Chase d’Arnaud (19) is congratulated after his 2-run homer.
Indianapolis Indians 6, Buffalo Bisons 1
Brad Lincoln (photo) won his fourth game in a row with his best performance of the season, pitching 7 scoreless innings to lead the Indians over the Buffalo Bison at Victory Field this afternoon. This was Lincoln’s 8th start overall for the Indians, and the only scoreless start so far. He went 7 innings for the second time in a row, and struck out 7 batters for the third time this season. Lincoln allowed only 4 hits, which was the fewest he’s allowed since his first start — and that start lasted only 4.2 innings.
Lincoln scattered those 4 hits, plus one walk, so that the Bison had only one inning in which two runners reached base. He retired the first 7 Bison in order, including 3 strikeouts in the first two innings. Former Indy Indian (2008) C Raul Chavez had the first hit for Buffalo, with a grounder up the middle in the 3rd inning. The next batter, Buffalo starter Casey Fossum tried to drop down a sacrifice bunt, but the bunt went up instead of down, and 3B Josh Harrison was able to charge in and catch the tiny pop. Harrison then fired over to first base, where a temporarily confused Chavez had frozen in his tracks several feet away from the bag. Chavez was easily doubled off the bag for the inning- ending double play.
Lincoln allowed a single to lead-off batter LF Jesus Feliciano in the 4th, then struck out the next two batters and ended the inning with a ground out. He worked around an infield hits by 3B Michael Fisher in the 5th and by 1B Valentino Pascucci in the 7th. The 6th was the only inning that Lincoln allowed two Bison hitters to reach base. With one out, he walked Feliciano. SS Luis Hernandez grounded to 2B Chase d’Arnaud for what could have been a double play. D’Arnaud’s flip to SS Pedro Ciriaco erased Feliciano at second, but Feliciano’s slide made Ciriaco jump out of the way to avoid being taken down, and Ciriaco could not make the throw to first. That didn’t seem to bother Lincoln, though, as he got CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis to tap back to the mound and tagged Nieuwenhuis out himself to end the inning.
Alex Presley (7) had three hits and scored three times for the Indians tonight.
Indianapolis Indians 10, Buffalo Bison 1
The Indianapolis Indians posted 16 hits and 10 runs as they stampeded the Buffalo Bison at Victory Field tonight. Each position player in the Indians’ lineup had at least one hit, and three players had 3 hits each: CF Alex Presley, LF John Bowker, and C Dusty Brown. Bowker contributed 4 RBI, while Brown and RF Andrew Lambo had 2 RBI each. Justin Wilson earned the win with another very strong start, and rehabbing reliever Evan Meek pitched a scoreless 8th inning.
The Indians got right down to business in the bottom of the 1st inning, when five of their first six batters singled. 2B Chase d’Arnaud started with a bouncer right back to the mound. The ball hit the leaping Buffalo starter Josh Stinson’s glove and ricocheted 90 degrees to the left, landing over near the third base line. That was all the time the speedy d’Arnaud needed to reach first base safely. D’Arnaud promptly stole second base, and after SS Pedro Ciriaco popped out, d’Arnaud moved up to third base on Presley’s (photo) first hit of the night, a single lined into right field. A wild pitch by Stinson got away from his catcher Mike Nickeas and skittered over towards the visitor’s dugout, far enough away that d’Arnaud was able to score from third, while Presley advanced to second. Presley scored on Bowker’s line drive into center field. 1B Matt Hague and 3B Josh Harrison both singled, loading the bases for Lambo. Lambo grounded sharply to short, for what should have been a double play to end the inning. Buffalo SS Luis Hernandez made the scoop and the toss to former Indy Indian 2B Luis Figueroa, forcing out Harrison at second, but Figueroa’s relay to first pulled 1B Valentino Pascucci off the bag. Lambo was safe, so Bowker scored from third. Then, Hague, who had been on second base, rounded third and dashed for the plate, taking advantage of the Bison infielders having to regroup after the poor throw, and also taking advantage of the fact that they were not really paying attention to him. Hague scored easily, giving Lambo 2 RBI on his fielder’s choice. Another grounder for a force out at second base ended the inning, with the Indians ahead, 4-0.
The throw from first bounced off the runner Ezequiel Carrera and skipped past 2B Pedro Ciriaco.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Columbus Clippers 3
Another rainy day, an another win for the Indians.
The Tribe waited out a 95 minute delay before the game even started, then hung on through a drizzly rainy game, to win their fourth game in a row — their longest winning streak of the season. They also handed the first-place Columbus Clippers their fourth loss in a row. Justin Thomas earned his second win of the season, and 2B Pedro Ciriaco blasted a huge 3-run homer, while 3B Brian Friday went 3-for-4 at the plate.
Rudy Owens (photo) made the start for the Tribe, but ended up not being involved in the decision. Owens pitched 6 innings and allowed only 2 runs, which came in the top of the 1st and involved a strange play. Clippers’ CF Ezequiel Carrera led off with a bunt single, which Owens could not get into his glove. Owens made a pick-off throw to first as Carrera took off for second. 1B Matt Hague relayed the throw to second, but the ball bounced off the sliding Carrera and eluded 2B Ciriaco. The ball skipped into left field, and Carrera advanced to third base, as Ciriaco was charged with a missed catch error. RF Jerad Head tapped back to the mound. Owens scooped up the ball, glared Carrera into staying put on third base, then threw to first for the out. 3B Lonnie Chisenhall was hit on the hip by a pitch to give the Clippers runners on the corners. DH Chad Huffman slipped a grounder past a diving Hague, and Carrera scored from third base. 2B Jason Kipnis followed with a long fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly, which scored Chisenhall for a 2-0 lead.
The Indians came right back to score one run in the bottom of the 1st off Columbus starter Zach McAllister. With one out, Ciriaco reached base when 3B Chisenhall made the scoop but dropped the ball on the transfer. CF Alex Presley blooped a single into short left field, which fell in between two Columbus fielders. Ciriaco rounded second base and got partway to third, then got hung up as the Columbus LF Josh Rodriguez had the ball and was about to throw it in. Ciriaco got out of his poor base-running when he made a dash for third, and Rodriguez made a poor throw to third base, as Ciriaco slid in safely. Presley moved up to second base on the throw to third. LF John Bowker grounded to short, collecting an RBI as Ciriaco scored from third to cut the Clippers’ lead to 2-1.
Two critters on the field appreciated the weather tonight (look above the umpire’s head).
Indianapolis Indians 4, Columbus Clippers 2
The Indianapolis Indians won their third game in a row for the first time in the 2011 season as they beat the Clippers at Victory Field tonight. Tonight’s win was also the second in a row at home and the second in a row over the Clippers (the first win in the string was against the Durham Bulls in Durham). It was also the third night in a row that the Indians allowed their losing opponent to rally and score in the last inning of the game, making things a little more excited than they ought to be.
The weather was fit only for ducks (!), raining on and off the whole game, with the heaviest rain in the middle innings. The game was not delayed or halted at any point, though.
Garrett Olson (photo) made the start for the Indians. He has been pitching in relief so far this season, and though he made a start in a “bullpen” game for the second game of a double header on April 25th, this was his first start since being officially moved to the starting rotation. The Indians had stated that Olson would be on a pitch count of about 60, but he had thrown only 26 pitches (14 strikes) when he was lifted after 2 innings. No word from the clubhouse as to why he left at that point. Olson struck out the first two batters of the game, then ended the first inning with a fly out (14 pitches). After a pop out to begin the top of the 2nd, Olson walked Columbus RF Jerad Head, but got 2B Jason Kipnis to bounce to first base, where 1B Matt Hague took one step to touch the first base bag for the out on Kipnis, then fired to second base, where SS Chase d’Arnaud tagged out Head for the reverse-force double play.
D’Arnaud got the Indians going with a double down to the left field corner and off the wall to open the bottom of the 1st. 2B Pedro Ciriaco grounded through the hole and into left field for a single, moving d’Arnaud to third base. CF Alex Presley grounded to second base, where Kipnis got the force out on Ciriaco and then threw to first for the double play. D’Arnaud still scored from third on the play, but Presley did not get credit for an RBI. The Indians didn’t care about that, though — they had a 1-0 lead.
Chase d’Arnaud makes the play at shortstop
Indianapolis Indians 9, Columbus Clippers 5
It took 8 games, but the Indians finally got their first win of the season against the Columbus Clippers tonight at Victory Field. Brad Lincoln made a solid start, going 7 innings to earn his 3rd win. It was the second game in a row that the Tribe scored 9 runs, but also the second in a row when they allowed the opposition to rally in the late innings. The Indians posted 16 hits (two more than last night), with 1B Matt Hague and SS Chase d’Arnaud each contributing 3 hits and 3 RBI. Each member of the starting line up had at least one hit.
Lincoln (photo) allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 7 innings. He had only one inning in which he retired the Clippers in order, but left 8 runners on base. The righty got through the first inning with only one runner reaching base, when he hit Columbus’ DH Lonnie Chisenhall with a pitch. The two runs scored in the 2nd inning. RF Travis Buck led off the inning with a single into right center field. A fly out and a pop out followed, and it looked like Lincoln might get out of the inning unscathed. Then former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin ran the count full and took a walk. That brought up 3B Luis Valbuena, who ripped a grounder into right field so hard that it travelled all the way to the right field wall. He drove in both Buck and Carlin, and by the time the ball got to the infield, Valbuena was on second base. A spectacular catch by CF Alex Presley on a long fly ball off the bat of CF Ezequiel Carrera ended the inning.
Lincoln went on to give up a single to Chisenhall in the 3rd inning, and also struck out 2 in the 3rd. 1B Chad Huffman singled and stole second base in the 5th. That inning ended with a grounder toward second base. 2B Pedro Ciriaco charged in, made the scoop on the run, then threw across his body and a little behind him to first base, where Matt Hague had to pick the ball out of the dirt, but did it in time for the out. Chisenhall doubled in the 7th inning, but was again left stranded.
After scoring in the 2nd inning, the biggest threat the Clippers made against Lincoln came in the 4th. With one out, LF Jerad Head slipped a grounder past the diving d’Arnaud and into left field. Carlin again worked a full count and took a walk. Valbuena flied out to short left field for the second out. Carrera grounded to third for what should have been the final out, but the ball skipped off 3B Josh Harrison’s glove and over his shoulder. D’Arnaud was in the perfect position to back up Harrison, and made the catch behind him, but by then Carrera had reached first base safely, loading the bases. D’Arnaud’s back-up kept a run from scoring, though, and Lincoln got another grounder to Harrison, this one fielded cleanly, to end the inning and leave the bases full. It took Lincoln 97 pitches (62 strikes) to get through his 7 innings.