Shortstop Chase d’Arnaud has to leave the second base bag to keep this throw from C Eric Fryer from going into center field, as Braves’ Jose Constanza stole second base in the first inning.
Indianapolis Indians 1, Gwinnett Braves 0
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For the second time in less than a week, the Indians battled through a pitching duel to win by a score of 1-0. On Wednesday in Buffalo, the Tribe scored one run in the top of the 8th to beat the Bison. Today, the Indians won the opening game of a 4-game series with the Gwinnett Braves at Victory Field by the same score.
Brian Burres (photo, getting a turn at the plate) made the start for the Indians, and again he could not get the win while pitching at Victory Field. It was not through any fault of his own — he pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing only 3 hits, with 4 walks and 6 strikeouts. But the Tribe batters could not come through with any runs for him in the early innings of the game.
Burres had to work out of a jam in the top of the 1st. Braves’ CF Jose Constanza lined the first pitch of the game into right field for a single. Burres struck out SS Julio Lugo, but Constanza stole second base on strike three. The throw from C Eric Fryer was wide of the bag at second, and Constanza slid in easily. Constanza also stole third base, sliding in just a split second ahead of the tag by 3B Matt Hague. Burres walked RF Stefan Gartrell to put Braves on the corners. 1B Mauro Gomez lifted a fly ball to center field, and it looked like it was going to fall in for a single, so Constanza started down the third base line to the plate. But at the last second, CF Gorkys Hernandez charged in to make the running catch at knee-level. Constanza had to scramble back to third, and by then it was too late to tag up and try again to head for home. That was a big break for Burres and the Indians. The next batter, 2B Ed Lucas hit the first pitch into center field, an easier catch for Hernandez, to end the inning.
Burres retired the Braves in order in the next two innings. He began the 4th inning by giving up a single to Gartrell, on a line drive that looped over Hague’s head and into left field. After a strikeout by Gomez and another great running catch by Hernandez on a fly ball by Lucas, Burres got LF Wilkin Ramirez to ground to third base. Hague’s throw to 2B Brian Friday was wide to the outfield side of the bag, and Friday had to reach and fell to the ground, but still kept the ball in his glove and his toe on the bag, for the inning-ending force out.
Buffalo Bison 15, Indianapolis Indians 2
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It was getting ugly by the third inning at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, NY this morning, and unfortunately for the Indians, things never got better. The Bison scored 5 runs in the 3rd inning and 6 runs in the 8th, as they stomped on the Tribe. The Indians and the Bison each posted 11 hits, but the Bison were handed 9 walks and took advantage of an error as they got some revenge for being shut out yesterday.
Starter Sean Gallagher (photo) retired the Bison in order in the bottom of the 1st, but Buffalo got going in the 2nd. Singles by RF Fernando Martinez and CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis put runners on first and second, then 2B Luis Hernandez bounced a ground-rule double over the center field wall. That scored Martinez. A ground out by former Indy Indian C Raul Chavez brought in Nieuwenhuis from third base, for a 2-0 lead.
Things started getting ugly in the bottom of the 3rd. Another former Indy Indian, SS Luis Figueroa, led off with a walk. 3B Michael Fisher singled and LF Lucas Duda walked, loading the bases. Martinez grounded to first, but when 1B John Bowker tossed to Gallagher, who was covering the bag, Gallagher could not make the catch. The error was charged to Bowker, and it allowed Figueroa and Fisher to score. With runners on the corners, 1B Valentino Pascucci homered over the left field wall, to lift the lead to 7-0.
2B Brian Friday and CF Alex Presley had both singled for the Tribe in the 1st inning, but Friday was caught stealing and Presley was left on base. The Indians loaded the bases in the 3rd. Gallagher started by looping a single into left field. SS Chase d’Arnaud grounded to deep short, where his counterpart Luis Figueroa made a dive, but missed (and broke his belt in the process). A walk to Friday loaded the bases with just one out. But Raul Chavez made a perfect throw to second base to pick off d’Arnaud, and that broke the Indians’ rhythm. A ground out ended the inning, without the Tribe scoring a run. The Tribe did get onto the scoreboard in the 4th. Bowker led off with a double into right field. He advanced to third base on a tag-up when 1B Matt Hague flied out, then RF Miles Durham brought in Bowker with a sacrifice fly. Bison still way ahead, 7-1.
Indianapolis Indians 1, Buffalo Bison 0
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Four Indians pitchers combined to shut out the Bison at Coca Cola Park in Buffalo, NY — the first time this season the Tribe has shut out their opponents. The four horsemen held the Bison to just 5 hits, and that was one more hit than the Tribe batters managed. After 7 scoreless innings, the Indians scored the only run of the game in the 8th.
The pitching duel began with Garrett Olson (photo) on the mound. Brad Lincoln had been scheduled to make the start today, but muscle strain in his neck, present for a couple of days now, forced him to miss his start. The possibility that today’s game might have to be a bullpen game was part of the reason that manager Dean Treanor had Chris Leroux make another long (4 inning) relief appearance yesterday. Olson, just off the Disabled List, was able to step in for the emergency start, though it was stated in advance that he would be on a limit of about 50 pitches. Former Pirate DJ Carrasco made the start for Buffalo.
Olson gave up just two hits, both doubles to Bison 1B Lucas Duda. One double came in the 1st, with the line drive off the right field wall. The second double, in the 4th, slipped past the diving 1B John Bowker. The throw back in from RF Andrew Lambo nearly got Duda out at second, but it came in a little too far to the infield side of the second base bag. Both times Duda was left standing on second. Olson also walked 3B Michael Fisher in the 2nd inning, but erased him with a 6-4-3 (SS Chase d’Arnaud to 2B Shelby Ford to 1B Bowker) double play. He struck out 3 Buffalo batters, and threw 45 pitches (29 strikes).
The Indians also had three base runners in the early part of the game — one in each of the first three innings — but no hits. LF Alex Presley was hit on the right foot by a pitch in the 1st inning. C Eric Fryer walked with two outs in the 2nd and stole second base. Ford reached on a fielding error by Buffalo 2B Luis Hernandez in the 3rd inning. They too were all left on base.
The Indians lost the suspended game, but won the regularly scheduled game.
Syracuse Chiefs 6, Indianapolis Indians 4 (completion of suspended game)
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When we last left our heroes, trying to escape the pouring rain….
The Indians/Chiefs game was suspended after a 1 hour 44 minute wait last night. Tribe starter Sean Gallagher had given up a run in the top of the 1st, then the Indians took the lead in the 3rd on a single by CF Gorkys Hernandez, a triple by SS Chase d’Arnaud, and an error by the Syracuse 2B Tug Hulett. Syracuse tied the score in the top of the 6th on a solo homer by Hulett of reliever Chris Leroux. The top of the 7th began with Leroux still on the mound. He gave up a single and a sacrifice bunt, then was relieved by Justin Thomas. With the rain pouring down and the ball wet and slippery, Thomas hit both LF Gregor Blanco and CF Corey Brown with pitches to load the bases. Play was halted …
The game restarted this afternoon at Victory Field, under overcast skies, with sprinkling rain that did not last long. Cesar Valdez (photo) took the mound for the Indians, with two outs and the bases loaded. 1B Chris Marrero stepped to the plate, and rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give Syracuse a 6-2 lead.
The Tribe got two of the runs back in the bottom of the frame. Andrew Lambo, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Gallagher and remained in the game in right field, opened the inning with a double into right field. After d’Arnaud struck out, 2B Brian Friday hit another double, just inside the first base bag and down the right field line, scoring Lambo. John Bowker, who had taken over left field at the restart, flied out. 3B Andy Marte blooped an RBI single into left field, bringing Friday around from second base to score. 1B Matt Hague also singled, and pinch-hitter Shelby Ford walked on four pitches to load the bases, but C Eric Fryer struck out on a checked swing, to end the rally.
Dan Meyer pitched the last two innings for the Indians. He struck out the first two batters in the 8th, then gve up a single to SS Matt Antonelli, then retired the next 4 Chiefs in order.
The Indians managed only one base runner over the last two innings — Hernandez led off the bottom of the 8th with a double to the center field wall. The remaining 6 Tribe batters went down in order, and the Chiefs had the win.
Ready to cheer for the Tribe
Indianapolis Indians 3, Syracuse Chiefs 1
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Indians starter Brad Lincoln (photo) earned his 5th win tonight, beating the Chiefs with both his pitching and his bat at Victory Field tonight. He allowed just one run in his 7 innings of work on 6 hits, with 2 strikeouts.
The game began with both Lincoln and Syracuse starter JD Martin zipping right along on the mound. Lincoln retired the first 9 batters he faced. Seven of those outs were ground balls, and only one ball got out of the infield. Martin retired the first 8 batters he faced — and before we knew it, the game was already in the bottom of the 3rd.
The Indians’ first hit of the game came in the bottom of the 3rd with two outs — a triple by Lincoln. The ball shot down the right field line and bounced around in the bullpen, and by the time the Chiefs’ RF Jesus Valdez got to the ball, Lincoln was cruising into third base. He didn’t slide, despite manager Dean Treanor’s motioning down, down.
2B Shelby Ford followed Lincoln’s triple with a long blast over the right field wall at the 362′ sign, landing on the sidewalk behind the grass berm, for a 2-run home run. It was Ford’s second homer in four games with the Tribe this season.
3B Andy Marte (photo, being congratulated by manager Dean Treanor) made it a 3-0 lead in the next inning, when he also homered. Marte’s bomb out-blasted Ford’s — this one went past the left field berm, past the side walk, and over the grass behind the sidewalk, landing just inside the fence at the edge of Maryland Street.
Lincoln came to the plate again in the bottom of the 5th, and again with two outs. He hit his second extra-base hit of the game, a double off the left field wall. Lincoln sailed into second base easily as the Syracuse outfielders scrambled after the ball. That time, though, he was left stranded.
Lincoln returned to the mound after racing around the bases in the bottom of the 3rd. He gave up a single to 2B Matt Antonelli to lead off the 4th inning. The next batter, Valdez lined softly right to 1B Matt Hague, who was standing just a few feet from first base to hold Antonelli on. With the count full on Valdez, Antonelli took off for second base with the pitch. It was not hard for Hague to turn and tag Valdez on the chest as he tried to return to the bag, for an unassisted double play. A fly out ended that inning.