Indians’ 9th-Inning Rally Falls Short

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Gwinnett Braves �6, �Indianapolis Indians �5 (box)

IMG_3210A 9th-inning rally, sparked by a pair of Gwinnett errors, put the Indians within one run of tying the game. �The rally fell short, though, and the Braves held on to take the win at Victory Field on Monday night.

The Indians were trailing 6-3 going into the bottom of the 9th. �With Braves’ reliever Michael Dunn on the mound to begin his second inning, pinch-hitter Luke Carlin grounded to short, but SS Brandon Hick’s throw to first was low and short, and Carlin was safe at first on the error. �Dunn was removed, and reliever Stephen Marek came in from the bullpen to take care of the Indians. �CF Jose Tabata greeted Marek with a line drive into center field, moving Carlin to second base. �2B Neil Walker was next, and he had the crowd holding its breath for a moment with a long fly ball to left-center, but it turned out to be only a long out. �1B Brian Myrow did what he does best — get on base, somehow, some way. �This time it was by working the count full, fouling off another pitch, and taking a walk to load the bases.

That brought up 3B Pedro Alvarez (photo).�Alvarez bounced the 1-0 pitch to first base, for what should have been an easy out at first. �But Braves’ 1B Freddie Freeman charged the slow roller and missed. �It looked like he was already thinking about how he was going to throw to the plate before he actually had the ball in his glove. �The ball went under his glove and skipped down the line about 12 – 15 feet behind first base. �Carlin scored easily from third, and Tabata also scored as Freeman had to reverse and chase down the ball. �Both runs were unearned, and Alvarez was credited with one RBI.

IMG_3262Now the Indians were with in one run, 6-5, and C Erik Kratz came to the plate. �Kratz already had a single in the game, and he’d walked twice. �But this time, he grounded a 0-2 pitch to short, and SS Brandon Hicks began a 6-4-3 double play that ended the rally and the game.

The Indians had scored first, back in the bottom of the 1st inning. �Jose Tabata led off by slipping a grounder through the right side of the infield for a single. �Neil Walker lined a double into right field, sending Tabata to third base. �1B Brian Myrow (photo) grounded to first base, and the Braves conceded the run to get the out, as Tabata scored from third. �Pedro Alvarez brought in Walker, who had advanced to third base on Myrow’s play, with a sacrifice fly. �The throw from Gwinnett’s CF Jordan Schafer came in high and up the third base line, and Walker scored easily. �The Indians had a 2-0 lead.

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9th Inning Rally Gives Braves The Win Over Indians

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Kratz celebrates his home run.

Gwinnett Braves �6, �Indianapolis Indians �3 (box)

IMG_3372With two outs in the top of the 9th, the Braves broke a 3-3 tie, scoring 3 runs and holding on to take the win at Victory Field this afternoon.

Reliever Wil Ledezma (photo, with Luke Carlin) had pitched a scoreless 8th inning, then started the 9th with a fly out and a pop out. �Then things fell apart. �Pinch-hitter Matt Young tapped a slow roller to second base, which 2B Brian Friday fielded, but had no time to throw to first before Young got there. �CF Gregor Blanco worked the count full, fouled off a couple more pitches from Ledezma, then took a walk. �3B Wes Timmons followed with a single lined into right field, scoring Young with the go-ahead run. �Ledezma was relieved by Jean Machi, and the Tribe still had hope — they had come from behind to tie the score twice already in this game.

Machi struck out the first batter he faced, 1B Barbaro Canizares, but strike three was a wild pitch. �Blanco scored easily from third base as C Luke Carlin chased nearly to the backstop after the ball. �But Machi did not run in to cover the plate, and the second runner, Timmons saw that (or at least Gwinnett’s manager Dave Brundage saw it). �Timmons had been heading to third, and just kept going. �He was about 10 feet from the plate when Machi woke up and realized he was not where he ought to have been, and by then it was way too late — 2 runs scored on one wild pitch. �With Canizares on first, RF Mitch Jones doubled down to the left field corner. �The Braves decided to intentionally walk SS Brandon Hicks because the pitcher, reliever Craig Kimbrel, was hitting in the 6th spot in the batting order (after a double switch). �Kimbrel hit for himself, and Machi was able to get the strikeout to end�the inning. �Machi had thrown 19 pitches, but only 8 were strikes.

The Tribe had one more chance in the bottom of the 9th, now down by 3 runs. �Kimbrel, who had retired three Indians in order in the 8th, struck out Luke Carlin to begin the bottom of the 9th. �He walked Brian Friday next, then struck out SS Argenis Diaz. �Pedro Alvarez, who was getting a day off from third base, came on to pinch-hit, and after a full count plus some foul balls, he also walked. �But 3B Doug Bernier struck out to end the game and earn Kimbrel his first win of the season.

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Lincoln Outduels Braves, Alvarez’s 10th Homer

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Indianapolis Indians �4, �Gwinnett Braves �3 (box)

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Brad Lincoln (photo) was dominating for his third straight start, as he earned his 5th win of the season over the Braves at Victory Field this evening. �Lincoln pitched 8 innings, and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts. �Reliever Justin Thomas picked up his second save. �Four of the Tribe’s six hits went for extra bases, including 3B Pedro Alvarez’s 10th homer of the season.

Former Pirate prospect Todd Redmond made the start for Gwinnett. �Both pitchers are fast workers, and both were on a roll, pitching as if they had a plane to catch. �The entire game was played in three minutes short of two hours. �That’s six minutes shorter than yesterday’s 7-inning contest.

Lincoln threw a total of 77 pitches (50 strikes) in his 8 innings. �He did not go deep into counts, and in fact threw three balls to only two of the 29 batters he faced. �He did not have a full count on any batter. �He zipped through the first two innings, retiring the Braves in order on a total of 15 pitches.

IMG_3341Lincoln gave up a double to SS Brandon Hicks to lead off the 3rd inning, on a ball that bounced down the left field line, barely fair, to just beyond the Indians’ bullpen, where LF Jose Tabata had a little trouble picking up the ball. �Hicks reached third base a few moments later when Todd Redmond grounded back to the mound, but he got no further as Lincoln retired two more Braves besides Redmond.

The Braves put another batter on base in the 4th inning. �With one out, RF Gregor Blanco dribbled a little grounder along the first base line, and Lincoln charged over from the mound to field it. �His momentum carried Lincoln into foul territory, forcing him to make a turning throw right along where Blanco was running. �The ball got past 1B Brian Myrow, though 2B Brian Friday was right there to back up the play, so Blanco could not take another base.

IMG_3342Lincoln was charged with a throwing error on the play. �No problem for Lincoln — he made it moot by getting 1B Freddie Freeman to ground to SS Argenis Diaz who took two steps to touch the second base bag, then threw on to first for the inning-ending double play.

There was a brief scare in the 5th inning. � With one out, 2B Joe Thurston rocketed a 1-0 pitch right back at the mound, hitting Brad Lincoln on the left leg near his knee. �The ball hit him so hard that it ricocheted almost all the way back to the plate, putting it in perfect position for C Luke Carlin to pick it up and fire to first to make the out. �Lincoln fell to the ground face down, but quickly rolled and got up. �Manager Frank Kremblas and the training staff rushed out to the mound, but Lincoln shrugged it off (photo above) then threw a test pitch to prove to them that he was ok (photo here and at the top). �Then he further proved that he was ok by retiring the next 7 batters in order. �After the game, Lincoln said that he’d felt it a bit over the next inning, then he put it out of his mind and continued pitching.

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Indians Fall To Yankees Twice

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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees �10, �Indianapolis Indians �7 (box)

IMG_3309This was the completion of the suspended game from last night. �(Take a look here to read more about the first 3.5 innings.)

The start of the restart was delayed about 40 minutes because of the threat of rain. �The tarp was put down, but when the rain never happened, it was pulled, and play began. �Despite worrisome weather forcasts, it didn’t rain for the rest of the evening, and there was even a bit of sunshine.

The Yankees took the field for the restart, holding an 8-5 lead. �Starter Jeremy Powell had made a shaky start, allowing all 8 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. �The Yankees had batted around in the top of the 4th, as Powell struggled on a wet and slippery mound and his teammates behind him battled soggy grass. �Steven Jackson came on in relief of Powell, but 5 runs came in �to give the Yankees the lead.

On the restart, Anthony Claggett (photo) took the mound for the Indians. �Claggett just didn’t have it tonight. �He walked 6 batters in 1.1 innings, though miraculously did not give up any runs. �He walked the first two batters in the top of the 5th, then got a double play, which eliminated one runner but put the lead runner (LF Chad Huffman) on third base. �Two more walks loaded the bases, but a grounder to SS Argenis Diaz gave Claggett a force out at second base, and he had escaped his self-made jam.

IMG_3311The next inning was more of the same, though. �The first batter flied out, with CF Jose Tabata first coming in, then having to reverse, and then make a running over-the-shoulder catch. �Claggett put the next three batters on base, with a walk to DH Jon Weber, a hit by C Jesus Montero, and a walk to Huffman. �That was enough for manager Frank Kremblas to see. �Claggett left having walked 6 of the 10 batters he faced.

Vinnie Chulk (photo) was next out of the bullpen. �He came into the game with one out and the bases loaded — and proceeded to strike out RF Reid Gorecki and get 3B Matt Cusick to end the inning and leave those three runners right where he found them.

Chulk came back out for the 7th inning. �He gave up a single into right field to CF Greg Golson. �A grounder moved Golson to second base. �Chulk got a gift next. �He tried to pick Golson off second base, but his throw was wide and got into center field, and Golson raced to third base. �But the umpires pointed him back to second base — home plate ump Mark Lollo had called time out just a split second before Chulk turned and made the throw to second, making the whole thing a “no play”. �Then it turned out to be moot. �A single by 1B PJ Pilittere, who had taken over for David Winfree, singled down the right field line, and Golson scored anyway.

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Indians And Scranton Suspended

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It really didn’t help much.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 8, Indianapolis Indians 5 SUSPENDED (box)

IMG_3305The rain was the winner at Victory Field tonight, halting play in the middle of the 4th inning. �The rain started mid-afternoon in central Indiana, and it had come down heavily until about 6 pm. �The Indians’ ground crew was able to remove the tarp from the field around that time, and by 7 pm it was still overcast but not raining, so the game started on time. �Rain started falling again in the 2nd inning, and by the end of the 3rd, it was coming down pretty heavily. �The umpires still had the Indians come out and take the field for the top of the 4th, and only after a disastrous half-inning for the Indians was play halted.

(Photo: �Manager Frank Kremblas was very upset with the umpires’ decisions on continuing and then halting play.)

Jeremy Powell was making the spot start for the Indians, taking the place of�Daniel McCutchen, who is now on the Disabled List. �Powell struggled in three of the four innings he pitched, though by the 4th inning, the rain could have been a factor.

IMG_3290Powell (photo) hit the first batter of the game, CF Greg Golson. �He got two outs, then gave up a double down the left field line, just out of reach of 3B Pedro Alvarez’s dive, to 1B David Winfree. �That scored Golson, and the Yankees had a run on the board.

The Tribe got the run back in the bottom of the 1st. �CF Jose Tabata worked a walk to lead off, and he moved to second base on 1B Neil Walker’s high bouncing grounder to first base. �A balk by Yankees’ starter Ivan Nova put Tabata on third base. �DH Brian Myrow dribbled a little grounder over the mound (might have been tipped by Nova, but not sure) toward 2B Reegie Corona. �Corona came in onto the infield grass for the ball, but he was already thinking about firing the ball home to get Tabata before he actually had the ball in his glove — and the ball got past him. �Tabata scored easily, and Myrow was safe on first base. �At first it was ruled an error, but this was later changed to an infield hit and an RBI for Myrow. �Pedro Alvarez bounced into a double play to end the inning, but the Indians had tied it up at 1-1.

Yankees’ top prospect Jesus Montero led off the 2nd inning with a single up the middle, and a pitch from Powell that sailed all the way to the backstop moved Montero to second base. �Powell walked RF Reid Gorecki, then 3B Matt Cusick sliced a double down the right field line, inside the chalk by inches, and then curving into the Yankees’ bullpen. �Both Montero and Gorecki scored by the time RF Brandon Moss could get the ball back to the infield.

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