Alex Presley is congratulated after one of his two home runs.
Indianapolis Indians 13, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
The Indianapolis Indians exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits to defeat the Yankees at Victory Field tonight, earning a split of both the 4-game series and the 8-game season series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LF Alex Presley blasted a pair of 3-run home runs to lead the offense, as each member of the line-up collected at least one hit, and all but one scored at least one run.
Both starting pitchers began their evening with struggles in the first inning. For Tribe starter Justin Wilson (photo), the game started with a triple off the bat of Yankees’ 2B Kevin Russo. Russo’s lined into right field, where RF Miles Durham raced in and made a feet-first slide, but missed the ball. By the time, Durham got up and chased the ball down, Russo was gliding into third base. SS Ramiro Pena dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, with Wilson scrambling off the mound to make the scoop and throw right back to C Eric Fryer as Russo came from third. Fryer blocked the plate, but he dropped the ball, and Russo was safe. It was first ruled a sacrifice bunt and a fielders’ choice — but then the ruling was changed to a missed catch error on Fryer, with no RBI for Pena.
With a runner still on first base, Wilson got C Jesus Montero to fly out and struck out 3B Jorge Vazquez. A wild pitch moved Pena to second base, then he scored on 1B Brandon Laird’s single, lined over SS Chase d’Arnaud’s head and into left field. Both runs were unearned, but the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.
But Yankees’ starter Andrew Brackman was having his own troubles. His pitches were going everywhere, with no apparent control on his part. He walked lead-off batter d’Arnaud, with d’Arnaud ducking out of the way as one pitch came in a little too close to his head, and ball four going crazy wild all the way to the backstop. Another crazy wild pitch to 2B Brian Friday let d’Arnaud advance to second base. Brackman settled down enough to get Friday to fly out, then retired Presley on a high bouncer back to the mound, and struck out 1B John Bowker. When Brackman came out for the second inning, his command was even worse — reminiscent of the “Wild Thing” character in the movie “Major League”. Brackman walked both 3B Andy Marte and DH Matt Hague, with pitches going everywhere. After three more balls for a 3-1 count on Fryer, Brackman threw another wild one that hit Fryer on his helmet, then bounced off the helmet and into the stands behind the visitors’ dugout. That was the last pitch for Brackman, who was quickly yanked.
Reliever Ryan Pope came on for the Yankees, with the bases full and no outs. RF Miles Durham cleared the bases on Pope’s first pitch, with a ringing double to the base of the wall in right-center field, and the Indians took a 3-2 lead as Marte, Hague, and Fryer all scored (photo). Pope also gave up a single to CF Gorkys Hernandez and walked Friday before ending the inning on two fly outs.
Wilson was able to relax after that first inning. He gave up a two-out single to CF Austin Krum in the 2nd inning, but struck out Russo to end the inning. He loaded the bases in the 3rd inning with singles by Montero and RF Jordan Parraz and a walk to Vazquez. But with two outs and the bases loaded, Wilson reached deep, and fired two pitches at 92-93 mph to strike out LF Dan Brewer and end the inning. Wilson went on to pitch 3 more innings, without allowing another hit. He walked two batters in the 5th, but erased one base runner with an around-the-horn double play (Marte to Friday to Bowker, 5-4-3). Alex Presley made the final out of the inning with a spectacular leaping catch of Laird’s fly ball to deep left field, snatching the ball at the top of the left field scoreboard.
Shelby Ford gets the force out at second base, as Brian Friday backs him up.
Indianapolis Indians 8, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 5
The Indianapolis Indians engineered another come-from-behind win tonight, to defeat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Victory Field. 2B Shelby Ford (photo), who last played for the Indians in 2009, celebrated his return to AAA with 3 hits and started two big Tribe rallies. LF John Bowker also contributed 3 hits and 3 RBI. Reliever Tony Watson celebrated his 26th birthday with two scoreless innings of work, including 5 strikeouts.
When starters Sean Gallager and Adam Warren squared off last week, Warren dominated the Indians and held the Tribe batters to just 3 hits in 8 innings. Today, Gallagher and the Tribe turned the tables on Warren.
The Yankees began the game by taking advantage of an error in the top of the 1st. With one out, Gallagher walked SS Ramiro Pena, then gave up a single up the middle to DH Jesus Montero. 1B Jorge Vazquez tapped a fast bouncer back to the mound, which Gallagher easily fielded. He whirled and fired to Ford covering second base (photo above), for the force out on Montero. Ford’s relay on to first base, though, was airmailed and landed in the visitor’s dugout. Vazquez was awarded second base, and Pena, who had reached third base, was sent on home, for the Yankees’ first run of the game. The run would have been unearned, but while pitching to CF Justin Maxwell, Gallagher threw a wild pitch. If the throwing error had not been made, Pena would have been on third base, and would have scored on the wild pitch, which changed to run from “unearned” to “earned”. Maxwell popped out to Ford to end the inning.
Pawtucket Red Sox 9, Indianapolis Indians 2
The Pawtucket Red Sox had enough of losing to the Indians, and enough of losing at home. They had lost 8 of their last 9 home games, including the last 3 games to the Tribe. So maybe it isn’t so surprising that their frustration erupted into a 12-hit game, as they scored in all but two of their at-bats to beat the Indians 9-2 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The Indians started the game on the right foot. With two outs in the top of the 1st and rehabbing Bobby Jenks on the mound for Pawtucket, LF Alex Presley worked a walk, then stole second base. He came around to score from second on a single up the middle by 3B Andy Marte (photo), who also stole second base. That gave the Tribe a 1-0 lead…. and that was all the scoring they would do until the 9th inning.
Brad Lincoln had the start for the Indians. He began the bottom of the 1st by giving up a single to CF Che-Hsuan Lin, and he too stole second base. A ground out moved Lin to third and 3B Hector Luna plated Lin with a line drive single into center field, tying the score at 1-1. As seemed to be the trend, Luna stole second base too.
Unfortunately, the PawSox had their hitting shoes on. They took the lead in the bottom of the 2nd, after Lincoln struck out the first two batters. SS Brent Dlugach was hit by a pitch, and RF Ronald Bermudez doubled into right field. Dlugach raced around from first base to score ahead of the errant relay throw from the cut-off man 2B Josh Harrison. That gave the PawSox a 2-1 lead. Lincoln gave up a single in the 3rd, but did not allow a run to score in that inning. A double by 2B Tony Thomas and an RBI single by Bermudez added a run in the 4th. Lincoln was attacked again in the 5th, with a double by Lin, an RBI single by LF Daniel Nava, bringing in Lin. A fielding error by CF Gorkys Hernandez moved Nava to second, and he tagged up and advanced to third on a fly out. Nava scored on a wild pitch by Lincoln, increasing the PawSox lead to 5-1.
Indianapolis Indians 6, Pawtucket Red Sox 3
3B Andy Marte (photo) blasted a grand slam in the top of the 9th to boost the Indians to a win over the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Brian Burres made the start for the Indians, though he did not figure into the decision tonight. After retiring the PawSox in order in the 1st inning, Burres gave up a double to LF Daniel Nava with one out in the 2nd. A walk to C Luis Expositio followed. 1B Matt Hague dropped a foul pop that should have been an out, giving 2B Brent Dlugach a second chance. Dlugach took advantage of the opportunity, ripping a double on a line into left field, driving in Nava. Exposito advanced to third base. SS Jose Iglasias lined a single up the middle, and Exposito also scored. Dlugach rounded third and headed for the plate, but was tagged out at the plate when CF Gorkys Hernandez’s throw to C Dusty Brown was on target and on time.
Boston Red Sox’ Bobby Jenks, with Pawtucket on a rehab assignment, pitched the first inning for the PawSox. He threw 14 pitches (8 strikes) for a scoreless inning, though LF Alex Presley singled off Jenks, with a liner into center field.
When Jenks finished his inning, he was relieved by the regularly scheduled starter, Matt Fox. The first two Indians who faced Fox reached base — Hague singled into left field, and Marte worked a walk. Fox got out of the jam by striking out DH Jason Jaramillo, getting Brown to fly out, then doubling Hague off second base.
Indianapolis Indians 5, Scranton /Wilkes-Barre Yankees 3
The Indians’ bullpen shut down the Yankees’ bats in the second half of the game, as the Tribe took the first game of this 4-game series at PNC Field in Moosic, PA. Starter Brian Burres earned his second win of the season, while RF John Bowker and C Jason Jaramillo contributed 2 RBI each.
The Indians got right down to business in the top of the 1st, opening the game with back-to-back line drive singles into left field by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 2B Josh Harrison. After a strikeout by LF Alex Presley, Bowker loaded the bases with a line drive single to right field. 1B Matt Hague (photo) made it four line drive singles (to left again), and his single drove in both d’Arnaud and Harrison to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
The Yankees came right back with two runs off Tribe starter Brian Burres in the bottom of the 1st. Burres got a ground out, then gave up a single to SS Romiro Pena, followed by a 2-run homer to C Jesus Montero. LF Justin Maxwell struck out, then 1B Brandon Laird singled, and Burres walked 2B Kevin Russo. A grounder to short by RF Dan Brewer forced Russo out at second base, to get Burres and the Indians out of the inning, with the score tied 2-2.
Burres settled in after that first inning. Relying on his breaking ball and changeup, Burres retired the next 8 S/W-B batters in a row, before allowing a single in the 4th inning. Brewer lifted a fly ball into right field, and advanced to second base on a fielding error by Bowker in right. The error was made meaningless with a fly out to end the inning.