Alvarez Has Three Big Hits In Tribe Win

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A sight Pirates’ fans have longed to see

Indianapolis Indians �5, �Pawtucket Red Sox �3 (box)

IMG_3589Mike Crotta earned his 4th win with the Indians this afternoon at Victory Field, and he was boosted by a 3-hit performance by 3B Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez was a single short of hitting for the cycle, a feat that has never been accomplished by an Indians’ player at Victory Field.

Alvarez had the first of the Indians’ 6 hits in the game — in fact, he had half of the team’s hits. �In the bottom of the 2nd, Alvarez drove a long fly ball to the deepest part of Victory Field, to the 418′ sign in the left-center field alley. �The Pawtucket LF Aaron Bates and CF Ryan Kalish were no where near to that area when the ball fell in, nearly at the warning track. �By the time they got there, Alvarez was easily on his way to third base with a triple. �After a strikeout, Tribe CF Brandon Moss plated Alvarez with an RBI ground out to the right side of the infield, and the Indians had the first run of the game.

1B Brian Myrow led off the Indians’ half of the 4th inning with a double, which fell in almost at the feet of LF Aaron Bates (who usually plays first base, not outfield). �Alvarez followed the double by taking a 1-2 pitch just barely over the right field wall (probably by less than 10 inches) and into a crowd of summer-camp kids. �It was his 12th homer of the season.

Alvarez’s third hit followed more Tribe scoring in the 5th. �SS Argenis Diaz led off the inning by working a walk. �LF Kevin Melillo, who has 5 hits in his last 3 games, doubled to the wall in the right-center alley. �Diaz was off and running on contact. �Aided a bit when RF Daniel Nava picked up the ball, dropped it, and picked it up again, Diaz raced around to score. �Doug Bernier dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Melillo to third base. �Myrow brought Melillo in from third with a sacrifice fly to right field. �The throw in to the plate was up the line, and Melillo scored easily. �Alvarez came to the plate with the bases clean, and he kept the rally going with a double to right-center field. �That was as far as he would get, though, as C Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.

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Lincoln And Tabata Move Up As Indians Win In 11th

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Indianapolis Indians �6, �Pawtucket Red Sox �5 �(11 innings) (box)

IMG_3551It took 11 innings and a throw into the dugout, but the Tribe opened a 4-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox with a win at Victory Field tonight.

And the best part, at least for Pirates’ fans, is the news that came down after the game: �pitcher Brad Lincoln will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to make his major league debut with a start against the Nationals on Wednesday. �In addition, Lincoln will be going with a buddy — outfielder Jose Tabata has also earned a promotion to the Pirates.

Charlie Morton (photo here and above) was making his first rehab start with the Indians, and in fact his second start ever for the Tribe. �He had made one start in 2009, shortly after being traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Pirates’ organization, but has been with the Pirates’ club ever since.

IMG_3553This start was not exactly all he could have hoped it would be. �Morton pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 1st, sandwiching a ground out between two strikeouts. �He went deep into counts, though, and it took him 16 pitches to get through the inning.

The Indians scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the 1st. �LF Jose Tabata worked a walk, and stole second (his 24th steal of the season) (photo). �After two fly outs, 3B Pedro Alvarez drove a double into the right-center gap, which rolled all the way to the wall and easily scored Tabata from second base.

Morton took the mound with a 1-0 lead to begin the second inning. � PawSox’ 1B Lars Anderson dribbled a slow roller toward third base, then beat out 3B Pedro Alvarez’s throw to first base. �DH Aaron Bates singled into right field, sending Anderson to third base. �RF Kevin Melillo’s throw in from right field was off-target, and Bates was able to advance to second base on the error. �A strikeout and a fly out to short right field had the runners holding, but 3B Jorge Jimenez drove both of them in with a line drive into right field. �This time, Melillo’s throw back in was on-target, and Jimenez was out as he tried to make it to second base, but the PawSox had taken a 2-1 lead.

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Moss’ RBI’s Boost Burres For Win

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Frank and Pedro

Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �3 (box)

IMG_3534Brian Burres (photo)�finally got to play a game for the Tribe, in his third stint on the Indians’ roster. �He earned the win at Victory Field tonight, with 5.1 solid innings of work. �He was aided by DH Brandon Moss, whose clutch double drove in three runs in the 5th, as the Indians posted 10 hits for 5 runs.

Burres had been on the Indians’ Opening Day roster, but went back to the Pirates when Ross Ohlendorf had problems with back spasms just a few days into the Indians’ season. �He was optioned back to the Indians on April 21st, but called back 4 days later, again without having made an appearance for the Tribe, when Chris Jakubauskas was hit by a batted ball. �With Dana Eveland joining the Pirates, Burress was sent down again… and this time has at least gotten one start in this time… in case the Pirates need him again.

Burres got off to a good start tonight. �He retired all three batters in the 1st inning, including striking out both former Indy Indian DH Brian Bixler, who had his way with the Tribe yesterday, and also C Carlos Santana, the top Cleveland Indians’ prospect. �Burres gave up a two-out single to 3B Jared Goedert in the 2nd inning, but ended the inning my making the catch on a soft pop to just in front of the mound (photo below, as Burres examines the ball after making the catch).

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Brian Bixler was a problem for his former teammates again tonight. �When Burres faced him again in the third inning, after CF Michael Brantley single past the diving Tribe 2B Brian Friday, Bixler took a long high fly ball down the left field line. �The ball sailed just inside the foul pole, then hooked around the back of the pole, but it was fair when it counted — a 2-run home run to give Columbus a 2-0 lead.

Burres worked out of a jam in the 5th. �After two outs, including a nice snatch of a sinking line drive by RF Kevin Melillo, Burres gave up a single to RF Chris Gimenez and a a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez. �An easy grounder to short for a force out at second ended the inning without a run scoring.

The Indians went down in order in the 1st inning, then were unable to take advantage of runners on base in the next two innings. �3B Pedro Alvarez led off the 2nd with a single lined into center field. �Moments later, though, Alvarez was caught straying a little too far off first base, probably as he was trying to work out the timing of Clippers’ starter Josh Tomlin’s delivery. �There was a brief run-down, pitcher to 1B Wes Hodges to SS Anderson Hernandez, and Alvarez was out. �CF Jonathan Van Every walked in that inning, but he was left stranded. �In the 3rd, SS Doug Bernier drove a liner over the leaping Hodges and into right field for a single. �He moved to third base on Kevin Melillo’s loopy single that just fell in, in short center field, but both runners were left on base.

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Bixler Comes Back To Haunt The Indians

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Charlie Morton is here (far right)

Columbus Clippers �5, �Indianapolis Indians �1 (box)

IMG_3495There’s a reason that the Columbus Clippers are in first place, and today the Indians saw why. �Stellar pitching by Columbus starter Yohan Pino combined with a 2-hit, 4-RBI day by former Indian SS Brian Bixler (photo) gave the game to the Clippers this afternoon at Victory Field.

Hayden Penn made the start for the Indians, but suffered the loss as he allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in 6.1 innings. �Brian Bixler had a hand in each of those 4 runs, plus the run given up by reliever Jean Machi. Penn began the game well, retiring the first six batters in order, including getting Bixler to pop out to Tribe 2B Doug Bernier in the top of the 1st. �Penn struck out two batters in the 2nd inning. �There was also a moment in the 2nd that made the crowd gasp. �LF Nick Weglarz smacked a sharp one right back to the mound on one bounce. �The ball hit Penn (like yesterday with Powell, it wasn’t clear where on his body he’d been hit). �The ricochet off Penn went high into the air, and came back down right at 3B Pedro Alvarez, who was playing over toward the shortstop position. �Alvarez caught the bounce, and threw to first base to make the out on Weglarz. �Manager Frank Kremblas and trainer Thomas Pribyl leapt out of the dugout, but they took only two or three steps onto the field before Penn vigorously waved them off. �He was fine, and he proved it by striking out the next batter to end the inning.

IMG_3497Columbus made their first move in the 3rd inning. �Penn (photo) gave up singles to DH Brian Buscher and 2B Josh Rodriguez to open the inning. �A sacrifice bunt by RF Jose Constanza moved both runners up one base. �Penn struck out CF Michael Brantly for the second out of the inning. �That brought up Brian Bixler, who lifted a bloopy ball into short right field just inside the foul line — right in no-mans’-land, where neither RF Kevin Melillo, 1B Brian Myrow, nor 2B Doug Bernier could reach it. �That brought in both Buscher and Rodriguez, two RBI for Bixler, to give the Clippers a 2-0 lead.

Penn gave up a ground rule double to 3B Jared Goedert in the 4th inning, but left him on base. �Then he got into trouble with lead-off hits again in the 5th inning. �This time Rodriguez got on with a grounder up the middle, but he was erased when Penn picked him off first. � Constanza beat out what was supposed to be a bunt when, the ball got stuck in Penn’s mitt — by the time he pulled it out and made the throw, Constanza beat the throw easily. �Michael Brantly walked on four pitches, as Constanza stole both second and third bases. �C Luke Carlin double-clutched on his throw to second base for the first steal, and Constanza was in well ahead of the throw. �Carlin made a good throw to third on that steal, but 3B Pedro Alvarez couldn’t hold onto the ball, and Constanza was safe. �With runners on the corners, guess who came to the plate again? �Brian Bixler, of course. �Bixler doubled for the second time in the game, taking this ball down into the right field corner for one RBI as Constanza scored easily. �With Brantley at third and Bixler at second, Penn bore down and got a pop out and a fly out to end the inning. �Clippers 3, Indians 0.

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Can’t Keep Alvarez Off Base In Indians’ Win

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Help is on the way!

Indianapolis Indians �7, �Columbus Clippers �2 (box)

IMG_3478Solid pitching and enthusiastic offense was just what the Indians needed, as they defeated the Columbus Clippers for the second straight night. �The win assures the Tribe of at least an even split of this critical 4-game series, which means that they can not slip further down in the standings than where they were when the series began — 6.5 games behind the Clippers. �Currently, the Indians have climbed to 4.5 games behind the first-place Clippers, and one game behind the second-place Toledo Mud Hens (who lost to the Rochester Red Wings tonight, 8-4).

After a quiet first inning for both teams,the Indians got going in the bottom of the 2nd. �3B Pedro Alvarez led off with a line drive into right field, which landed just in front of Clippers’ RF Chris Gimenez. �CF Jonathan Van Every slipped a single through the right side of the infield, keeping Gimenez busy in right field. �C Erik Kratz bounced to third base, and it looked like it was going to be a double play, but Van Every slid hard (but clean) into second base, where he threw former Indy Indian 2B Brian Bixler off balance enough so that Bixler could not make the throw to first base. �With Alvarez on third and Kratz on first, DH Brandon Jones blasted a 3-run homer over the fence in right-center, which landed on the grass in front of the scoreboard (photo). �Indians up, 3-0.

IMG_3477The Indians doubled their lead with another 3 runs in the 3rd inning. �The first four batters of the inning pounded Columbus starter Jeanmar Gomez with four straight hits. �LF Brandon Moss began with a double that put a visible pock-mark in the padding on the center field wall. �1B Brian Myrow blooped a single into right field, moving Moss to third. �Pedro Alvarez’s hit was a single that squeaked through the right side of the infield just out Bixler’s reach, and that brought Moss across the plate. �Jonathan Van Every (photo) lined another single into right field, to load the bases for Erik Kratz. �Kratz could only manage a weak tap towards third base, which was easily turned into a 5-4-3 double play, also erasing Van Every at second base. �Myrow scored from third on the play, though Kratz does not get credit for an RBI. �Brandon Jones drove in Alvarez with a double lined into right-center field, for his 4th RBI of the game.

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