Alvarez Joins Marauders; Harrison Back to Pirates

Tuesdays’ action… and again the player moves are as interesting as the games.

3B Pedro Alvarez was moved from the GCL Pirates to the Marauders to continue his rehab work.  
With OF Jose Tabata being placed onto the Disabled List, the Pirates were no longer forced to wait 10 days before recalling INF Josh Harrison.  Harrison joined Chase d’Arnaud and Alex Presley as the new kids on the block in Pittsburgh.  Backfilling, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were both promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.  INF Josh Rodriguez was sent down to Altoona.

Bradenton Marauders  8,  St. Lucie Mets  1
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A 5-run 4th inning gave the Marauders a big boost, as they bombarded the Mets in Bradenton.  Pedro Alvarez started the game at third base for the Marauders.  He grounded out in the 1st inning, then singled to lead off the 4th, and was hit by a pitch in the 5th. It was not a particularly busy day at third base for Alvarez, but he successfully fielded 3 grounders that came his way.  Elevys Gonzalez took over for Alvarez at the beginning of the 6th.   

Brett Lorin allowed only one run in his start, and earned his 3rd win of the season (3-4 record).  The lone run scored in the 3rd, on a hit batter, a ground out, and a ground-rule double.  Lorin scattered 3 more hits, no walks, over the rest of his 6 innings.  He hit another batter and he struck out 5.  

The Marauders got onto the scoreboard when they batted around in the 4th.  Alvarez’s single got the fun started, then 1B Aaron Baker lined a double into left field, moving Alvarez to third.  DH Adalberto Santos walked to load the bases.  CF Evan Chambers brought in Alvarez with an RBI single, and C Carlos Paulino’s double into center field plated both Baker and Santos.  LF David Rubinstein walked to load the bases again.  After a pitching change, SS Kelson Brown’s RBI ground out scored Chambers, and RF Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice fly brought in Paulino, to give the Marauders a 5-1 lead.  

Tyler Cox replaced Lorin to begin the 7th inning.  Cox walked the first batter he faced, then retired the next 6, including two strikeouts in each inning.   Duke Welker pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th, with one strikeout.  

The Marauders also did some late-inning scoring.  Brown and Grossman led off the 7th with back-to-back singles, and 2B Jarek Cunningham drove both of them in with his double into right field.  Chambers started the 9th with a single, and moved to second base on a wild pitch.  He tagged up and advanced to third on Rubinstein’s fly out, then scored on a wild pitch, to give the Marauders their 8 run total.  

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Bowker’s Homer Is A Bright Spot; Presley Up To Pirates

Pawtucket Red Sox  4,  Indianapolis Indians 1
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IMG_5417The Indianapolis Indians came away with a series split against Pawtucket, giving them a 5-3 win of the season series with the Red Sox.  The Indians out-hit the PawSox 9-4 at Victory Field tonight, but Pawtucket made their runs count and left town with the win.

Equally as big for the Tribe: the flurry of roster moves that affected the Indians today.  The Pirates optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to the Indians, in order to make room for the move that has been eagerly anticipated by Tribe fans — OF Alex Presley (photo) was promoted to Pittsburgh.  The Pirates had a scheduled day off today, but Presley will join the team tomorrow in Toronto.  He may make appearances as a pinch-hitter in the intraleague games, or he might also play some outfield since Jose Tabata has been injured.

Tribe C Wyatt Toregas, who left yesterday’s game due to injury, was placed on the Indians’ Disabled List today, yet another catcher in the Pirates’ organization to be sidelined.  The Pirates do not feel that catchers Tony Sanchez and Travis Scott are ready for moving up to AAA.  They sought help from outside the organizaton :  former Indy Indian and Altoona Curve catcher Miguel Perez is once again an Indian.  Perez played in the Pirates’ organization during the 2008 and 2009 season.  He hit .281 for the Curve in 57 games in 2008, with 2 homers and 22 RBI, and in 30 games for the Curve in 2009, Perez hit .262 with another 2 homers and 12 RBI.  Perez got into just 7 games for the Indians in 2009, and hit .182.

IMG_6188And, last but not least, pitcher Mike Crotta finished his rehab assignment, and was reinstated of the Pirates’ Disabled List.  He was immediately optioned to Indianapolis.  In order to make space on the roster, pitcher Brad Lincoln was moved to the Altoona roster.  This was a paper move only.  Lincoln is in a holding pattern, expected to be called up to pitch for the Pirates when they have a double header on Saturday.  And, Lincoln was right here tonight, coaching at first base (photo).  

OK, on to the game:

Justin Wilson made his 15th start for the Tribe, in search of his 10th win of the season.  He was foiled, though by two tough innings.  After retiring the first four PawSox he faced, Wilson walked 1B Hector Luna in the 2nd.  The next batter, 2B Nate Spears, with his own private cheering section from Anderson, Indiana in the stands, smashed a long fly ball over the right field wall for a 2-run homer.  

Wilson struck out the next two batters to finish the inning, then retired the side in order again in the 3rd.  The 4th inning began with Wilson hitting DH Lars Anderson with a pitch.  Luna grounded to short, where SS Brian Friday made the scoop and the toss to 2B Josh Harrison.  But with Anderson barrelling down on him and an off-balance toss, Harrison made the out at second, but dropped the ball as he went to transfer, and they could not get the double play they’d hoped for.  Spears flied out to center field, but 3B Brent Dlugach hit a single to behind second base, moving Luna to third.  Wilson walked SS Jose Iglesias to load the bases with two outs.  LF Matt Sheely took advantage of the loaded bases and lined a single into left field, scoring both Luna and Dlugach, to give the PawSox 4 runs.

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Three Hits For Hague And Presley Held Out Of Game

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Indianapolis Indians  7,  Pawtucket Red Sox  5
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The Indianapolis Indians withstood a late-inning surge by the Red Sox, to beat Pawtucket this afternoon at Victory Field, and earn at least a split of this 4-game series.  The PawSox won the first game of the series on Friday night, but the Tribe has taken the next two games.  The two teams’ final meeting of the season will be on Monday evening.

Before the game even started, there was a bit of drama for the Indians.  About 10 minutes before game time, the Indians received word from Pittsburgh that Pirates’ outfielder (and former Indian) Jose Tabata had been injured while running out a bunt.  Tabata had crossed the first base bag, then sank to the ground with a left quadriceps problem.  He had to be taken off the field on a cart, but was later able to walk around the clubhouse, though limping.  The Pirates were strongly considering calling up Tribe outfielder Alex Presley, probably within a couple more days, but depending on the severity of Tabata’s injury, they felt that timetable might have to be moved up.  So, just before the Indians’ game began, Presley was removed from the lineup.  He may already be on his way to Pittsburgh, or may wait another day, since the Pirates have a scheduled off day on Monday.  

IMG_6173With Presley cheering the team on, and coaching first base (photo), the Indians got down to business with the PawSox.  They recorded 11 hits (to 12 for Pawtucket), and had only one inning without at least one baserunner.  Every member of the line-up got on base at least once during the game, and 1B Matt Hague led the way with 3 hits.  

The Tribe got warmed up with two base runners in the 1st inning, when SS Brian Friday walked and Hague lined a single into left field, but both were left on base.  The 2nd inning began with a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez and a grounder up the middle for a single by RF Miles Durham.  C Wyatt Toregas dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt toward the third base side of the mound.  Pawtucket starter Felix Doubront fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to first base sailed high over the 1B Lars Anderson’s head and into the visitors’ bullpen.  By the time the PawSox chased the ball down, Rodriguez and Durham had both scored (Durham from first), and Toregas was standing on second base.  CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded out to third, and Toregas held at second, but when DH Corey Wimberly blooped a single into right-center field, Toregas advanced to third — and took himself out of the game.  Toregas had apparently suffered an injury, though it was not apparent what was wrong.  He did not seem to be limping, and didn’t slide into third oddly.  Kris Watts, who was brought up from AA Altoona (again) yesterday, took Toregas’ place at third base as a pinch-runner, then remained in the game as catcher.  Watts did not get to run from third, though, as Friday bounced into an inning-ending double play, but the Indians had taken a 2-0 lead.  

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Tribe Rox PawSox With Wild Bottom Of The 9th

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Josh Harrison’s throw to Brian Friday at second base was not in time to beat Pawtucket base runner Ryan Lavarnway.

Indianapolis Indians 6,  Pawtucket Red Sox  5
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The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of a wild Pawtucket pitcher to score the winning run in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off win at Victory Field tonight.  The Indians were sporting camouflage jerseys tonight in honor of the Indianapolis National Guard.  The jerseys were auctioned off during the game with the proceeds going toward the National Guard’s fund that assists families of soldiers serving overseas.  

IMG_6140The game began ominously for starter Garrett Olson (photo) and the Indians.  Since coming off the Disabled List earlier this month, Olson had made 3 other starts and had pitched brilliantly.  He had allowed one run on 3 hits over 14.1 innings, and on June 14th, he pitched 5 hitless and scoreless innings, allowing just one walk.  But tonight, the first 5 batters Olson faced reached base safely, and the PawSox scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  Lead-off batter 2B Yamaico Navarro slapped Olson’s first pitch into left field for a line drive.  3B Brent Dlugach followed with an instant replay — another line drive to the same place in left field.  Olson got a full count on LF Daniel Nava, then lost him to a walk, loading the bases with no outs.  1B Hector Luna slipped a grounder through the left side of the infield for an RBI single, bringing in Navarro from third.  C Ryan Lavarnway took a slow grounder to short, where Tribe SS Brian Friday made the scoop and threw to 2B Josh Harrison for the force out on Luna, but Harrison’s relay throw to first was not in time to get the double play — the grounder had been too slow.  That allowed Dlugach to score from third, an since it was not a double play, Lavarnway was credited with the RBI.  RF Nate Spears also picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Nava.  But the equally important part of Spears’ at-bat was that Spears ran the count full, and continued to foul off more pitches.  It took Olson 10 pitches to retire Spears, and by this point in the inning, Olson’s pitch count was climbing at an alarming rate.  Following Spears’ sacrifice fly, Olson gave up another infield single to DH Luis Esposito.   Harrison raced to make the stop deep behind the second base bag and tried to flip it to Friday covering second, but was not in time (photo above).  SS Jose Iglesias also worked a full count and fouled off another four pitches before finally swinging at strike three to end the inning.  The PawSox had scored 3 runs before the Indians had even picked up a bat, and Olson had thrown 39 pitches in the first inning.  

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PawSox Early And Late Rallies Crush Tribe

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Brad Lincoln made the start for the Indians, and was charged with his 7th loss.  

Pawtucket Red Sox  12,  Indianapolis Indians  3
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Two big innings by the Pawtucket gave the Red Sox plenty of in-game fireworks to warm up the crowd for the post-game fireworks at Victory Field tonight.  The PawSox scored 4 runs in the 2nd and 5 runs in the 8th, and their total of 12 runs came on just 10 hits.

IMG_5134Indians’ starter Brad Lincoln mowed down the first five batters he faced, striking out three of them.  But with two outs in the top of the 2nd, Lincoln suddenly got into trouble.  DH Ryan Lavarnway ripped a double into the right-center field gap for a double.  RF Nate Spears lined a single into center field, which CF Gorkys Hernandez fired back to the plate, as Lavarnway rounded third and headed for the plate.  The throw was on-target and on-time, but C Eric Fryer couldn’t keep hold of it as he went to make the tag.  The ball dropped to the ground, and Lavarnway slid across the plate safely.  Lincoln walked C Luis Expositon on four pitches, then 2B Brent Dlugach rocketed a double over RF Alex Presley’s head and off the top of the right field wall.  That brought in Spears, but Presley’s strong throw in from right made Exposition hold up at third.  With both runners in scoring position, CF Che-Hsuan Lin blooped a single into short center field, which dropped in between three Tribe fielders, brining in both Exposito and Dlugach, for a 4-0 lead.  

Hernandez (photo) came through with a clutch double to help the Indians cut the PawSox lead in half in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, 3B Josh Harrison, just back from Pittsburgh, took a 4-pitch walk from Pawtucket starter Kyle Weiland.  Fryer grounded out, then 2B Josh Rodriguez also walked.  Hernandez followed with a double off the top of the wall in the right-center field gap, and both Joshes raced around to score.  The rally ended when Presley popped out to second, leaving Hernandez stranded, but the Tribe had made progress:  4-2.

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