Jakubauskas Is Sharp In Start

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Jakubauskas on the mound

Indianapolis Indians� 2,� Toledo Mud Hens� 1 ..���� (box)

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A pitching duel erupted at Victory Field tonight, and it ended with the Indians and starter Chris Jakubauskas (photo above) on top.� The win gives the Indians an 11 – 9 game lead of the season series.

Chris Jakubauskas (photo) made his first start as an Indian since early April.� He was told in advance that he’d be limited to about 60 pitches.� It turned out that he threw 61, 41 of which were strikes.� He was clearly sailing, with his curve ball working well.� Jakubauskas said after the game that his sinker was also working well for him, and that was a bit unusual. He allowed only 3 hits and one walk, and struck out 5 batters.

Jakubauskas gave up a single to Mud Hens’ 2B Scott Sizemore with two outs in the 1st inning, but ended the inning with a grounder force out.� He worked around a walk to 1B Michael Bertram in the 2nd inning, finishing that inning with a strikeout.

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(Photo:� John Bowker and Brian Myrow)

The only inning in which Jakubauskas had any trouble was the 3rd.� Mud Hens’ 3B Shawn Roof led off the inning with a triple into right-center field.� RF John Bowker went way to his right to try to catch up to the line drive, but it got just past him and rolled all the way to the wall, as Roof cruised into third base.� Toledo RF Justin Henry follwed with a twisting single into left field, bringing in Roof, to give Toledo a 1-0 lead.�

But that was all the scoring the Mud Hens would do.� In fact, it was all the anything they would do until the 9th inning.� After Henry’s single, Jakubauskas retired the next three batters, finishing the 3rd inning with two strikeouts.� Then he retired the next six batters he faced, including a strikeout in each of the 4th and 5th innings.� With the pitch limit imposed on him, he knew that would be all, but he looked as if he could have gone at least another inning if needed.

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Bullpen Falters As Indians Lose Late

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Alex Presley is back to the bag safely

Louisville Bats� 6,� Indianapolis Indians� 3 ..���� (box)

IMG_4467It was a tough night for the Indians’ bullpen, as they stumbled in the last two innings, giving the win to the Louisville Bats at Victory Field.� The Indians wasted an excellent starting effort by Charlie Morton (photo), who pitched 6 shutout innings and allowed only 4 hits.� The Indians posted 5 hits, while the Bats out-hit them with 13 knocks.

Morton got some help from his defense, but he cruised along in this start.� He faced only the minimum over the first three innings, and only one batter over the minimum in the first five innings.� He began each of the first three innings with a strikeout, and struck out one more batter after that.

The second batter in the top of the 1st, SS Chris Valaika, slipped a single up through the middle of the infield, where 2B Brian Friday would have been if the Indians’ defense was not in a shift position.� The next batter, 1B Yonder Alonso, also grounded up the middle, right over the second base bag.� SS Pedro Ciriaco made a diving stop, and as he hit the ground stretched out prone behind second base, the ball fell out of his glove,� Ciriaco scrambled to pick it up, then still on the ground, flipped the ball back and lateral to Friday covering second base.� Friday was at the bag, and he made an outstanding turn, and fired the ball to 1B John Bowker, just in time to beat Alonso to the first base bag.

Morton retired the side in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a lead-off single to CF Dave Sappelt in the 4th — the ball glanced off 3B Mitch Jones’ glove and into left field.� But again the infield stepped up.� Valaika grounded to third base, where Jones started an around-the-horn (5-4-3) double play to erase Sappelt.� Alonso almost put the Bats onto the scoreboard with a long fly ball to left field.� The ball hit the top of the left field wall, missing a home run by inches, then bounced into left field for a double.� Morton did not erase Alonso from the base path, but instead struck out the next batter, RF Wladimir Balentien, to end the inning.

IMG_4480The Bats also went down in order in the 5th, and that inning ended with an odd play.� 2B Wilkin Castillo bunted a 1-1 pitch to right in front of the plate, but as he was moving out of the batters’ box, he came in contact with the ball, so was called out.� C Jason Jaramillo, as the closest fielder, gets credit for the put-out in that situation.

The only time Charlie Morton had two base runners on base at the same time was in the 6th inning.� With one out, Bats’ pitcher Chad Reineke dribbled a little grounder (not a bunt) along the third base line, just fair.� By the time Morton and Jaramillo got over to it, Morton picked up the ball, but he had no play at first, and Reineke was on with an infield hit.� Sappelt followed with a grounder to short, and it looked like Morton was going to have yet another base runner erased with a double play.� Pedro Ciriaco made the scoop, but he got excited and his throw to second missed Brian Friday entirely, and sailed into right field.� Reineke advanced to third and Sappelt to second on the error.� With the Indians leading 2-0 at that point, those two runners in scoring position represented the tying runs, and the go-ahead run was at the plate.� Pitching coach Dean Treanor came out for a little chat with Morton (photo).� Then Morton got Valaika to ground softly to third base, and the runners had to hold up.� Another grounder by Alonso to short ended the inning for Morton, and without a run scoring.

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Presley And Indians Capitalize On Bats’ Mistakes

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Alex Presley is congratulated after his home run

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Indianapolis Indians� 4,� Louisville Bats� 2 (box)

IMG_4435The Indians were able to take advantage of physical and mental mistakes by the Louisville Bats and earn a win at Victory Field this afternoon.� In their last Sunday afternoon home game of the season, the Indians came from behind, taking the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning.� Tribe CF Alex Presley led the charge with a solo home run and a key double that began the 8th inning rally.

Joe Martinez (photo) made his third start for the Indians, and the Bats kept him hopping in his 5 innings.� He worked around a one-out line drive single by SS Zack Cozart in the 1st inning.� With one out in the 2nd, he gave up three consecutive singles, which put the Bats onto the scoreboard.� LF Todd Frazier drove a long fly off the wall in the right field corner for a double, and a single by 2B Chris Valaika brought in Frazier from second base.� C Corky Miller added a single into short left-center, moving Valaika up to second base.� Martinez ended that inning with a strikeout of his counterpart Ben Jukich and a fly out by yesterday’s Bats’ hereo, CF Dave Sappelt.

After a quick 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd, Martinez had to work around two runners on base in the 4th.� 3B Juan Francisco reached base when his grounder right over the second base bag hit SS Pedro Ciriaco’s glove or foot and glanced off to his left.� Luckily, 2B Doug Bernier was right there to back him up, but by the time the ball got to him, Bernier had no play on Francisco.� Chris Valaika lined a double into center field, and Francisco raced around to third base.� Martinez left both of them in scoring position, with a strikeout by Miller and a tapped grounder by Jukich.

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Powell And Indians Squeak Past Mud Hens

Indianapolis Indians� 1,� Toledo Mud Hens� 0 (box)

IMG_3740Indians’ starter Jeremy Powell earned his 9th win of the season with 7.1 shutout innings against the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio tonight.� Powell walked 5 batters and hit one, but he allowed only 2 hits.� The Indians posted only 4 hits, but made them count, as they squeaked past the Mud Hens.

The first three Indians’ batters of the game did all the scoring the Indians needed.� LF Kevin Melillo opened the game by taking a walk on four straight balls.� Melillo quicky stole second base, then moved over to third when 3B Akinori Iwamura lined a single into center field.� With runners on the corners, CF Alex Presley (photo) slipped a single through the hole on the right side of the infield, scoring Melillo from third and putting Iwamura on second base.� The rally came to an abrupt halt, when RF Brandon Moss flied out to center field, and Iwamura was out at third as he tried to tag up after the catch, on a fine throw in from CF Casper Wells.� DH John Bowker struck out to end the inning.

That was it — the rest of the game was two rows of donuts on the scoreboard.� The Indians clung to that one-run lead, as Jeremy Powell (photo below) and two relievers, Justin Thomas and Jean Machi, threw 9 shutout innings.� After the game, Powell admitted that he had not felt really comfortable on the mound and with how he was pitching early in the game, and the walks went along with that.� Powell threw 108 pitches, for strikes, but he threw key pitches when it counted.� He walked two batters in the 1st and one in the 2nd, but left them on base.� He walked 2B Scott Sizemore to begin the 3rd inning, but got 3B Justin Henry to bounce into a double play.

IMG_3752The Mud Hens’ first hit of the game came in the 4th, when Casper Wells led off with a single into left field.� Moments later, C Jason Jaramillo threw out Wells as he tried to steal second base.� The other hit was a two-out double by SS Cale Iorg in the 5th.� Powell walked Sizemore again to put two Mud Hens on the bases, but then he got Henry to tap back to the mound for an easy third out.� Powell retired the Mud Hens in order in both the 6th and 7th innings, and he made it 8 straight batters retired when he got Iorg to fly out to center to begin the 8th.� Then he hit Sizemore (who walked 3 times in the game, so did not have an official at bat) with a pitch, and that was the end of Powell’s night.� “I was happy with my last couple of innings, and all I can say is that I was able to go deep into the game and keep the one-run lead,” said Powell after the game.

Toledo native Justin Thomas relieved Powell with one out and one on in the 8th.� He did walk LF Jeff Frazier, but got a strikeout on either side of the walk, to end the inning and keep the shutout going.� The southpaw Thomas came back out to begin the bottom of the 9th, to pitch to the first Toledo batter, left-handed hitting 1B Michael Bertram.� Bertram popped out to third base.� Then manager Frank Kremblas brought on the righty Jean Machi to face the next batter, right-handed hitting RF Ben Guez. Guez lifted a long long fly ball to right field, making the crowd gasp.� RF Brandon Moss went back and back, and with his own back against the right field wall, made the catch for the second out.� Switch-hitting DH Max Leon worked the count full, then took a high and outside pitch from Machi for a walk, but Machi needed only one pitch to get C Max St. Pierre to pop out to 2B Brian Friday in short center field to end the game.

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9th Inning Heroes: Friday and Presley

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Erik Kratz is a good sport.

Indianapolis Indians� 4,� Syracuse Chiefs� 3 (box)

IMG_43212B Brian Friday (photo) and CF Alex Presley were the big heroes in the bottom of the 9th inning, giving the Indianapolis Indians a walk-off win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Victory Field tonight.� Friday, Presley, and SS Pedro Ciriaco all had 2 hits in the game and all had a hit in the 9th, and reliever Justin Thomas earned the win.

The Indians were clinging to a 2-1 lead going into the 9th inning.� Justin Thomas had come on in relief in the top of the 8th, striking out RF Pete Orr to end that inning.� He began the 9th by getting CF Michael Martinez to ground out to second.� Former Indy Indian, pinch-hitter Carlos Maldonado made the Victory Field crowd gasp as he drove the first pitch he saw on a high line drive into center field.� Tribe CF Alex Presley went back and back, but was able to catch up to the ball just in time, for the second out of the inning.

Thomas walked LF Boomer Whiting, and that was worrisome, because Whiting is a big base-stealing threat� — he had already stolen 30 bases this season.� Before he threw even one pitch to the plate, where SS Danny Espinosa was waiting, Thomas threw to first base three times, trying to keep Whiting on first base.� Then, with the southpaw Thomas looking right at him, Whiting ventured a little too far off first.� Thomas’ 4th pick-off throw clearly had Whiting, who then turned and raced for second base.� 1B John Bowker took that throw from Thomas and threw to second base, where Pedro Ciriaco was waiting to tag out Whiting by several steps — but Bowker’s throw hit Whiting in the back and bounced into short left field.� It was ruled a stolen base and a throwing error on Bowker, and by the time the ball was retrieved, Whiting was standing on third base.

Finally, Thomas pitched to Espinosa.� He got Espinosa to a 2-2 count, and Espinosa fouled off two more pitches, but Thomas was one out away of an Indians’ win.� Then Espinosa lifted a long high fly to right center field… which CF Alex Presley and RF Brandon Moss quickly realized that it would do no good to chase it� — a 2-out 2-run homer, to give the Chiefs the lead, 3-2.� A tapper back to the mound ended the inning, and sent the game to the bottom of the 9th.

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