Happy Fourth of July!
Toledo Mud Hens 2, Indianapolis Indians 1
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3B Pedro Alvarez (photo) arrived in Indianapolis today to continue his rehab work, after suffering a strained right quad muscle while playing for the Pirates. He has had some set-backs in his rehab program, but has been on rehab assignments with both the GCL Pirates (1 game) and the A+ Bradenton Marauders (6 games). Tonight Alvarez contributed 2 hits as the Designated Hitter in the Indians’ loss to the Toledo Mud Hens in front of a sold-out crowd at Victory Field.
Tribe starter Sean Gallagher made the start, but suffered his 9th loss of the season. He pitched into the 6th inning, and allowed 2 runs on just 3 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts. Gallagher had only one inning in which he retired the Mud Hens in order (the 5th). He allowed a line drive single into center field by LF Timo Perez in the 1st inning, then walked DH Scott Thorman to open the 2nd inning. RF Ben Guez followed the walk with a grounder back through the middle. The ball glanced off Gallagher’s glove then on to 2B Brian Friday, who flipped the ball to SS Jordy Mercer at second for the force out on Thorman. The Indians were hoping for a double play, but Mercer’s throw to first base was wide to the infield side, pulling 1B Matt Hague off the first base bag, and Guez was safe. Gallagher ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound by former Indy Indian Argenis Diaz and a pop out by C Omir Santos.
Toledo Mud Hens 7, Indianapolis Indians 1
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Former Indy Indians Argenis Diaz and Jeff Salazar gave the Mud Hens both offensive and defensive boosts to help defeat the Indians at Fifth-Third Field in Toledo, Ohio tonight.
Brian Burres (photo) suffered his of the season, going 7 innings and allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, with no walks. He began his evening with 4 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits — a double to CF Salazar in the 2nd and a single to C Omir Santos in the 3rd.
The Indians put runners on base in each of their first 5 at-bats, but could not get any of them around to score. DH Corey Wimberly opened the game with a double into left field and stole third base. LF John Bowker walked to put runners on the corners. 1B Matt Hague bounced into an around-the-horn double play, started by 3B Diaz, to end the inning without a run scoring. SS Jordy Mercer reached base on Diaz’s fielding error in the 2nd inning, but was immediately erased when 3B Andy Marte bounced into a double play, again started by Diaz. RF Miles Durham also walked in that inning, and was left on base.
2B Brian Friday doubled with two outs in the 3rd inning, then Mercer walked and Marte lined a single into left field in the 4th inning. The first two Tribe batters reached base in the 5th, CF Gorkys Hernandez on a throwing error by Toledo SS Cale Iorg, and Wimberly on a fielder’s choice by Toledo starter Fu-Te Ni. Wimberly moved to second on the fielders’ choice as Hernandez was out at third. Wimberly stole third base and Friday walked, again giving the Tribe runners on the corners. And again, a double play ended the inning without a run scoring.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Syracuse Chiefs 3
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Brian Friday (photo) was not even in the Indians’ starting line-up today, but he ended up being the big basher for the night as the Indians defeated the Chiefs at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY. The Indians came from behind, scoring in three of the last four innings, and posting 14 hits. CF Gorkys Hernandez went 4-for-4 with a double and three singles, and RF Miles Durham had a triple and two singles, plus 3 RBI.
Sean Gallagher won his 3rd game of the season (3-8 record), going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs (one earned). He gave up a double in each of the first three innings. Chiefs’ 2B Steve Lombardozzi doubled and was left stranded in the 1st, and C Jhonatan Solano doubled in the 2nd, and was left on base, along with LF Gregor Blanco, who was hit by a pitch. The double in the 3rd inning brought Gallagher some trouble, though. Rehabbing major leaguer Rick Ankiel doubled into right field, then was sacrifice bunted to third base by Lombardozzi. SS Matt Antonelli drove in Ankiel with a sacrifice fly. Ankiel also reached second base in the 5th due to a fielding error when RF Miles Durham dropped his fly ball. Lombardozzi again put down a sacrifice bunt, moving Ankiel to third. This time Antonelli brought Ankiel home with an RBI single lined into center field.
The Indians had one batter reach base in each of the first five innings. SS Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch in the top of the 1st. Hernandez hit his lined his first single into left field to lead off the top of the 3rd, and 1B Matt Hague doubled into right field in the 3rd. Hernandez’s second single came in the 5th inning. None of them were able to come around to score. And to possibly make it worse : Mercer was able to return to the field after being hit by the pitch (?hand or arm?), but he was not going to be able to swing the bat, so Friday came in to pinch-hit for Mercer in the 3rd, then remained in the game at shortstop.
Syracuse Chiefs 8, Indianapolis Indians 5
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The 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.
LF 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.
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.