Owens and Indians Win #2

Indianapolis Indians  7,  Louisville Bats  1
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IMG_5097It might have been the black jerseys, or the fact that Rudy Owens was making the start, or even that they just needed a change of scenery  — but whatever it was, it worked for the Tribe.  They beat the Louisville Bats, for just their second win of the season, at Louisville Slugger Park in Louisville, Kentucky.  The Indians’ only other win came back on Monday — also with Rudy Owens (photo) pitching, and also the only game before today in which they wore their black alternate jersey tops.   

Owens faced off against Johnny Cueto, who is with the Bats on a rehab assignment from the Cincinnati Reds.  Cueto, who was tagged for the loss, lasted into the 4th inning, and gave up the first two Indians’ runs on 2 hits and 2 walks.  He also struck out 4 Tribe batters.

The Tribe made Cueto work in each inning he pitched, with at least one runner on base in every inning.  LF Alex Presley singled up the middle in the 1st, and 3B Josh Harrison walked and stole second base in the 2nd.   The Indians put runners on the corners in the 3rd inning.  With two outs, CF Gorkys Hernandez reached base when he grounded to short and Bats’ SS Zack Cozart’s throw to first base pulled 1B Danny Dorn off the bag (Hernandez was credited with an infield single).  Hernandez promptly stole second base, and when he did, Bats’ C Devin Mesoraco’s off-target throw skittered into right field.  Hernandez advanced to third base when Cueto threw a wild pitch on strike three to SS Pedro Ciriaco, giving the Indians runners on the corners.  Cueto bore down and struck out Presley to end the inning, but the Tribe had not made it easy.

IMG_4946The Tribe struck again in the 4th inning.  With one out, RF Andrew Lambo bounced a double off the concrete part of the center field wall for a double.  Harrison grounded to short, where Cozart made his second throwing error of the game, again giving the Indians runners on the corners.  Harrison stole second base, and Cueto walked C Wyatt Toregas to load the bases.  That was the end of Cueto’s afternoon.  He was relieved by Jeremy Horst.  2B Brian Friday (photo) greeted Horst with a single through the hole into left field, which drove in Lambo and Harrison.  Horst struck out the next two batters to end the inning, but the Indians had the early lead for the first time all season.  Both runs were charged to Cueto, though Lambo’s run was earned and Harrison’s was not.  

At the same time, Rudy Owens was busy mowing down the Louisville batters.  He did not allow a hit until the 6th inning, and then when LF Yonder Alonso did line a single into center field, Owens erased him with a double play.  Owens had to deal with some base runners in the early innings —  a walk and a hit batter in the 2nd, another hit batter in the 4th, a walk and a 2-error play in the 5th.  In that play, with 2B Chris Valaika on first base (walk), Horst grounded to third base, where Harrison scooped up the ball.  Harrison’s throw to second base was high, so Valaika was safe at second when Brian had to leap to make the catch.  Friday made an off-balance relay throw on to first base, and the ball sailed into the dugout, which let Horst advance to second base.  But Owens maintained his composure, and he calmly got a pop out and a ground out to end the inning and leave both runners standing in scoring position.  

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Bats Shut Out Indians Behind High-Kicking Willis

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Manager Dean Treanor stands with Dusty Brown, one of only two Indians’ runners to reach as far as third base.  

Louisville Bats  3,  Indianapolis Indians  0
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IMG_5232Louisville starter and former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis (photo) held the Indians to 6 scoreless innings, and his relievers did the same for the remaining 3 innings, as the Indians lost to the Bats at Victory Field tonight.  

Willis allowed 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6 batters in his 6 innings of work.  The Indians had only two base runners reach as far as third base.  In the 2nd inning, C Dusty Brown worked a walk with two outs.  He advanced to third base on RF Gorkys Hernandez’s line drive single down the right field line.  Brown got no further, as Willis struck out both 2B Brian Friday and starting pitcher Brad Lincoln to end the inning.  

Willis gave up back-to-back singles in the 4th inning, but the Indians could not capitalize on that either.  1B Matt Hague slapped a grounder that took a goofy hop on the mound.  Willis stabbed at the ball, but he stumbled, then took a tumble (but came up laughing), and Hague was safe at first.  Moments later, Bats’ catcher Corky Miller picked Hague off first base, and threw him out trying to reach second base.  3B Josh Harrison also lined a single into right field, then stole both second and third bases.  Two strikeouts left him standing there too.

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Three Homers Top The Tribe

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Andrew Lambo and Corey Wimberly just “hanging out” in the dugout

Louisville Bats  5,  Indianapolis Indians  2
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IMG_5212Three home runs by the Bats, including two in one inning, put the Bats on top of the Indians tonight at Victory Field.  Starter Justin Wilson (photo) gave up the three homers, accounting for 4 of Louisville’s runs, and he was charged with his first loss of the season.

Chris Reineke made the start for Louisville, and he and Wilson seemed intent on matching one another for the first 5 innings of the game.  Both Reineke and Wilson retired the side in the 1st inning.  Both gave up a walk (to C Devin Mesoraco and 3B Josh Harrison) and a hit (single to 2B Chris Valaika and double to 1B Andy Marte) in the 2nd inning.  Both retired the side in order in the 3rd and 4th innings.  

Both Reineke and Wilson gave up one run in the 5th inning.  Wilson retired the first two Bats’ batters of the inning, giving him a streak of 10 batters retired in order.  Then CF Kris Negron lifted a home run over  the left-center field wall, to give the Bats a 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the inning, Reineke gave up a lead-off single when Harrison beat out a surprise bunt.  2B Pedro Ciriaco grounded deep to short, forcing Harrison out at second, but SS Zack Cozart was not able to make a throw to first, and Ciriaco was on with a fielder’s choice.  After a fly out, Justin Wilson came to the plate.  Instead of being an easy out, Wilson worked a full count, then fouled off three more pitches.  Then he blasted a ball off the left field scoreboard for an RBI double.  Ciriaco scored from first, and the score was tied at 1-1.

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Bats Pound On Indians

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Dusty Brown is congratulated after his home run

Louisville Bats  10,  Indianapolis Indians  4
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The Louisville Bats started their onslaught with 5 runs in the top of the 1st inning, and never looked back at Victory Field tonight.  The Indians out-hit the Bats 12-11, but the Tribe left 10 of their runners on base, while the Bats left only 6.  One high point for the Tribe was that RF Andrew Lambo and 1B Andy Marte, both of whom had been struggling at the plate, both hit well tonight — Marte singled twice and drove in a run, while Lambo singled twice, doubled, and brought in a run.

IMG_5206With Sean Gallagher (photo, with C Dusty Brown) on the mound, things got crazy right away in the top of the 1st.  CF Dave Sappelt lined a double into left field to lead off.  Gallagher got a strikeout and a grounder to first, which moved Sappelt to third.  Then he walked 3B Todd Frazier and hit RF Jeremy Hermida with a pitch to load the bases.  C Devin Mesoraco singled into right field, bringing in both Sappelt from third and Frazier from second.  When Lambo threw the ball in from right field to the plate, it came in up the line, and C Dusty Brown had no chance of tagging Frazier.  Instead he tried throwing to second base, in hopes of catching Mesoraco, who was trying to advance on the throw.  But Brown’s throw bounced in the dirt and away from SS Chase d’Arnaud for a throwing error, and that let Hermida score too.  Mesoraco remained on second base, but only for a few minutes, because 1B Danny Dorn smacked a 2-run homer over the right field wall, giving the Bats a 5-0 lead.  

The Indians answered back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning.  Corey Wimberly, who had center field duties tonight, was hit by a pitch on the right foot to begin the frame.  He was forced out at second when d’Arnaud grounded to third, though there was not time for a double play.  LF Alex Presley kept right on hitting, with a grounder up the middle for a single, and the Indians had runners on the corners.  Matt Hague, playing third tonight, lifted a fly into left center, but it was caught with a very nice effort by Bats’ LF Yonder Alonso.  Andy Marte slipped a single up the middle just past the diving Bats’ shortstop, driving in d’Arnaud from third base.  Andrew Lambo lined a single into left center also, bringing in Presley.  SS Pedro Ciriaco struck out to end the inning, but the Indians had made a dent in the Bats’ lead.  

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Tough Day For Ciriaco And The Indians

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Joe Beimel pitched one quick inning

Toledo Mud Hens  4,  Indianapolis Indians  2
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It was a beautiful afternoon at Victory Field, with sunny skies and a little wind, but not a happy afternoon for the Indianapolis Indians, who lost the second game of a short 2-game series to the Toledo Mud Hens.  Even with the wind blowing in for most of the game, two Mud Hens and one Indian were able to blast home runs, and those accounted for half of each team’s runs.  

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Brian Burres (photo) got the start for the Indians.  He gave up just two hits over his first 5 innings — but both of those were solo home runs.  The first homer came off the bat of LF Scott Thorman with one out in the top of the 2nd inning, sailing over the right field wall.  RF Andrew Lambo made a leap — but he would have had to have been another 6 feet taller to have had any chance.  Burres hit SS Cale Iorg with a pitch (right foot) after the homer, then retired the next 9 batters he faced.  With one out in the 5th, CF Clete Thomas also homered over the right field wall.  

The Indians had managed just 3 hits off Toledo starter Andy Oliver by the end of the 5th inning.  LF Alex Presley slipped a single through the hole into right field in the top of the 1st, but was left on base.  2B Pedro Ciriaco walked on 4 pitches and stole second base in the 3rd, but he was not careful taking his lead off second base and was caught too far away from the base.  A brief rundown, 1-5-4-1, and he was out.  

SS Chase d’Arnaud (photo below) led off the 4th inning with a low liner down the right field line.  The ball bounced under the bench in the Mud Hens’ bullpen, and RF Andy Dirks just looked at the bench and lifted his arms into the air.  Sorry, Dirks, this isn’t the Wrigley Field ivy — the bullpen benches in Victory Field are in play, and you don’t get to just bail out like that.  He realized his mistake after a couple of seconds, and dove under the bench for the ball, but by then IMG_5130d’Arnaud had rounded second and was heading into third base.  Unfortunately, the Indians could not take advantage of the man on third and no outs.  Oliver struck out both Presley and DH Andy Marte, then got 1B Matt Hague to ground out, leaving d’Arnaud still on third.  

3B Josh Harrison had the only home run for the Indians.  With one out in the bottom of the 5th, he blasted another long fly ball to the left field wall — just a little to the left and two feet further than his bomb last night, which ended up bouncing on the narrow top of the scoreboard.  This one definitely went over the wall, onto the grass, and into the hands of some of the students who were sitting on the berm.  

The only other Indians’ batter to reach base against Oliver was CF Gorkys Hernandez, who got on when his grounder to second skipped up and off the glove of 2B Scott Sizemore.  Hernandez stole second base, but a short fly out and two strikeouts left him stranded.  Oliver struck out a total of 8 Indians’ hitters in his 6 innings of work. He allowed one walk along with those 3 hits, and he threw 101 pitches (65 strikes). 

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