The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off today (Wednesday). A few bits of news for an off-day:
P Jose Ascanio and C Wyatt Toregas have cleared waivers and both will be assigned to the Indians. Anthony Claggett was returned to the Altoona Curve.
The Pirates have signed four of their recent draft picks:
SS Brian Sharp (24th round) from California Baptist University
SS Kirk Singer (29th round) from Long Beach State
RHP Matt Benedict (30th round) from Western Carolina University
C Derek Trent (31st round) from East Tennessee State
Here’s the list of all the draft picks, which will be updated with the signings as they occur.
Sharp, Singer, and Trent are listed on the State College roster. The State College Spikes begin their season on Friday.
The Pirates also signed LHP Robbie Kilcrease, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech. The redshirt junior made 12 starts this year for Texas Tech. He had a total of 63.1 innings, with a 5.97 ERA.
On to Wednesday evening’s action:
West Virginia Power 3, Greensboro Grasshoppers 0
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The Power did all the scoring they needed in their first at-bats, as three Power pitchers combined for a shutout. With one out in the top of the 1st, 2B Andy Vasquez lined a single into center field, then stole second base. He scored on RF Dan Grovatt’s double lined into right field. Grovatt stole third base, and he scored on 1B Justin Howard’s RBI ground out. CF Mel Rojas added one more insurance run for the Power in the 4th inning with a solo home run.
After the homer, the Power lost some of their power. They managed only 3 hits over the rest of the game — a single by Rojas in the 6th, a double by DH Jairo Marquez in the 7th, and a single by 3B Eric Avila in the 9th.
Brandon Cumpton worked around a walk and a single in the bottom of the 1st, then gave up two more singles in the 3rd, but got out of that jam too, partly due to a double play. Cumpton also gave up lone singles in the 4th and 5th, but still did not let the runners come around to score. He began the 6th with a walk and a double play, then loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter, and a walk. Kevin Decker came on in relief of Cumpton, and Decker ended the inning with a fly out, still not letting a run score.
Decker pitched 2 more scoreless innings, though he gave up a walk and two singles in the 7th, and another single in the 8th. Jason Townsend pitched the 9th, also giving up a walk and erasing the runner with a double play. Cumpton earned his 7th win of the season, and Townsend earned his 6th Save.
Indianapolis Indians 13, Buffalo Bison 4
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The Indianapolis Indians exploded for two big innings, as they stampeded the Buffalo Bison at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, NY tonight. The Tribe took advantage of 3 physical errors, plus several mental errors by the Bison, and scored their 13 runs on only 10 hits, leaving only 2 runners on base.
Buffalo starter Josh Stinson faced the Indians on May 17th here in Indianapolis, and he did not have a good outing. He allowed 4 runs in the 1st inning, one in the 3rd, and 3 more in the 5th inning, as the Indians won the game 10-1, posting 16 hits. In that game, Stinson lasted 4.2 innings before being relieved.
Tonight, the Indians were even less kind to Stinson. He got through the 1st inning unscathed, allowing a single up the middle by SS Chase d’Arnaud, then removed d’Arnaud from the bases with a double play. It was in the 2nd inning that the wheels fell off for Stinson. 1B John Bowker began the fun with a double through into right field. 3B Matt Hague reached base safely when 1B Valentino Pascucci could not handle a low throw to first base, and Bowker moved to third base. RF Andrew Lambo bounced to Pascucci, who wanted to throw to the plate, but Pascucci hesitated and got himself set before making the throw. The hesitation was just enough to let Bowker slide into the plate ahead of the throw, for the Indians’ first run. That left Hague and Lambo on base, and brought up C Eric Fryer. Fryer (photo) made it a 4-0 game when he took the first pitch he saw over the left field wall on a no-doubt-about-it 3-run homer.
CF Gorkys Hernandez followed the homer with a smash off the wall in the right-center gap, and raced all the way to third base, credited with a triple, when the Bison CF Fernando Martinez had trouble hitting his cut-off man on the throw in. Tribe starter Justin Wilson hit his second RBI double of the season into left field, scoring Hernandez easily. A wild pitch put Wilson on third base, and a walk to d’Arnaud gave the Indians runners on the corners. D’Arnaud stole second base on strike three when 2B Brian Friday struck out. LF Alex Presley walked to load the bases. That brought up Bowker again, and Bowker’s second double of the inning, going into the left-center field gap, cleared the bases to give the Indians an 8-0 lead. That sent Stinson to the showers. Reliever Brian Sweeney got Hague to pop out, then former Indy Indian C Raul Chavez picked Bowker off second base to end the inning.
Durham Bulls 1, Indianapolis Indians 0
Brian Burres (photo) gave up just one run and scattered 4 hits in a morning-into-afternoon game at Durham Bulls’ Athletic Park today — but he suffered his 5th loss of the season. Burress had the Bulls under control for the entire game, but there was just one problem. That problem was the only hit that counted — a solo home run by Bulls’ RF Justin Ruggiano in the bottom of the 1st. Ruggiano, who was also the Bulls’ game hero last night, scored the only run of the game with his homer.
Burres matched his season-high 7 innings in this start. He struck out 5 batters and walked only one. After the game, Burres said that he felt that his mistake was not the fast ball that Ruggiano took over the wall, but the two pitches before that, both outside the strike zone, which put Burres behind in the count. Burres gave up a single to 3B Russ Canzler in the 2nd, but erased him when C Jose Laboton bounced into a 6-4-3 double play (SS Pedro Ciriaco to 2B Chase d’Arnaud to 1B John Bowker).
The lefty Burres retired the Bulls in order in the 3rd and 4th innings, then gave up back-to-back singles to 1B Leslie Anderson and C Jose Lobaton in the 5th. Another double play, off the bat of former Indy Indian SS JJ Furmaniak got Burres and the Indians out of that jam. Another 1-2-3 inning took care of the Bulls in the 6th, then Burres walked LF Brandon Guyer to begin the 7th, but got three quick outs to end his afternoon.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Durham Bulls 5
Home runs by RF John Bowker and DH Andrew Lambo and a triple by LF Corey Wimberly gave the Indians the offense they needed to power past the Bulls tonight. The game was played at the old Durham Athletic Park, which is the original stadium in Durham — the one where the old A-level team played, and where the movie “Bull Durham” was filmed. Last season, the Bulls played one game at the old stadium, which sits about 5 blocks from their “new” stadium, Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Everyone must have had fun, because they decided to do it again this year, and this time the Indians were the visitors who got to participate. It was a bit awkward for the players — they had to change clothes and do batting practice at the new stadium, then take a bus to the old stadium for the game. After the game, they rode back to the new facility to shower up and change clothes again. Lambo said that the players had fun at the old park, even though the dugout was a little cramped. The teams wore “retro” uniforms for the game.
Jose Ascanio (photo) made a one-inning start for the Indians, throwing 31 pitches (20 strikes) and giving up 2 runs. Ascanio began the inning by allowing a single to SS Ray Olmedo. CF Justin Ruggiano reached base on a fielding error by 3B Josh Harrison. A wild pitch by Ascanio let both runners move up a base, then a walk to LF Brandon Guyer loaded the bases with no outs. Ascanio got a strikeout, but then RF Chris Carter lined a double into right field, bringing in both Olmedo and Ruggiano to score. Another strikeout and a ground out got Ascanio out of the inning, though with the Indians trailing 2-0.
Norfolk Tides 8, Indianapolis Indians 2
Yesterday the Indians blasted 3 home runs in their win over the Tides. Today the Tides returned the favor, with 3 home runs off the Indians’ pitchers, accounted for all but one of their 8 runs, to tie the series at 1 game each at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Indians put runners on base in both the 1st and 2nd innings. 2B Chase d’Arnaud opened the game with a line drive single into left field, but he was erased when SS Pedro Ciriaco bounced into a double play. 1B Matt Hague led off the 2nd inning with another liner into left field. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and moved to third on C Jason Jaramillo’s ground out, but a pair of strikeouts left Hague on third.
3B Brian Friday (photo) began the Indians’ third inning in a row with a lead-off single, this time lining into center field. CF Gorkys Hernandez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Friday to second base. Next up was d’Arnaud, who lifted a long fly ball to center field. The Tides’ CF Matt Angle had trouble finding the ball at first, losing it in the hazy lights. D’Arnaud, thinking that Angle was not going to find the ball, put his head down, rounded first, and headed for second. Friday held up part way to third, in case the ball was caught. Angle caught sight of the ball at the last second, raced in and made a desperate lunging catch. As Friday was scrambling back to second base with a head-first dive, d’Arnaud also was diving head-first into second base. D’Arnaud crashed into Friday’s upper body, knocking him completely off the bag with a roll. Luckily, the throw back from center field was not right to the second base bag — and luckily, d’Arnaud did not slide in spikes-first. Friday quickly rolled back to touch the second base bag, and was still safe at second. About then, d’Arnaud figured out that his fly ball had been caught and he was out, and he trotted off the field. Moments later, Friday raced around to score on Ciriaco’s RBI single up the third base line. Ciriaco stole second base (his 7th steal of the season), then LF Alex Presley reached base when his grounder slipped under the glove of Tides’ 1B Brandon Snyder. The ball shot into right field, and though C John Hester plunked himself down in front of the plate to block Ciriaco, the throw in from RF Blake Davis came in up the third base line. Hester had to go chase after the ball, letting Ciriaco score. The ball ended up in the dugout, for an error on Davis, and Presley was awarded third base on that error. He was left on third, though, when Hague struck out to end the rally.