo played the carom.� Alejandro De Aza skipped a grounder past the mound and past the second base bag for a single, and that drove in Hudson from second base.� Then Luis Rodriguez homered over the right field wall for 2 more runs, and the Knights had moved to within one run of the Indians, 5-4.

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