Columbus Clippers 6, Indianapolis Indians 4
A big inning by the Clippers and too many missed opportunities by the Indians added up to another loss for the Tribe as the two teams opened a 3-game series at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Neither starting pitcher made it out of the 4th inning. 3B Josh Harrison (photo) had two hits for the Indians and came around to score twice.
The Indians got started with an unearned run in the top of the 1st. With one out, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled up the middle and LF Alex Presley singled into left field, sending d’Arnaud to third. Presley stole second base, then 1B Matt Hague walked to load the bases. DH Andy Marte grounded to short, where Columbus SS Cord Phelps had the ball pop out of his glove. Everyone was safe on the error and d’Arnaud scored from third. But the inning ended with a strikeout by C Dusty Brown, and all three runners were left on base. Josh Harrison made it a 2-0 lead when he led off the top of the 2nd with a long and high blast into the left field bleachers.
Brian Burres, in his fourth start of the season, zipped through the bottom of the 1st, thanks to a stunning play by Harrison at third. His counterpart at third base, Lonnie Chisenhall, smacked a sharp grounder to third, where Harrison made the scoop, then made a throw across his body on the run, in time to nab Chisenhall at first. Burres gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd, to RF Travis Buck, followed by a double by Phelps, though Burres was able to work around the double and leave Phelps on base.
Indianapolis Indians 4, Toledo Mud Hens 2
The Indianapolis Indians battled the blustery weather as well as the Toldeo Mud Hens in a late-morning school day start in Toledo today. They earned the win, giving them a 3-1 record on the road so far this season.
Justin Wilson (photo) pitched 6 scoreless innings in his third start of the season, to earn his first AAA win. He gave up 2 hits, both in the 3rd inning. RF Andy Dirks dropped a looper into short right field, just out of reach of the leaping Tribe SS Chase d’Arnaud, then 2B Scott Sizemore put a sinking liner into right field, off the glove of RF Gorkys Hernandez. Wilson left both on base with a fly out and a ground out. Wilson also worked around two singles and a batter reaching on a fielding error by SS Pedro Ciriaco in the 2nd inning. That was a wind-blown ball into short right field, with Ciriaco, 3B Josh Harrison, and LF Alex Presley all chasing after it. Ciriaco tried to make a last-second twisting over-the-shoulder catch and missed. Wilson threw 97 pitches with 62 strikes in his 6 innings.
The gusty wind helped the Indians as well as hurt them. In the top of the 2nd, DH Andy Marte lifted the first pitch he saw into the wind, which took it over the left field wall for a solo home run. Marte nearly had another home run in the 5th inning, but that time his fly to left field was just short, and was caught at the wall.
The Tribe had only one hit over the next three innings — a double by Harrison in the 5th, when the wind did the same thing to the Mud Hens that it had done to Ciriaco and the Indians in the 3rd. Harrison’s high pop got caught in the wind, and with the infielders running out and the outfielders running in, the ball fell in just out of reach of SS Cale Iorg. In both instances, the outfielders might have had a better chance at running in to make the catch, but instead they let their shortstops take over. Harrison made a quick steal of third base, but he was left stranded when Hernandez struck out.
Brian Burress pitched 7 shutout innings and struck out 8 in today’s start.
Louisville Bats 6, Indianapolis Indians 4
A two-run home run by Bats’ RF Brian Barton in the bottom of the 13th gave the Bats the win over the Indians, on a long sunny afternoon in Louisville today. Tony Watson had come on in relief to begin the 13th, and after two quick outs, he was one out away from ending the game, when he gave up a single to 2B Kris Negron. That was followed by the long blast over the left-center field wall.
Brian Burres made the start for the Indians, facing off against the Cincinnati Reds’ Homer Bailey, who was making a rehab start. It was a pitching duel, and though Burres looked better than Bailey, neither one of them allowed a run. Burres gave up two singles to open the bottom of the 1st, then struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning. He gave up a single in the 2nd, but struck out two of the other three batters he faced. Then Burres struck out the Bats in order for the next 4 innings — 14 consecutive batters retired. With one out in the 7th, Burres gave up the Bats’ 4th hit, then set down two more to finish his afternoon’s work. Burres struck out 8 batters and did not walk any. He threw 81 pitches, with 56 strikes.
Homer Bailey (photo) allowed only 2 hits in his 5 innings, with 2 strikeouts. He buzzed through the first inning, then with one out in the 2nd, Bailey gave up a double into left field to RF Andrew Lambo. 3B Josh Harrison grounded to third, but a throwing error put him safely on first. C Dusty Brown’s fly out let both runners advance. 2B Brian Friday worked a full count, then took a walk, but with the bases loaded, Burres bounced to third, where 3B Todd Frazier took just a couple steps to force out Harrison and end the threat.
Manager Dean Treanor stands with Dusty Brown, one of only two Indians’ runners to reach as far as third base.
Louisville Bats 3, Indianapolis Indians 0
Louisville starter and former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis (photo) held the Indians to 6 scoreless innings, and his relievers did the same for the remaining 3 innings, as the Indians lost to the Bats at Victory Field tonight.
Willis allowed 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6 batters in his 6 innings of work. The Indians had only two base runners reach as far as third base. In the 2nd inning, C Dusty Brown worked a walk with two outs. He advanced to third base on RF Gorkys Hernandez’s line drive single down the right field line. Brown got no further, as Willis struck out both 2B Brian Friday and starting pitcher Brad Lincoln to end the inning.
Willis gave up back-to-back singles in the 4th inning, but the Indians could not capitalize on that either. 1B Matt Hague slapped a grounder that took a goofy hop on the mound. Willis stabbed at the ball, but he stumbled, then took a tumble (but came up laughing), and Hague was safe at first. Moments later, Bats’ catcher Corky Miller picked Hague off first base, and threw him out trying to reach second base. 3B Josh Harrison also lined a single into right field, then stole both second and third bases. Two strikeouts left him standing there too.
Dusty Brown is congratulated after his home run
Louisville Bats 10, Indianapolis Indians 4
The Louisville Bats started their onslaught with 5 runs in the top of the 1st inning, and never looked back at Victory Field tonight. The Indians out-hit the Bats 12-11, but the Tribe left 10 of their runners on base, while the Bats left only 6. One high point for the Tribe was that RF Andrew Lambo and 1B Andy Marte, both of whom had been struggling at the plate, both hit well tonight — Marte singled twice and drove in a run, while Lambo singled twice, doubled, and brought in a run.
With Sean Gallagher (photo, with C Dusty Brown) on the mound, things got crazy right away in the top of the 1st. CF Dave Sappelt lined a double into left field to lead off. Gallagher got a strikeout and a grounder to first, which moved Sappelt to third. Then he walked 3B Todd Frazier and hit RF Jeremy Hermida with a pitch to load the bases. C Devin Mesoraco singled into right field, bringing in both Sappelt from third and Frazier from second. When Lambo threw the ball in from right field to the plate, it came in up the line, and C Dusty Brown had no chance of tagging Frazier. Instead he tried throwing to second base, in hopes of catching Mesoraco, who was trying to advance on the throw. But Brown’s throw bounced in the dirt and away from SS Chase d’Arnaud for a throwing error, and that let Hermida score too. Mesoraco remained on second base, but only for a few minutes, because 1B Danny Dorn smacked a 2-run homer over the right field wall, giving the Bats a 5-0 lead.
The Indians answered back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning. Corey Wimberly, who had center field duties tonight, was hit by a pitch on the right foot to begin the frame. He was forced out at second when d’Arnaud grounded to third, though there was not time for a double play. LF Alex Presley kept right on hitting, with a grounder up the middle for a single, and the Indians had runners on the corners. Matt Hague, playing third tonight, lifted a fly into left center, but it was caught with a very nice effort by Bats’ LF Yonder Alonso. Andy Marte slipped a single up the middle just past the diving Bats’ shortstop, driving in d’Arnaud from third base. Andrew Lambo lined a single into left center also, bringing in Presley. SS Pedro Ciriaco struck out to end the inning, but the Indians had made a dent in the Bats’ lead.