Moss’ RBI’s Boost Burres For Win

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Frank and Pedro

Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �3 (box)

IMG_3534Brian Burres (photo)�finally got to play a game for the Tribe, in his third stint on the Indians’ roster. �He earned the win at Victory Field tonight, with 5.1 solid innings of work. �He was aided by DH Brandon Moss, whose clutch double drove in three runs in the 5th, as the Indians posted 10 hits for 5 runs.

Burres had been on the Indians’ Opening Day roster, but went back to the Pirates when Ross Ohlendorf had problems with back spasms just a few days into the Indians’ season. �He was optioned back to the Indians on April 21st, but called back 4 days later, again without having made an appearance for the Tribe, when Chris Jakubauskas was hit by a batted ball. �With Dana Eveland joining the Pirates, Burress was sent down again… and this time has at least gotten one start in this time… in case the Pirates need him again.

Burres got off to a good start tonight. �He retired all three batters in the 1st inning, including striking out both former Indy Indian DH Brian Bixler, who had his way with the Tribe yesterday, and also C Carlos Santana, the top Cleveland Indians’ prospect. �Burres gave up a two-out single to 3B Jared Goedert in the 2nd inning, but ended the inning my making the catch on a soft pop to just in front of the mound (photo below, as Burres examines the ball after making the catch).

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Brian Bixler was a problem for his former teammates again tonight. �When Burres faced him again in the third inning, after CF Michael Brantley single past the diving Tribe 2B Brian Friday, Bixler took a long high fly ball down the left field line. �The ball sailed just inside the foul pole, then hooked around the back of the pole, but it was fair when it counted — a 2-run home run to give Columbus a 2-0 lead.

Burres worked out of a jam in the 5th. �After two outs, including a nice snatch of a sinking line drive by RF Kevin Melillo, Burres gave up a single to RF Chris Gimenez and a a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez. �An easy grounder to short for a force out at second ended the inning without a run scoring.

The Indians went down in order in the 1st inning, then were unable to take advantage of runners on base in the next two innings. �3B Pedro Alvarez led off the 2nd with a single lined into center field. �Moments later, though, Alvarez was caught straying a little too far off first base, probably as he was trying to work out the timing of Clippers’ starter Josh Tomlin’s delivery. �There was a brief run-down, pitcher to 1B Wes Hodges to SS Anderson Hernandez, and Alvarez was out. �CF Jonathan Van Every walked in that inning, but he was left stranded. �In the 3rd, SS Doug Bernier drove a liner over the leaping Hodges and into right field for a single. �He moved to third base on Kevin Melillo’s loopy single that just fell in, in short center field, but both runners were left on base.

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Bixler Comes Back To Haunt The Indians

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Charlie Morton is here (far right)

Columbus Clippers �5, �Indianapolis Indians �1 (box)

IMG_3495There’s a reason that the Columbus Clippers are in first place, and today the Indians saw why. �Stellar pitching by Columbus starter Yohan Pino combined with a 2-hit, 4-RBI day by former Indian SS Brian Bixler (photo) gave the game to the Clippers this afternoon at Victory Field.

Hayden Penn made the start for the Indians, but suffered the loss as he allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in 6.1 innings. �Brian Bixler had a hand in each of those 4 runs, plus the run given up by reliever Jean Machi. Penn began the game well, retiring the first six batters in order, including getting Bixler to pop out to Tribe 2B Doug Bernier in the top of the 1st. �Penn struck out two batters in the 2nd inning. �There was also a moment in the 2nd that made the crowd gasp. �LF Nick Weglarz smacked a sharp one right back to the mound on one bounce. �The ball hit Penn (like yesterday with Powell, it wasn’t clear where on his body he’d been hit). �The ricochet off Penn went high into the air, and came back down right at 3B Pedro Alvarez, who was playing over toward the shortstop position. �Alvarez caught the bounce, and threw to first base to make the out on Weglarz. �Manager Frank Kremblas and trainer Thomas Pribyl leapt out of the dugout, but they took only two or three steps onto the field before Penn vigorously waved them off. �He was fine, and he proved it by striking out the next batter to end the inning.

IMG_3497Columbus made their first move in the 3rd inning. �Penn (photo) gave up singles to DH Brian Buscher and 2B Josh Rodriguez to open the inning. �A sacrifice bunt by RF Jose Constanza moved both runners up one base. �Penn struck out CF Michael Brantly for the second out of the inning. �That brought up Brian Bixler, who lifted a bloopy ball into short right field just inside the foul line — right in no-mans’-land, where neither RF Kevin Melillo, 1B Brian Myrow, nor 2B Doug Bernier could reach it. �That brought in both Buscher and Rodriguez, two RBI for Bixler, to give the Clippers a 2-0 lead.

Penn gave up a ground rule double to 3B Jared Goedert in the 4th inning, but left him on base. �Then he got into trouble with lead-off hits again in the 5th inning. �This time Rodriguez got on with a grounder up the middle, but he was erased when Penn picked him off first. � Constanza beat out what was supposed to be a bunt when, the ball got stuck in Penn’s mitt — by the time he pulled it out and made the throw, Constanza beat the throw easily. �Michael Brantly walked on four pitches, as Constanza stole both second and third bases. �C Luke Carlin double-clutched on his throw to second base for the first steal, and Constanza was in well ahead of the throw. �Carlin made a good throw to third on that steal, but 3B Pedro Alvarez couldn’t hold onto the ball, and Constanza was safe. �With runners on the corners, guess who came to the plate again? �Brian Bixler, of course. �Bixler doubled for the second time in the game, taking this ball down into the right field corner for one RBI as Constanza scored easily. �With Brantley at third and Bixler at second, Penn bore down and got a pop out and a fly out to end the inning. �Clippers 3, Indians 0.

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Indians Blank First-Place Clippers

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Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �0 (box)

IMG_3446The Indians shut out the Columbus Clippers, who currently reside in first place in the International League Western Division, at Victory Field tonight, to begin an 8-game home stand. �Four Indians’ pitchers, starter Mike Crotta (photo above), Vinnie Chulk, Justin Thomas, and Brian Bass, combined to hold the Clippers to 4 hits and 4 walks, while the Tribe batters piled up 10 hits for 5 runs.

Mike Crotta pitched 5.1 scoreless innings to earn his 3rd win with the Indians, needing 87 pitches (46 strikes) to get the job done. �He was responsible for 3 of the hits and 3 of the walks. �He kept his infielders busy, as all of the outs he recorded were either ground outs, except for two strikeouts and one runner thrown out at second base.

IMG_3447Crotta gave up a 2-out double to Columbus catcher Carlos Santana in the 1st inning, but ended the inning with a bouncing grounder to SS Argenis Diaz (photo above). �Crotta retired the Clippers in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a walk to former Indy Indian 2B Brian Bixler (photo) to begin the 4th. �Santana followed with a grounder to third base, and as 3B Pedro Alvarez made the scoop and throw to first, the speedy Bixler got a good jump and broke for third base, where he slid in safely before 1B Brian Myrow could return the throw across the diamond. �Bixler was left standing there, though, as Crotta struck out 1B Wes Hodges and got DH Jordan Brown to ground out to second.

Crotta had to have a little help from his friends to get out of the 5th inning. �LF Nick Weglarz worked a walk to open the inning, then 3B Brian Buscher hit a high hop right to Brian Myrow at first base. �Myrow turned and fired to second base, forcing out Weglarz, then scrambled back to cover the first base bag and take the return throw from Argenis Diaz for the double play. �SS Anderson Hernandez followed with a line drive into center field for a single, but when he tried to steal second base, C Luke Carlin’s throw was right on target, and the inning was over.

Crotta and Carlin did not have the same luck in the 6th. �With one out, CF Michael Brantley slipped a single through the hole and into left field. �He stole second base, and as he slid in, Carlin’s throw might have hit the ground near second base, or maybe even hit Brantley, but either way, the ball ricocheted into center field, and Brantley took off for third base. �Argenis Diaz chased down the ball and threw to third as Brantley was reaching the base there, but Diaz’s throw went way wide of third, and very nearly sailed into the Indians’ dugout. �Brian Bixler worked his second walk of the game, and that was all for Crotta.

Vinnie Chulk came on in relief, and the speedy Bixler stole second base without drawing a throw from Carlin, putting two runners in scoring position. �But Chulk made it not matter — he struck out both Carlos Santana and Wes Hodges to end the inning without the Clippers scoring.

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“I Feel Like I’ve Become A Complete Pitcher”

Indianapolis Indians �4, �Gwinnett Braves �0 (box)

IMG_2678Brad Lincoln (photo) pitched 6 shutout innings, scattering 4 hits and one walk, while striking out 6 batters on his way to his 6th win for the Indians at Coolray Field in Gwinnett County, Georgia tonight. �The Indians posted 12 hits, including 3 by 1B Brian Myrow and two each by LF Jose Tabata and 2B Brian Friday, on their way to victory. �Three of the Tribe’s hits were triples.

Lincoln dominated the Braves, just as he dominated the Charlotte Knights last week. �He has now recorded 11 consecutive scoreless innings. �In his last start against the Braves, at home on May 22nd, Lincoln allowed 3 hits in the 8th inning, after he had pitched 7 scoreless innings — that’s 3 runs over the past 19 innings. �Lincoln threw 81 pitches tonight, 52 for strikes.

Today, Lincoln gave up a double to 2B Joe Thurston with two outs in the 1st inning, then retired the Braves in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings — and he struck out the side in the 3rd. �3B/2B Luis Bolivar singled into right field to lead off the 4th inning, but Lincoln picked him off first base. �The Braves put two runners on base at the same time in the 5th, with a double by LF Alex Romero and a walk to C Clint Sammons, but Lincoln ended that inning with a strike out, leaving both runners on base. �Thurston also singled in the 6th inning, but was again left on base.

After the game, Lincoln said that he has found that the key to pitching well for him is to “get ahead early in the count and make the hitters have to swing the bat. �To make the hitters get in a defensive state at the plate is a good thing for me, and it’s one of those things that has been working for me…. I feel like I have become a complete pitcher, not just a strikeout pitcher, but an efficient pitcher.” �When asked about the possibility of being called up to the Pirates and plugged into the rotation on schedule to face the Washington National’s Stephen Strasburg on June 8th, Lincoln told interviewer Scott McCauley “I have always been that type of guy that wants to be there in that big situation and go against the best. �It’s something that I would look forward to. �If I get that call, it would be very exciting…. however, I’m not going to assume anything.”

IMG_3176Lincoln got two 2-run innings of run support from his teammates, and he helped out there too. �The Tribe batters put at least one runner on base in every inning but the 8th. �They scored their first pair of runs in the 3rd inning, taking advantage of a pair of triples. �With one out,�Jose Tabata hit a laser over the head of RF Mitch Jones for a stand-up triple. �Brian Myrow drove in Tabata with a sinking line drive into left field for a single. �3B Pedro Alvarez (photo) had the second triple, a drive into the right-center field alley, which easily brought Myrow around to score. �The throw in from the outfield got away from the Braves’ infielders and sailed to the facing of the third base dugout, but not far enough away for Alvarez to score. �Alvarez was 1-for-5 in the game.

The Tribe threatened in the 4th inning. �Brian Friday led off with a double that slipped past the Braves’ third baseman and down the left field line into the corner. �SS Doug Bernier singled up the middle, and the Indians had runners on the corners. �Lincoln dropped down a bunt that was intended to be a suicide squeeze. �3B Luis Bolivar scooped the bunt, looked Friday back to third (it was too close for him to score anyway), then threw on to first base, but he had delayed just a fraction of a second too long in looking back at Friday, and the hustling Lincoln beat the throw to first, for a hit. �That gave the Tribe the bases loaded with no outs — but they could not get a run across the plate, as two strike outs and a line out ended the inning with all three runners standing right there.

C Erik Kratz doubled with one out in the 5th, and he got as far as thrid base on a ground out by CF Jon Van Every, but that threat fell short also.

Lincoln started another run-scoring rally in the 6th by working a walk. �Jose Tabata doubled off the top of the right field wall, moving Lincoln to third base. �Then RF Kevin Melillo tripled over Braves’ RF Jones’ head, to score both Lincoln and Tabata. �That chased the Braves’ starter Jose Ortegano, who had allowed all 4 of the Indians’ runs, on 11 hits.

The Tribe batters did not do as well against the Braves’ bullpen. �Cory Gearrin relieved Ortegano and struck out two batters to end the 6th, then allowed only one base runner over the next two innings — he hit Erik Kratz with a pitch, though erased him with a double play. �Stephen Marek took over for the 9th inning, and he gave up a walk to Kevin Melillo and a single to Brian Myrow (his third hit), but left both on base when he ended the inning.

Wil Ledezma pitched 2 scoreless innings after Lincoln sat down. �He gave up a double in the 7th and a walk in the 8th, but struck out 5 batters. �Jean Machi pitched a scoreless 9th, allowing a single and a walk, and he ended the game with a strikeout. �It was not a save situation.

The win gave the Indians a split of the 4-game series with the Braves, and also a split of the season series. �The Indians will not play the Braves again during the 2010 regular season. �The Tribe has a 28-26 record, which puts them in third place in the International League Western Division, 6.5 games behind the first-place Columbus Clippers. �The Indians return to Victory Field on Friday, to begin a 4-game series with the Clippers — hoping to gain some ground on them in the standings.

Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: �Three triples, which were factors in all four of the runs the Indians scored: �Jose Tabata (2nd triple of the season), Pedro Alvarez (3rd of the season), and Kevin Melillo (3rd of the season).

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �Three pitchers, Brad Lincoln, Wil Ledezma, and Jean Machi, combined for 9 shutout innings, and a total of 13 strikeouts.

NOTES:

Donnie Veal has has a consultation with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, and the result is that Dr. Andrews will be performing Tommy John surgery on Veal’s left elbow tomorrow. �That’s the end of Veal’s 2010 season… with hopes that he’ll be ready to return sometime near the beginning of the 2011 season.

Lincoln has been named the Indians’ Player of the Month for May. �There will probably be an official presentation of the award this weekend.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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Powell Dominates Braves But Takes Tough Loss

Gwinnett Braves �2, �Indianapolis Indians �1 (box)

IMG_2550Jeremy Powell (photo) took a no-hitter into the 7th inning for the Indians at Coolray Field in Gwinnett County, Georgia, but ended up with a 2-hitter and a very tough loss. �Opposing pitcher and former Pirate farmhand Todd Redmond, who threw a no-hitter in his last start dueled Powell through those 7 innings, giving up 5 hits but only one run, as he took the win.

No surprise — most of the first half of this game was played in a steady soft rain. �Powell looked strong in the bottom of the 1st, as he gave up a 2-out walk to 2B Joe Thurston, but left him on base when the inning ended with a line out to left field. �Powell went on to retire the next 14 batters, 15 in a row, until the bottom of the 6th, when he gave up another 2-out walk to CF Matt Young. �Only two of those outs were strikeouts, but Powell did not make his teammates have to make wild plays to record the outs.

Powell began the 7th inning by getting Thurston to ground out to short, but the next batter, 1B Barbaro Canizares ruined Powell’s no-hit bid with a ball into the right-center field alley for a triple. �RF Mitch Jones further spoiled Powell’s night by taking a 1-0 pitch down the left field line and over the wall for a 2-run homer. �There was nothing LF Jose Tabata could do but turn and watch it fly. �Powell got the next two outs easily, and that was the end of his night. �Powell had thrown 88 pitches (55 strikes) and allowed only 2 hits and 2 walks, with a total of 3 strikeouts.

IMG_3130Todd Redmond had to do a little more work than Powell did. �He contended with Indians’ base runners in each of the first four innings. �RF Brandon Jones (photo), hitting in the 2-spot tonight, walked in the top of the 1st. �C Erik Kratz doubled to the left field wall to begin the 2nd inning, and he got as far as third base, with 2B Brian Friday on first with a walk. �The Braves had a scary moment, when Jeremy Powell grounded sharply back to the mound, where the ball ricocheted off Redmond (not sure what part of him) and to Thurston at second base. �Thurston threw to first to end the inning, and Redmond turned out to be not injured. �Brian Friday also singled in the 4th inning.

The Indians’ run came in the 3rd. �With one out, Brandon Jones lashed a triple to right field that missed being a home run by just a few feet. �1B Brian Myrow followed with a double over the head of CF Matt Young and all the way to the wall, easily scoring Jones. �That was all Redmond would allow, though. �After Friday’s single, Redmond retired the next 11 Indians’ batters in order. �He allowed only 4 hits and struck out 10 Indians’ batters.

Once the Braves had broken up the no-hitter, Steven Jackson, who just re-joined the club, relieved Powell. �Jackson worked around a single in the 8th, but did not allow a run.

Michael Dunn came on in relief of Redmond, and he was similarly effective. �He walked�Jose Tabata to begin the top of the 8th, then struck out the next three batters: �Jones, Myrow, and 3B Pedro Alvarez. That was Alvarez’s fourth strikeout of the game.

IMG_2584The Indians had one more chance at a rally in the top of the 9th. �With Craig Kimbrel on the mound for the Braves, Erik Kratz (photo) led off another inning with a long double to left field. �Strikeouts to CF Brandon Moss and Brian Friday followed, with Indians’ manager getting tossed after Friday’s strikeout for arguing about strike zone issues. �Doug Bernier came in to pinch-run for Erik Kratz, but Bernier was tagged out for the final out of the game when SS Argenis Diaz grounded to third.

Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: �The Indians had only 5 hits in the game, but two of them belonged to Erik Kratz — two doubles to the left field wall. �(Only one of the Tribe’s hits was a single — the one by Brian Friday.)

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �Jeremy Powell taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning. �Wow. �(At least he didn’t lose the no-hitter because of poor umpiring!)

NOTES:

Roster moves: �Reliever Steven Jackson, who was optioned from the Pirates is, of course, with the team in Gwinnett. �In order to make room for Jackson on the roster, reliever Corey Hamman was removed from the Indians’ roster and moved to the State College roster. �This is probably a paper move, and Hamman may still be with the team, since State College doesn’t begin their season for a couple weeks yet.

Starter Jimmy Barthmaier is working his way back after Tommy John surgery. �He has made two rehab appearances in Bradenton (one hit and one run in 3 innings), and has now been moved up to Altoona to do some rehab with the Curve.

Brad Lincoln was originally supposed to make the start tonight, but he swapped days with Jeremy Powell because Powell had so little work lately. �Powell’s last start on Saturday was cut short due to a suspended game.

The Indianapolis Star featured an article about Erik Kratz today, by Andrew Astleford. � Check out the table at the bottom of the second page — there are two other former Indianapolis Indians there: �Chris Coste (2004), and Jason Childers (2002-04).

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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