9th Inning Rallies Sink Indians and Pirates

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 4, �Indianapolis Indians 1

The Indians and the Yankees took a 1-1 tie into the top of the 8th in this afternoon’s game in Bradenton, Florida. �But that was when the Yankees got to reliever Jean Machi, who gave up two singles, including one for an RBI, to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. �Back-to-back singles and a 2-RBI double added two more runs in the 9th. �The Indians scored in the 1st inning, on a double by 1B Brian Myrow and an RBI single by 3B Pedro Alvarez. Machi suffered the loss, with 3 innings of work, including one walk and one strikeout. �Octavio Dotel started the game for the Indians and pitched “one inning”, with 3 strikeouts, though in order to get in a little more work, he actually got to face 5 batters and make 5 outs. �He threw 21 pitches.

Astros 6, �Pirates 4 � (box)

Starter Zach Duke pitched 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed only 2 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts, to get the Pirates off to a good start in their afternoon Grapefruit League game in Kissimmee, Florida. �Duke had been scheduled to throw either 6 innings or 80 pitches, and after going back out to begin the 7th inning, he finished at right around 80 pitches. �He also contributed 2 of the Pirates’ 8 hits, both doubles, one into each outfield corner, though he did not come around to score either time. �The Pirates got onto the scoreboard first, with one run in the 4th inning off the Astros’ Roy Oswalt. �LF Lastings Milledge doubled to lead off the inning, then advanced to third base on a ground out, and scored on an RBI single by Jeff Clement. Clement scored in the top of the 7th, when he doubled, went to third base on SS Bobby Crosby’s single, and then scrambled home when 3B Ramon Vasquez bounced into a double play.

Duke took it into the 7th inning, but when he gave up a 2-out single (only the second hit he’d allowed), he was relieved by Javier Lopez. Lopez finished that inning, but gave up a bunt single and a sacrifice bunt plus a fielding error by 3B Josh Harrison, who was up from minor league camp. �A triple off Jack Taschner, and the Astros had a 4-2 lead.

Led by the minor leaguers, the Pirates came back to tie it up in the top of the 9th. �LF Brandon Moss walked, and CF Robbie Grossman singled. �A wild pitch brought Moss across the plate, then SS Benji Gonzalez singled to score Grossman. �Tie score, 4-4. �Unfortunately, the Astros rallied in the bottom of the frame. �With reliever Jeremy Powell on the mound, a double and a walk-off 2-run homer gave Houston the win, with Powell charged for the loss.

Also in the game: �2B Shelby Ford, 1B Steve Pearce, PH Erik Kratz, and C Luke Carlin.

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Hart, Walker To Indianapolis

The Pirates made more roster moves this morning. �Righty starter Kevin Hart was optioned to AAA Indianapolis. �Pirates’ management points out that, because of the scheduling vagarities, there will be only one time in the first 3 weeks of the season when a 5th starter is going to be needed. �With Hart in Indianapolis, he will have the opportunity to make a few starts during those 3 weeks.

Also optioned to Indianapolis: �3B Neil Walker and reliever Chris Jakubauskas.

INF/OF Brian Myrow, C/INF Hector Gimenez, and relievers Jean Machi, Wil Ledezma, and Brian Burres were all reassigned to minor league camp. �All five were signed as free agents. �Myrow and Gimenez both played for Indianapolis last season and with their minor league contracts were expected to return to Indy for 2010. �Machi pitched at AA and AAA in 2009. �All three relievers had an outside chance of making the major league bullpen.

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