Alvarez Starts With GCL Pirates

The Pirates have optioned SS Pedro Ciriaco to AAA Indianapolis.  This opens a roster spot for OF Alex Presley, who will be officially called up on Tuesday (the Pirates have a day off on Monday).  UPDATE:  Presley has officially been called up, and will join the Pirates in Toronto.

Also promoted:  pitcher Rinku Singh has been promoted from the GCL Pirates to State College.   Singh has pitched a total of 15 innings so far this season.  Eleven of those came on 3 appaearances with the DSL team.  He gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, with 7 strikeouts in the Dominican.  In one appearance last week with the GCL Pirates, Singh pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit, while striking out 5 batters.  Singh pitched in one game for the Spikes at the end of the 2010 season.  He went 2 innings in that game, and gave up only one hit, with one strikeout.  

Monday’s game action:

GCL Pirates  1,  GCL Phillies  0…. for 1.5 innings
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3B Pedro Alvarez made his first official rehab start this afternoon.  It didn’t last long, though that had nothing to do with him: the game was suspended due to rain after just 1.5 innings.  Alvarez was the Pirates’ lead-off batter.  He got one trip to the plate, in which he grounded out to second base.  CF Willy Garcia was the only batter on either team to reach base, when he blasted a solo homer in the top of the 2nd.  Pirates’ starter Luis Heredia pitched to just 3 batters in the bottom of the first — two strikeouts and a pop out to C Joey Schoenfeld.  

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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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Promotions For Harrison, Curry, And Brown

IMG_5688In the wake of more injuries, the Pirates have called infielder Josh Harrison up from the Indians.  

Harrison has played both second and third base for the Tribe this season.  In 37 games, Harrison has hit .321 for the Indians, with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, and 11 RBI.  The Cincinnati native has walked 7 times and struck out 17 times.  He has stolen 8 bases in 13 tries.  Harrison began the season with a hot April, hitting .375.  He has dropped to a still-respectable .282 in May, but with more RBI.  

Harrison is needed because Steve Pearce, who has been playing third base for the Pirates in the absence of Pedro Alvarez, is going onto the DL with a calf injury.  It will likely be a short-term promotion for Harrison, just until Alvarez returns…. unless Harrison makes a big splash at the major league level.   

The Pirates have not yet made an official announcement, but it is likely that catcher Ryan Doumit will also be going on the DL.  Tribe catcher Jason Jaramillo is not ready, after being hit by a foul ball earlier in the week.  That’s making it look like Dusty Brown will be added to the Pirates’ 40-man roster and called up to join the Pirates in New York.  Brown was pulled from the Indians’ starting line-up at the last moment last night, and he’s the only other option.  Wyatt Toregas has played only sparingly so far this season and has yet to get a hit.   

UPDATE: Yes, confirmed, Brown has also been added to the 40-man roster and promoted.  Ross Ohlendorf was moved to the 60-day DL to make room.

1B Matt Curry has also been promoted from the A level West Virginia Power to the AA Altoona Curve.  Yes, that is right — skipping right over the A+ Bradenton level.  Curry has been hitting .361 for the Power, with 15 doubles, 3 triples, 9 homers, and 34 RBI.  Curry hit .400 in April and has “dropped” to .325 for May.  The Texas native is 23 years old, a little old for the A level anyway.  

Aaron Baker, the regular first baseman for the Marauders  is currently hitting .275 with 8 doubles, 7 homers, and 38 RBI.

And more update:
Coming up from Altoona to fill the new holes on the Indians’ roster:  INF Shelby Ford, OF/1B Miles Durham, and C Eric Fryer.  Ford has played with the Indians before (2009), but it will the first time at the AAA level for durham and Fryer.

 

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PawSox Pitching Shuts Down Tribe

Pawtucket Red Sox  9,  Indianapolis Indians  2
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IMG_5140The 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.

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Tribe Bullpen Quiets Yankees

Indianapolis Indians  5,  Scranton /Wilkes-Barre Yankees  3
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IMG_5741The 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.  

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