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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Three Hits For Hague And Presley Held Out Of Game

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Indianapolis Indians  7,  Pawtucket Red Sox  5
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The Indianapolis Indians withstood a late-inning surge by the Red Sox, to beat Pawtucket this afternoon at Victory Field, and earn at least a split of this 4-game series.  The PawSox won the first game of the series on Friday night, but the Tribe has taken the next two games.  The two teams’ final meeting of the season will be on Monday evening.

Before the game even started, there was a bit of drama for the Indians.  About 10 minutes before game time, the Indians received word from Pittsburgh that Pirates’ outfielder (and former Indian) Jose Tabata had been injured while running out a bunt.  Tabata had crossed the first base bag, then sank to the ground with a left quadriceps problem.  He had to be taken off the field on a cart, but was later able to walk around the clubhouse, though limping.  The Pirates were strongly considering calling up Tribe outfielder Alex Presley, probably within a couple more days, but depending on the severity of Tabata’s injury, they felt that timetable might have to be moved up.  So, just before the Indians’ game began, Presley was removed from the lineup.  He may already be on his way to Pittsburgh, or may wait another day, since the Pirates have a scheduled off day on Monday.  

IMG_6173With Presley cheering the team on, and coaching first base (photo), the Indians got down to business with the PawSox.  They recorded 11 hits (to 12 for Pawtucket), and had only one inning without at least one baserunner.  Every member of the line-up got on base at least once during the game, and 1B Matt Hague led the way with 3 hits.  

The Tribe got warmed up with two base runners in the 1st inning, when SS Brian Friday walked and Hague lined a single into left field, but both were left on base.  The 2nd inning began with a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez and a grounder up the middle for a single by RF Miles Durham.  C Wyatt Toregas dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt toward the third base side of the mound.  Pawtucket starter Felix Doubront fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to first base sailed high over the 1B Lars Anderson’s head and into the visitors’ bullpen.  By the time the PawSox chased the ball down, Rodriguez and Durham had both scored (Durham from first), and Toregas was standing on second base.  CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded out to third, and Toregas held at second, but when DH Corey Wimberly blooped a single into right-center field, Toregas advanced to third — and took himself out of the game.  Toregas had apparently suffered an injury, though it was not apparent what was wrong.  He did not seem to be limping, and didn’t slide into third oddly.  Kris Watts, who was brought up from AA Altoona (again) yesterday, took Toregas’ place at third base as a pinch-runner, then remained in the game as catcher.  Watts did not get to run from third, though, as Friday bounced into an inning-ending double play, but the Indians had taken a 2-0 lead.  

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Tribe Rox PawSox With Wild Bottom Of The 9th

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Josh Harrison’s throw to Brian Friday at second base was not in time to beat Pawtucket base runner Ryan Lavarnway.

Indianapolis Indians 6,  Pawtucket Red Sox  5
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The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of a wild Pawtucket pitcher to score the winning run in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off win at Victory Field tonight.  The Indians were sporting camouflage jerseys tonight in honor of the Indianapolis National Guard.  The jerseys were auctioned off during the game with the proceeds going toward the National Guard’s fund that assists families of soldiers serving overseas.  

IMG_6140The game began ominously for starter Garrett Olson (photo) and the Indians.  Since coming off the Disabled List earlier this month, Olson had made 3 other starts and had pitched brilliantly.  He had allowed one run on 3 hits over 14.1 innings, and on June 14th, he pitched 5 hitless and scoreless innings, allowing just one walk.  But tonight, the first 5 batters Olson faced reached base safely, and the PawSox scored 3 runs in the top of the 1st.  Lead-off batter 2B Yamaico Navarro slapped Olson’s first pitch into left field for a line drive.  3B Brent Dlugach followed with an instant replay — another line drive to the same place in left field.  Olson got a full count on LF Daniel Nava, then lost him to a walk, loading the bases with no outs.  1B Hector Luna slipped a grounder through the left side of the infield for an RBI single, bringing in Navarro from third.  C Ryan Lavarnway took a slow grounder to short, where Tribe SS Brian Friday made the scoop and threw to 2B Josh Harrison for the force out on Luna, but Harrison’s relay throw to first was not in time to get the double play — the grounder had been too slow.  That allowed Dlugach to score from third, an since it was not a double play, Lavarnway was credited with the RBI.  RF Nate Spears also picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Nava.  But the equally important part of Spears’ at-bat was that Spears ran the count full, and continued to foul off more pitches.  It took Olson 10 pitches to retire Spears, and by this point in the inning, Olson’s pitch count was climbing at an alarming rate.  Following Spears’ sacrifice fly, Olson gave up another infield single to DH Luis Esposito.   Harrison raced to make the stop deep behind the second base bag and tried to flip it to Friday covering second, but was not in time (photo above).  SS Jose Iglesias also worked a full count and fouled off another four pitches before finally swinging at strike three to end the inning.  The PawSox had scored 3 runs before the Indians had even picked up a bat, and Olson had thrown 39 pitches in the first inning.  

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Pigs Slop Tribe With Late Inning Rally

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs  4,  Indianapolis Indians  3
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The Indianapolis Indians were in the lead for most of the game tonight at Coca-Cola park in Allentown, PA, but the Iron Pigs staged a 8th inning rally to take the win.  

SS Chase d’Arnaud began the game with a double into right field, skipping between the Iron Pigs’ 1B Cody Overbeck and the first base bag.  2B Brian Friday singled into left field, and d’Arnaud rounded third and headed for the plate as former Indy Indian (2010) LF Brandon Moss made the throw in from left field.  Moss’ throw was on time, and another former Indian (2009-10) C Erik Kratz made the catch and tried for the tag.  But d’Arnaud was faster, and Kratz lost the ball when he went for the tag, and the Tribe had a 1-0 lead.  LF Alex Presley flied out to left field, and again Moss’ throw to the infield was not in time, so that Friday was safe when he tagged up and raced for third.  But Moss got it right on his third try — RF John Bowker also flied out to left, and Moss turned it into a double play when this throw to the plate was on target and on time, allowing Kratz to tag out Friday as he tried to tag up and score from third.  

Back-to-back singles by 3B Andy Marte and 1B Matt Hague led off the 2nd inning for the Indians.  C Wyatt Toregas bounced into an around-the-horn double play, eliminating Hague at second, but allowing Marte to reach third base.  CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded to short, but he was fast enough to beat out the throw to first, earning an infield single and an RBI, as Marte scrambled home from third to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.  

Garrett Olson began his night on the mound with 4 perfect innings.  Moss broke up the (brief) no-hitter with a double to lead off the 5th inning, then was out in a double play.  RF Delwyn Young flied out to center, then Hernandez’s throw in to third base allowed Marte to tag out Moss as he tried to advance to third.  

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Lincoln and Friday Lead Tribe To Series Split

Indianapolis Indians  8,  Rochester Red Wings  3
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Brad Lincoln earned his 6th win of the season, pitching into the 8th inning at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY this afternoon.  The win meant that the two teams split the 4-game series.   Lincoln gave up 3 runs (one earned) to the Red Wings, and struck out 7 batters.  The Indians posted 16 hits, with each member of the lineup picking up at least one hit.  2B Brian Friday led the offense with 4 hits (4-for-5), and DH John Bowker drove in 3 runs.

The Tribe jumped right out to an early lead with 4 runs in the top of the 1st.  SS Chase d’Arnaud began the game with a single into left field, and a wild pitch moved him to second base.  Friday lined a single into left field, and d’Arnaud scored from second base.  LF Alex Presley grounded to short, and a force at second removed Friday, but Presley was safe at first base.  Presley came in on Bowker’s 2-run homer for a 3-0 lead.  Three singles — by 3B Andy Marte, RF Miles Durham, and C Wyatt Toregas – brought in Marte for the 4th run of the inning.  The Indians added 2 more runs in the 3rd.  1B Matt Hague doubled with one out, and he scored on Toregas’ liner into left field.  CF Gorkys Hernandez walked, then d’Arnaud singled into left field.  Toregas scored easily on d’Arnaud’s hit, but Hernandez was thrown out at the plate when he tried to come around and score from first.  Indians up, 6-0.

Lincoln took the mound in the bottom of the 1st with a 4-run lead in his pocket.  He gave up a single to SS Trevor Plouffe, the first of three for him in the game, but erased him with a double play.  Three singles, including one by Plouffe, and a fielding error by Hernandez brought in two runs for the Red Wings in the bottom of the 3rd.  Lincoln retired the side in order of the 4th, and he worked around two singles in the 5th.  He gave up another unearned run in the 6th, on a single and a fielding error by Presley.  The Red Wings went down in order in the 7th also, then began the 8th with two singles and a strikeout.  That was all for Lincoln, who allowed 9 hits and a walk on the way to the 3 runs.  He did not hit any batters (sometimes a problem for Lincoln, who likes to pitch inside).  He threw exactly 100 pitches, with 66 strikes.  Justin Thomas came on in relief, and got two quick outs to end the inning without a run scoring.  

The Indians threatened again in the 4th, when Friday led off with a double.  He moved to third base on a ground out.  Bowker grounded to short, where Plouffe made the scoop and fired back to the plate, where Friday was tagged out.  Presley singled in the 7th, went to second base on a ground out, and on to third on a wild pitch, but was left there when the inning ended.  

Another rally brought in 2 more runs for the Tribe in the top of the 9th.  Friday also opened this inning with a double (ground-rule).  He scored from second on Bowker’s line drive single into deep right field, and Bowker moved to second base on the throw in from the outfield.  Bowker advanced to third base on Marte’s ground out, and scored on Hague’s RBI single.  

Jose Ascanio pitched the bottom of the 9th for the Tribe.  He pitched a perfect inning, with a ground out and two strikeouts, in his second appearance since returning to the Indians from Pittsburgh.  

The Indians will be traveling to Lehigh Valley, where they will have 4 games against the Iron Pigs.

Go Tribe!
 

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