Louisville Batts 5, Indianapolis Indians 2
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The Indianapolis Indians and Louisville Bats played 6.5 scoreless innings at Louisville Slugger Field, before each team scored in its last two at-bats. The Bats’ first rally was sparked by their winning pitcher Daryl Thompson, and the second rally, in the bottom of the 8th, was aided by 3 Indians’ errors. The Tribe was not able to catch up, and the Bats took the first game of this 4-game away-and-home series.
Justin Wilson (photo) made the start for the Indians, coming off a tough start last Saturday in Toledo. He got through the first two innings rather quickly, allowing just one hit, a double by Bats’ 1B Todd Frazier in the 2nd. Wilson worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the 3rd. 3B Michael Griffin reached base when his Tribe counterpart 3B Pedro Alvarez bobbled his grounder for an error. After two outs, 2B Chris Valaika grounded to short, where SS Jordy Mercer also had trouble with bobbles on the scoop. Valaika reached base ahead of Mercer’s throw, and the play was ruled a single. LF Yonder Alonso walked to load the bases. Wilson bore down and got C Devin Mesoraco to fly out to RF Anthony Norman, to escape the inning without a run scoring.
Wilson worked around a single by Frazier in the 4th inning, then got into another jam in the 5th. He walked the opposing pitcher Thompson, and hit Valaika with a pitch. With two outs, Mesoraco hit a screaming liner right back at Wilson. The ball hit Wilson’s glove and dropped, but Wilson was so surprised that it took him a moment to realize that the ball had been stopped and had not sailed into the outfield. Then he looked up, thinking that maybe the ball was still in the air, then finally looked down — and still took a moment to realize that the ball was at his feet. Mesoraco was safe on first, and the bases were loaded, but Wilson had kept the ball from going into the outfield and allowing at least 2 runs to score. He ended the inning with a ground out by RF Jeremy Hermida, leaving the bases full of Bats for the second time in the game.
That was all for Wilson, on a hot and humid night. He had thrown 97 pitches (57 strikes), and thrown 5 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 walks, with 5 strikeouts. Wilson was relieved by former Bat (just a couple of weeks ago) Steven Jackson, who retired his old teammates in order in the 6th.
Indianapolis Indians 4, Toledo Mud Hens 3
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After 5 scoreless innings with a tie score, the Indians pushed across a run in the top of the 12th, then held on for the win over the Mud Hens at Fifth-Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.
With two outs in the top of the 12th, 2B/3B Brian Friday worked a walk. LF John Bowker (photo) lashed a double into the right-center field alley, over the head of Toledo RF Ben Guez, and off the wall. Friday was off and running with the pitch, and he rounded third and headed for the plate as Guez chased down the ball. He crossed the plate well ahead of the throw, scoring the go-ahead run for the Indians.
The Mud Hens jumped right on Tribe starter Justin Wilson in the bottom of the 1st inning. Lead-off batter DH Will Rhymes with a single, and LF Timo Perez doubled, putting runners on the corners. Rhymes scored on an RBI single into right field by rehabbing 2B Carlos Guillen, and Perez came in on an RBI single by 1B Ryan Strieby, for a 2-0 lead. Strieby stole second base and 3B Danny Worth walked. Wilson got out of the inning when he struck out RF Scott Thorman, and C Kris Watts fired down to third base, throwing out Strieby trying to steal third. SS Cale Iorg added a run in the 2nd inning on a solo homer, giving the Mud Hens a 3-0 lead.
Wilson went on to pitch 4 more innings, scattering 3 more singles (by Rhymes, Iorg, and Strieby) and two walks (Guillen and Strieby), but he did not allow another run. He threw 91 pitches, with 52 strikes.
Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Indianapolis Indians 1
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The 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.
And, 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.
Indianapolis Indians 10, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 5
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The newest Indian, Josh Rodriguez, went 3-for-3 with 4 RBI as the Indianapolis Indians overcame a 4-0 deficit to beat the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA tonight. The Indians posted 15 hits, while the Iron Pigs put up 14 hits; the Tribe also worked 8 walks. SS Brian Friday also had 3 hits for the Indians, as all but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit. The Tribe pitchers combined to strikeout 14 Iron Pigs’ batters.
Once again, several former Indy Indians were on the field for Lehigh Valley: CF Rich Thompson (2005-06), LF Brandon Moss (2010), 1B Tagg Bozied (2009).
Starter Rudy Owens (photo), who has been having trouble getting through the first inning in many of his starts this season, had problems again tonight. Rich Thompson led off with a line drive off 1B Matt Hague’s glove and into short right field for a single. As usual for the speedy Thompson, he stole second base. SS Pete Orr moved Thompson to third base with a single tapped back to the mound and deflected by Owens. RF John Mayberry brought in both Thompson and Orr with a 3-run homer. Owens got Brandon Moss to pop out, but Tagg Bozied blasted a no-doubt-about-it homer over the left field wall and well past the bullpen, for a 4-0 lead. Owens also gave up a double to 2B Josh Barfield after the homer, but a fly out and a strike out ended the inning.
The Tribe put runners on base in each of the first three innings, though none of them came around to score. Chase d’Arnaud, who was on third base again tonight, led off the top of the 1st for the Indians by reaching first when SS Orr made a high throw to first base, bouncing it off the screen in front of the Indians’ bullpen. Friday singled, moving d’Arnaud to second, and a fly out by LF Alex Presley moved d’Arnaud to third. But RF John Bowker bounced into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning, keeping d’Arnaud from scoring.
The Indians threatened again in the 2nd inning, when Hague lined a ball off the Iron Pigs’ 3B Cody Overbeck’s glove and into left field. With one out, new Indian 2B Josh Rodriguez grounded to short, where SS Orr made the scoop then fumbled the ball a bit, and Rodriguez was credited with his first Indians’ hit. A grounder by CF Gorkys Hernandez forced out Rodriguez at second, but left runners on the corners with two outs. They got no further that time either, as Owens struck out to end the inning. Presley singled in the 3rd inning, but was left on base.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Rochester Red Wings 5 (Game 1)
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A 4-run 6th inning gave the Indians the edge this afternoon at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY, despite being out-hit 13-9. SS Chase d’Arnaud led the Tribe with 3 hits and 2 RBI, and LF Alex Presley and 3B Andy Marte had 2 hits apiece.
Both teams got their scoring started early with 2 runs in the 1st inning. With former Indy Indian (2009) Eric Hacker making the start for Rochester, d’Arnaud began with a strikeout, then 2B Corey Wimberly was hit by a pitch. Presley walked, and when Hacker pick-off attempt went wild, both runners moved into scoring position on the error. RF John Bowker’s grounder let the Rochester third baseman fire back to the plate, where Wimberly was tagged out. With Bowker still on first base, Marte lined a double into left field, scoring both Presley and Bowker for the early 2-0 lead.
The Red Wings came right back in the bottom of the inning. The first batter Brian Burres faced, CF Dustin Martin, doubled into right field, and the next batter, SS Trevor Plouffe, smacked a 2-run homer to tie the score.
Marte doubled again in to lead off the top of the 4th, and when the Wings’ right fielder misplayed the ball, Marte advanced to third. A sacrifice fly by 1B Matt Hague plated Marte, to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
Burres had a tough second inning to work through. The lead off batter, 3B Chase Lambin, led off with a single, but was picked off first and caught stealing. After a ground out, a walk, a single by Martin, and another walk loaded the bases. Burres got out of the jam with a ground out, leaving the bases full. Burres also got lucky in the 4th, when another single by Lambin and a double by C Steve Holm had Lambin rounding third and heading for the plate. Presley made the play on the double in left field, then his throw in was relayed by d’Arnaud, who fired on to C Wyatt Toregas for the tag out of Lambin at the plate.