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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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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Hague’s Homers Power Indians

Indianapolis Indians  5,  Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs  3 
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IMG_5113A sudden storm drove the Indians and the Iron Pigs from the field with one out and two runners on base in the bottom of the 9th at Coca Cola Park in Allentown, PA tonight.  The tarp was pulled as the rain came down harder and harder, and after the game was in a delay, the storm continued to increase in intensity.

RF Alex Presley (photo) continued his hitting dominance with 4 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague gave the Indians a big boost with two home runs.  The first homer, a high fly over the left field wall, got the game started in the top of the 1st.  With one out in the top of the 3rd, Presley and SS Brian Friday hit back-to-back infield singles right back to Iron Pigs’ starting pitcher Ryan Feierabend.  Hague followed with his second homer, a 3-run shot into the bullpen behind left field, to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.  

Tribe starter Brian Burres pitched into the 6th inning.  He gave up a 2-out single to CF John Mayberry in the 1st, a 2-out walk to 1B Cody Overbeck in the 2nd, and a 2-out double to 2B Josh Barfield in the 3rd, but each time kept the Iron Pigs scoreless.  Barfield’s double hit the top of the left field wall and bounced in, but away from Tribe LF Miles Durham.  The Pigs cut the Indians lead in half in the 4th.  Former Indian LF Brandon Moss led off with a single, then after two outs, Overbeck lifted a rising line drive over the left field wall, well over Durham’s desperate leap.  Indians ahead, 4-2.  

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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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Gallagher Struggles As Bison Get Revenge

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Trainer Brian Housand and Pitching Coach Tom Filer conference with pitcher Dan Meyer and catcher Dusty Brown, with plate umpire Mark Lollo listening in.

Buffalo Bison  5,  Indianapolis Indians  1
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After two days of being pounded by the Indians, the Buffalo Bison got their revenge this afternoon at Victory Field, as the Bison posted 12 hits in their win.  The Indians were held to just 5 scattered hits by the Buffalo pitching staff.  Buffalo starter Brian Sweeney earned his first win of the season and allowed the Indians only one run.

IMG_5676Sean Gallagher (photo) made the start for the Indians.  The plan had been to move Gallagher from the starting rotation to the bullpen, and he did make a relief appearance last week, coming in to take over for Garrett Olson, who had been injured.  But now, with Olson going onto the Disabled List, Gallagher has been moved back to the starting rotation.  The Bison jumped right on Gallagher in the top of the 1st inning.  After getting the first batter, former Indy Indian SS Luis Figueroa to pop up for the first out, Gallagher gave up a single to 2B Michael Fisher and a bunt single to C Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  1B Valentino Pascucci followed with a hard liner along the left field line for a double, driving in both Fisher and Nieuwenhuis for a 2-0 lead.  Gallagher left Pascucci on second base, ending the inning with a pop out and a ground out.  

Gallagher set the Bison down in order in the 2nd inning, but the Bison scored again in the 3rd.  Figueroa led off with another double down the left field line, similar to Pascucci’s.  Fisher singled up the middle, and the speedy Figueroa scored from second base.  C Dusty Brown threw out Fisher as he tried to steal second base.  The next three Bison batters all reached base safely —  a grounder through the hole into left field by Nieuwenhuis, a 4-pitch walk to Pascucci, and C Mike Nickeas hit on the left wrist or forearm by a pitch.  Nickeas took his time moving down to first base, but was not able to stay in the game.  He was replaced by pinch-runner/catcher (another former Indy Indian) Raul Chavez.  That loaded the bases with one out for the Bison.  Gallagher got out of the jam by getting LF Jesus Feliciano to bounced into a double play, 2B Chase d’Arnaud to SS Pedro Ciriaco, to 1B John Bowker.

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