All-Star Hague Delivers Win For Indians

Indianapolis Indians  3,  Syracuse Chiefs  0
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IMG_5294Thursday was a very good day for Indianapolis Indians’ 1B Matt Hague (photo).   He was named to the International League’s All-Star Team in the morning, then led his team to a victory over the Chiefs at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY in the evening.  

This won’t be Hague’s first All-Star Game — he participated in the 2010 Eastern League All-Star Game.  He is the Indians’ only player on this year’s IL All-Star Team, though Tribe manager Dean Treanor will be serving the IL as a bench coach.  The Louisville Bats have 3 position players in the IL’s starting line-up, plus one reserve player.  The Durham Bulls have 2 position players among the starters, plus one reserve player.  Lehigh Valley and Columbus both have 2 pitchers named to the team.  Former Indy Indian C Erik Kratz, now with Lehigh Valley, has been named to the IL All-Star team for the third season in a row.  In his first AAA All-Star Game, Kratz was named the most valuable player, and in last season’s game, he was notified of his major league call-up in the middle of the game and his astonished response was on national television.  There will be a familiar face on the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star Team — LHP Dana Eveland, who pitched for the Indians and the Pirates will be represeting the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers).  

Hague continued his day with a 3-for-3 night at the plate, including a double, and he was responsible for driving in 2 of the Indians’ 3 runs.  C Kris Watts also had a fine night, with a pair of doubles.  Pitchers Garrett Olson and Steven Jackson combined for a 2-hit shutout.  

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Burres Struggles, But Ciriaco Returns With A Vengeance

Syracuse Chiefs  8,  Indianapolis Indians  5
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IMG_5659The Indians opened a 4-game series against the Syracuse Chiefs tonight with a disappointing loss at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY.  Starter Brian Burres suffered the loss, unable to get out of the 4th inning.  2B Pedro Ciriaco (photo), in his first game back with the Indians after being sent down from Pittsburgh, extended his (interrupted) hitting streak to 8 games with 3 hits.  

The Pirates’ roster shuffling continued today.  OF Jose Tabata was officially placed onto the Disabled List with the injury to his quad.  That move allowed them to bring INF Josh Harrison back to the big league team immediately, instead of having to wait for 10 days after they’d sent him down.  And, as anticipated, OF Alex Presley was officially placed onto the Pirates’ active roster.  

In order to fill in spots on the Indians’ roster, OF Anthony Norman and SS Jordy Mercer were promoted from AA Altoona to Indianapolis today.  Mercer had been hitting .268 for the Curve, with 17 doubles, 13 homers, and 48 RBI.  Norman had appeared in 15 games for the Curve, hitting .342 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 RBI.  Also, INF Josh Rodriguez was sent to Altoona.  Just acquired from the Cleveland Indians last week, Rodriguez was 5-for-11 at the plate with 6 RBI for the Tribe in 4 games.  

 
IMG_5998LF John Bowker got the Indians going tonight with his third home run in three days.  Newcomer RF Anthony Norman began the game with a ground-rule double down the left field line.  2B Pedro Ciriaco dropped down a bunt and beat it out for a single, moving Norman to third.  That brought up Bowker, who blasted a 3-run homer over the right field wall.  1B Matt Hague followed the homer with a double, and 3B Andy Marte walked, but the were left on base.  The Indians had a quick 3-0 lead.  

Starter Brian Burres (photo) retired the Chiefs in order in the first inning, but he struggled after that.  The bottom of the 2nd began with a single by 1B Chris Marrero, then a strikeout, then two more singles by LF Jeff Frazier and former Indiana University player SS Seth Bynum.  With the bases loaded and one out, CF Corey Brown tapped a grounder back to the mound, where Burres fired back to C Kris Watts, forcing out Marrero at the plate.  That delayed but didn’t prevent the inevitable — Syracuse pitcher Craig Stammen singled to drive in Frazier from third, cutting the Indians’ lead to 3-1.  

The Chiefs kept on going in the 3rd.  With two outs, Marrero walked, then C Jesus Flores doubled, bringing Marrero all the way around from first base to score.  Frazier also walked, and both Flores and Frazier scored when Bynum lifted a long fly ball to right-center, which bounced off Norman’s glove for a double.  That gave the Chiefs a 4-3 lead.  The 4th inning began with another pair of singles, including a second single by the pitcher Stammen, and one by 2B Steve Lombardozzi.  A wild pitch from Burres put both runners into scoring position.  Burres walked 3B Mark Antonelli, and ball four was another wild pitch, allowing Stammen to score from third.  After a strikeout, Burres was relieved by Chris Leroux.  Leroux gave up a single to Marrero, driving in Lombardozzi, then got out of the inning with a fly out and a ground out.  That gave the Chiefs a 6-3 lead.  Burres threw 90 pitches (59 strikes) in his 3.1 innings, allowing those 6 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts.  

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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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