Curve All-Stars Named; Alvarez Homers

Five Curve players have been named to the Eastern League /Western Division All-Star team.  RHP Aaron Pribanic, LHP Jeff Locke, 2B Brock Holt, 3B Jeremy Farrell, and OF Starling Marte.  Also, because the Curve won the Western Division last year, the Curve coaching staff will be coaching the division’s team :  manager PJ Forbes, pitching coach Wally Whitehurst, hitting coach Brandon Moore, and trainer Mike Zaino.  The game will be played on Wednesday July 13th at Manchester, NH (home of the Fisher Cats).  

Friday’s action for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates …. the GCL Pirates’ game was postponed.   

Bradenton Marauders  3,  Palm Beach Cardinals  2
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Rehabbing 3B Pedro Alvarez provided the firepower, while Brandon Cumpton earned his first win with the Marauders tonight.  The plan was for Joe Beimel, also on a rehab assignment, to pitch for one inning to begin the game.  Beimel retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the 1st, with two strikeouts and a fly out.  He then gave way to Cumpton, who pitched 6 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks.  Cumpton had two runners on base in only one inning, the 3rd, when two singles and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position.  Cumpton struck out the next batter to escape the jam.  

The Marauders put two runners on base in the 1st when both RF Robbie Grossman and Alvarez walked, then again put two on in the 2nd, on a single by DH Adalberto Santos and a walk to C Jairo Marquez.  2B Jarek Cunningham also singled in the 3rd, but none of those runners could make it around to score.  All of the Marauders’ runs came in the bottom of the 5th.  Marquez led off with a double lined into center field.  SS Benji Gonzalez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Marquez to third base.  Cunningham doubled into left field, and Marquez scored easily from third.  Then Alvarez blasted a 2-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marauders a 3-0 lead.  
Cumpton came back out to begin the top of the 8th.  He faced only two batters, though, giving up a single and a 2-run homer to bring the Cardinals within one run, 3-2.  Cumpton was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the 8th with three ground outs.  

The Marauders would have liked an insurance run or two, but had only a walk by Grossman in the 7th, then a single by Cunningham and Santos reaching on catcher interference in the 8th.  It turned out to not matter, as Welker pitched a scoreless 9th to seal the win and earn his second save of the season.  

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Harrison’s 5-For-5 Sparks Tribe’s Come-From-Behind Win

Indianapolis Indians 9,  Pawtucket Red Sox  7
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IMG_56883B Josh Harrison (photo) went 5-for-5 at the plate to lead the Indians in a come-from-behind win over the Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island tonight.  Harrison smacked two singles and three doubles, and contributed 2 RBI, as the the Indians scored 9 unanswered runs after trailing the PawSox 7-0.

Justin Wilson made the start for the Indians, but he lasted only two innings.  He was responsible for all 7 of Pawtucket’s runs (6 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks, with no strikeouts.  Home runs were the beginning of the end for Wilson, who gave up 3 in his briefest start of the season.  

With two outs in the bottom of the 1st, Wilson gave up the first homer, a solo blast by DH Hector Luna.  The trouble really got going in the 2nd, when the first four batters reached base safely.  C Michael McKenry led off with another solo home run.  2B Tory Thomas singled, then  3B Brent Dlugach made the score 4-0 with a 2-run homer.  SS Jose Iglesias singled, and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by RF Matt Sheely.  Then Wilson walked three consecutive batters —  CF Che-Hsuan Lin on four pitches, LF Daniel Nava on a 3-2 count, and Luna on a 3-1 count.  Luna’s walk forced in Iglesias.  A grounder to 1B Matt Hague might have been an inning-ending double play, and Luna was forced out at second, but Harrison’s throw back to first was wild, allowing 1B Lars Anderson to reach first safely, and allowing Nava to score from third base.  The inning finally ended with a ground out by McKenry, but the PawSox had a 6-run inning, and led the Tribe 7-1.  

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Three Homers Top The Tribe

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Andrew Lambo and Corey Wimberly just “hanging out” in the dugout

Louisville Bats  5,  Indianapolis Indians  2
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IMG_5212Three home runs by the Bats, including two in one inning, put the Bats on top of the Indians tonight at Victory Field.  Starter Justin Wilson (photo) gave up the three homers, accounting for 4 of Louisville’s runs, and he was charged with his first loss of the season.

Chris Reineke made the start for Louisville, and he and Wilson seemed intent on matching one another for the first 5 innings of the game.  Both Reineke and Wilson retired the side in the 1st inning.  Both gave up a walk (to C Devin Mesoraco and 3B Josh Harrison) and a hit (single to 2B Chris Valaika and double to 1B Andy Marte) in the 2nd inning.  Both retired the side in order in the 3rd and 4th innings.  

Both Reineke and Wilson gave up one run in the 5th inning.  Wilson retired the first two Bats’ batters of the inning, giving him a streak of 10 batters retired in order.  Then CF Kris Negron lifted a home run over  the left-center field wall, to give the Bats a 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the inning, Reineke gave up a lead-off single when Harrison beat out a surprise bunt.  2B Pedro Ciriaco grounded deep to short, forcing Harrison out at second, but SS Zack Cozart was not able to make a throw to first, and Ciriaco was on with a fielder’s choice.  After a fly out, Justin Wilson came to the plate.  Instead of being an easy out, Wilson worked a full count, then fouled off three more pitches.  Then he blasted a ball off the left field scoreboard for an RBI double.  Ciriaco scored from first, and the score was tied at 1-1.

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Tough Day For Ciriaco And The Indians

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Joe Beimel pitched one quick inning

Toledo Mud Hens  4,  Indianapolis Indians  2
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It was a beautiful afternoon at Victory Field, with sunny skies and a little wind, but not a happy afternoon for the Indianapolis Indians, who lost the second game of a short 2-game series to the Toledo Mud Hens.  Even with the wind blowing in for most of the game, two Mud Hens and one Indian were able to blast home runs, and those accounted for half of each team’s runs.  

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Brian Burres (photo) got the start for the Indians.  He gave up just two hits over his first 5 innings — but both of those were solo home runs.  The first homer came off the bat of LF Scott Thorman with one out in the top of the 2nd inning, sailing over the right field wall.  RF Andrew Lambo made a leap — but he would have had to have been another 6 feet taller to have had any chance.  Burres hit SS Cale Iorg with a pitch (right foot) after the homer, then retired the next 9 batters he faced.  With one out in the 5th, CF Clete Thomas also homered over the right field wall.  

The Indians had managed just 3 hits off Toledo starter Andy Oliver by the end of the 5th inning.  LF Alex Presley slipped a single through the hole into right field in the top of the 1st, but was left on base.  2B Pedro Ciriaco walked on 4 pitches and stole second base in the 3rd, but he was not careful taking his lead off second base and was caught too far away from the base.  A brief rundown, 1-5-4-1, and he was out.  

SS Chase d’Arnaud (photo below) led off the 4th inning with a low liner down the right field line.  The ball bounced under the bench in the Mud Hens’ bullpen, and RF Andy Dirks just looked at the bench and lifted his arms into the air.  Sorry, Dirks, this isn’t the Wrigley Field ivy — the bullpen benches in Victory Field are in play, and you don’t get to just bail out like that.  He realized his mistake after a couple of seconds, and dove under the bench for the ball, but by then IMG_5130d’Arnaud had rounded second and was heading into third base.  Unfortunately, the Indians could not take advantage of the man on third and no outs.  Oliver struck out both Presley and DH Andy Marte, then got 1B Matt Hague to ground out, leaving d’Arnaud still on third.  

3B Josh Harrison had the only home run for the Indians.  With one out in the bottom of the 5th, he blasted another long fly ball to the left field wall — just a little to the left and two feet further than his bomb last night, which ended up bouncing on the narrow top of the scoreboard.  This one definitely went over the wall, onto the grass, and into the hands of some of the students who were sitting on the berm.  

The only other Indians’ batter to reach base against Oliver was CF Gorkys Hernandez, who got on when his grounder to second skipped up and off the glove of 2B Scott Sizemore.  Hernandez stole second base, but a short fly out and two strikeouts left him stranded.  Oliver struck out a total of 8 Indians’ hitters in his 6 innings of work. He allowed one walk along with those 3 hits, and he threw 101 pitches (65 strikes). 

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Indians Earn First Win Behind Owens

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Indianapolis Indians  5,  Toledo Mud Hens  1
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The new Max Schumacher Victory Bell finally rang out a win for the Indianapolis Indians tonight, as they beat the Toledo Mud Hens at Victory Field.  The Bell (and Mr. Schumacher, who had the honor of ringing it for the first time) had to wait through the Indians’ 4-game series against the Columbus Clippers for the chance to ring, but the losing streak ended tonight, behind the stellar pitching by starter Rudy Owens and an exciting 6th inning.

IMG_5093Owens (photo) made his AAA debut tonight and earned the win with 7 innings of work, allowing one run on 7 hits, no walks, and with 5 strikeouts.  He gave up one hit in 5 of his innings, two hits in the 7th, and no hits in the 4th.  Unfortunately, one of the hits he gave up was a solo home run, to Toledo CF Clete Thomas in the 2nd.  It was a no-doubter, which sailed over the iron fence beyond the berm behind right field, and bounced down onto West Street (though at least not while the fire trucks were racing past).  

Owens looked completely in control all night.  He needed only 83 pitches (58 strikes) to get through 7 innings.  He did not go deep into any counts until the 6th inning, and even then threw only 14 pitches in each of the 6th and 7th innings.  He got some help from his friends behind him, including a nice running catch by LF Alex Presley in the 6th, and a backhanded stop deep in the hole by SS Chase d’Arnaud with a catch in the dirt by 1B Matt Hague.  In the post-game interview, Owens said that he was pleased to get that first AAA start out of the way.  ”The first AAA start is always one of those big deals — same with last year in AA with the first start.  I got out there and had to face (Stephen) Strasburg, and it couldn’t be more nerve-wracking.  By just getting that first win out of the way and doing well, I showed myself that I can compete here….. Throwing strikes is the key for me because this team (Toledo) likes to swing and just got to let them get themselves out.”

The Indians’ batters also posted one hit per inning for the first four innings of the game.  Alex Presley continued his torrid hitting with two singles — a line drive into center field in the 1st and a grounder through the hole into left field in the 4th.  He also stole second base in the 4th.  RF Andrew Lambo picked up his first hit of the season in the 2nd inning, when he grounded to short, but Toledo SS Cale Iorg bobbled the ball as his foot slipped, then threw wide to first base, giving Lambo the extra split second he needed to reach first safely.  Presley and Lambo were left stranded on base, but when CF Gorkys Hernandez singled in the 3rd, he was thrown out trying to steal second base.  

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