Monthly Archives: August 2009
Homer Bailey allowed one run on four hits and four walks in seven innings of work. The Reds offense scored single runs in four...
Sunday afternoon and evening in the Pirates' minor league organization, with two doubleheaders...
The GCL Pirates had a scheduled day off.
The State College Spikes and the Batavia Muckdogs had an unscheduled day off, because it was raining in Batavia, as Uncle Dan knows. �They will try for two tomorrow.
West Virginia Power 4, �Greenville Drive 1
The Power were very efficient with their 4 hits, scoring 4 runs to get the win. �The Drive were less efficient -- they posted 6 hits but only one run. �The Power were hitless in the first 3 innings, then started off the 4th inning with 3 consecutive hits: �a double by RF Starling Marte, as single by CF Robbie Grossman, and a 3-run homer by C Tony Sanchez. �The fourth hit was another home run, a solo shot by DH Calvin Anderson in the 6th. �Two Power hitters worked walks, but 3B Bobby Spain was eliminated in a double play, and Robbie Grossman was �caught stealing. �The only other base runner was 2B Danny Bomback, who was hit by a pitch and then left on base. �He was the only base runner the Power left on in the game.�
Starter Aaron Pribanic pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 hits and 2 walks, for one run. �That run came on a solo home run to lead off the 4th inning. �Pribanic also struck out 4 batters in his 2nd win with the Power. �Duke Welker pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up 3 singles and two walks. �Casey Erickson enterd the game in the 9th inning after Welker had allowed the two lead-off walks. �He loaded the bases by hitting a batter, but got two strikeouts and a fly out to end the game and earn his 4th save. �
Bowie BaySox 2, Altoona Curve 1
Mike Crotta pitched 5 innings and allowed only 2 runs, on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts. �Crotta scattered 3 of the hits over the first 4 scoreless innings. �In the 5th, former Indy Indian (2004) Dave Krynzel led off with a single. �He went to second on a walk, and both runners advanced on a sacrifice fly. �A second walk loaded the bases. �An RBI grounder and an RBI single scored two runs. �Michael Dubee relieved Crotta to pitch the 6th, and allowed only a walk to Krynzel. �
The Curve had a single in each of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings, and two singles in the 5th, but couldn't get any of those base runners around to score. �They did score one run in the top of the 6th. �Singles by DH Pedro Alvarez and 1B Jason Delaney, plus a walk to 3B Ray Chang loaded the bases. �C Steve Lerud's sacrifice fly scored Alvarez, but that was all the Curve could get. �
Curve 5, BaySox 3
The Curve came back to win the night-cap, led by a 3-for-4 performance by RF Jonel Pacheco. �The Curve scored one run in the top of the 1st inning on three singles by CF Gorkys Hernandez, DH Jason Delaney, and SS Brian Friday. �Bowie tied it up in the bottom of the inning with a hit batter, a stolen base, a bunt, and a run scored on a passed ball. �
The Curve came back with two more runs in the top of the 4th, on back-to-back solo home runs by Jonel Pacheco and 1B Miles Durham. �The BaySox got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, on two singles, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. �Starter Derek Hankins pitched those first 4 innings and allowed the two runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, with 6 strikeouts.
In the top of the 5th, Altoona added an insurance run when 3B Pedro Alvarez walked, went to second on Brian Friday's sacrifice bunt, and scored on Jonel Pacheco's RBI single. �Pacheco picked up another RBI single in the 7th inning, driving in Gorkys Hernandez, who had singled, followed by walks to Jason Delaney and Brian Friday to load the bases.�
Dustin Moelleken pitched 2 scoreless and hitless innings with 3 strikeouts to earn the win. �Scott Nestor began the 7th inning, and the�BaySox scored one more time. �With two outs, two walks and a single loaded the bases, and another single brought in the run. �Jared Hughes got the final out on a fly ball to end the game. �
Winston-Salem Dash 6, �Lynchburg Hillcats 3
A 4-run 5th inning gave the Dash the boost they needed to take Game 1. �The Hillcats began the scoring with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �SS Chase d'Arnaud led off with a double, and went to third on 3B Josh Harrison's sacrifice bunt. �3B Jordy Mercer's single scored d'Arnaud. �Mercer stole second base, and he scored on 1B Matt Hague's RBI single, to give the Hillcats a 2-0 lead.
Starter�Rudy Owens pitched the first 4 innings, and allowed two runs in the 4th inning. �After 2 outs, a hit batter, a double, and an RBI single brought in the runs, to tie the score at 2-2. �The Dash took the lead in the 5th, with Harrison Bishop on the mound. �A double, a sacrifice bunt, two singles, and a 3-run homer brought in 4 runs and gave the Dash the win. �The Hillcats scored one more run in the bottom of the 7th, when CF Jose De Los Santos and Chase d'Arnaud led off with back-to-back walks. �They went to second and third bases on a ground out, and De Los Santos scored on a passed ball. �Jordy Mercer walked, but RF Jamie Romak ended the Hillcats' hopes by bouncing into a double play.
Hillcats 6, Dash 0
It was all Hillcats in the night-cap, as Matt McSwain pitched a complete (though in this case "complete" = 7 innings) game shutout and earned his 10th win of the season. �McSwain held the Dash to 3 hits, no walks. �He didn't hit a batter, and the Hillcats didn't put a runner on base with an error either. �He struck out 6 batters. �McSwain retired the first 10 batters, before allowing a single in the 4th. �He retired 7 more, then game up a single in the 6th, then gave up a lead-off double in the 7th, before putting down the next 3 batters to end the game.
Meanwhile, his teammates were providing McSwain with plenty of run support, as every member of the lineup but one had at least one hit. �2B Josh Harrison was the only one without a hit, and he still provided an RBI. �Doubles by SS Chase d'Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague plus a sacrifice fly by 3B Jordy Mercer and a single by C Kris Watts gave the Hillcats 2 runs in the 1st inning. �Mercer's 8th home run of the season, after d'Arnaud's single, brought in two more runs in the 3rd inning. �D'Arnaud walked and stole both second and third base, and Harrison's sacrifice fly added another run in the 5th inning. �They collected one more insurance run in the 6th. �LF Jared Keel walked, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third base on RF Erik Huber's single, and scored on CF Jose De Los Santos' RBI single. �
Columbus Clippers 2,�
�� �Indianapolis Indians 1
�� � � �(12 innings)
A high fly ball over the left field wall by Clippers' LF Josh Barfield made the difference at Victory Field this afternoon, giving the Clippers a win over the Indians in the 12th inning. �The two teams combined for 21 hits, though only 3 runs, as they left a combined 20 base runners on the base paths. �
After five innings with the score tied 1-1, and wasted opportunities by both teams, Barfield stepped to the plate in the top of the 12th to face Indians' reliever Jeremy Powell (photo),�who was beginning his 4th inning on the mound. Barfield placed Powell's first pitch onto the grass berm beyond the left field wall, not far from the foul pole to give the Clippers a 2-1 lead. �3B Wes Hodges followed the home run with a single, and after Tribe 3B Neil Walker raced to the bullpen to catch a foul fly ball by DH Stephen Head, C Lou Marson bounced into a double play that also eliminated Hodges.
The Indians had one last chance to tie it up again in the bottom of the frame, but Clippers' reliever Greg Aquino got three quick outs, and the game was over. �Powell took the loss, his 7th of the season. �
Erik Hacker (photo) had made the start for the Indians. �He pitched 6 innings, and while he had to contend with Clipper runners on base in 4 of them, he only had serious trouble in the 3rd inning. �With one out in the 3rd, SS Niuman Romero looped a single into left field. �Next, CF Michael Brantley lifted a fly into short center field. �Tribe CF Chris Barnwell raced in for the catch but only succeeded in trapping the ball, for another single, as Romero moved to third base. �After Josh Barfield flied out to center field in a more catchable manner, Wes Hodges lined a single into right field, scoring Romero from third. �
Hacker retired the Clippers in order in two innings and worked around a single and a walk in two other innings. �He also had the advantage of SS Argenis Diaz's�(photo) and�2B Pedro Lopez's stellar work in the middle infield today. �
With runners on first and second and no outs in the 2nd inning, 1B Damaso Espino bounced a grounder off Eric Hacker's glove and on to SS Argenis Diaz. �Diaz flipped the ball towards second base, where Lopez had not been just a second before. �Lopez materialized on the second base bag at precisely the right point in time, snatched the flipped ball out of the air with his bare hand, and fired on to first in time to get Espino out. �It was particularly excellent because the ball had been slowed down when it tipped off Hacker's glove, and the play at first was going to be close. �The very next play was almost an instant replay of an outstanding play from last night. �2B Jesus Merchan grounded toward the hole between first and second base, and the ball seemed destined for right field, and an RBI single. �But Lopez, for the second game in a row, ranged to his left almost behind first base, made the diving catch, hopped to his knees and fired to first in time to get Marchan and keep the run from scoring. �
Argenis Diaz and Pedro Lopez combined for another amazing double play in the 6th inning. �DH Stephen Head led off with a walk, and Lou Marson made the mistake of grounding toward second base. �Diaz went to his left and scooped up the ball as he was crossing behind second base. �He flipped the ball toward nothingness at second base, and once again Pedro Lopez appeared, crossing to his right to step on the sack and make the throw to first base for the double play. �Diaz made another diving stop in the hole behind first base in the 9th inning, though on that play he had enough time to jump up to his feet before firing to first base to throw out Niuman Romero to end the inning and the threat. �
Clippers' starter Hector Rondon pitched 7 innings, and he also had to work around two Indians' base runners in every inning after the first two. �Rondon took advantage of the Indians' base running issues and two double plays. �RF Jose Tabata (photo) was hit by a pitch to begin the bottom of the 1st, and went to second base on Pedro Lopez's sacrifice bunt, but he was picked off second base. �In the 3rd inning, C Erik Kratz led off with a double just barely inside the left field line, but when CF Chris Barnwell�
bunted a little too hard and the ball came right back to Rondon on the mound, Rondon was able to turn and catch Kratz too far off second base. �Kratz (photo) was tagged out easily in what was not even much of a run-down. �
The Tribe put two runners on in an unusual way in the 4th inning. �With one out, Pedro Lopez singled into left field. �LF Brian Myrow flied out, then 1B Jeff Clement grounded to Clippers' shortstop Niuman Romero, who was just two steps off second base. �Romero stepped on second, presumably forcing out Lopez at second, and the players from both teams starte d walking off the field. �Suddenly, everyone stopped -- home plate umpire Brian Reilly was waving his arms and pointing. �C Lou Marson had interfered with Clement -- Clement was safe at first on Catchers' Interference, and so Lopez was safe at second base after all. �Unfortunately, the Indians couldn't capitalize, as DH Larry Broadway grounded out to first base to end the inning. �
[Photo: �Former Indy Indian (1998, 2004-05) Jon Nunnally is now the Clippers' batting coach]
A walk by Erik Kratz and a single by Argenis Diaz put two runners on for the Tribe in the 5th. Both Kratz and Chris Barnwell singled in the 7th, but Kratz was out at second when he tried to stretch it into a double. �Both times, the Indians left the runners stranded.
The Tribe finally tied the game in the 6th inning. �Pedro Lopez led off with his second single of the game, a grounder up the middle. �He advanced to third base when Brian Myrow followed with a double down the right field line and into the corner. �Jeff Clement brought Lopez in with an RBI grounder to short. �Larry Broadway also singled, with a grounder that just slipped past the diving 3B Wes Hodges. �But 3B Neil Walker (photo below) grounded into another double play, and Roncon escaped without further damage. �
With the score tied, the Indians put runners on base in three of the next four innings. �Brian Myrow lined another double into the right field corner in the 8th inning. �Erik Kratz walked in the 9th, but was doubled off first base when Chris Barnwell cracked a low line drive, shoe-top level, down the first base line and right into the glove of 1B Damaso Espino. �Jeff Clement single up the middle in the 11th, but was picked off and caught stealing. �Larry Broadway was hit by a pitch moments later, but he was also left on base. �
The Clippers were not having much better luck over those same innings. �Juan Mateo relieved Eric Hacker and gave up only a soft loopy single into right field by RF Mickey Hall in the 7th inning. �He got the first two outs in the 8th, and then gave way to Corey Hamman (the only lefty in the bullpen),�who was brought in to face the left-handed Stephen Head. �Hamman dispatched Head quickly with a strikeout. �
Jeremy Powell came in from the bullpen to begin the 9th inning, and the four innings he pitched were riddled with difficulties. �In the 9th, a fly ball off the bat of Damaso Espino dropped in between CF Chris Barnwell and RF Jose Tabata amid what appeared to be a communication problem. �Jesus Merchan followed with a grounder deep behind third base. �Neil Walker was able to get to the ball and made an excellent stop, but the combination of a long and wide throw and the speed of Merchan put Merchan safely on first base and Espino on second with one out. �A fly out by Mickey Hall gave Powell the second out. �
Then Pedro Lopez came to the rescue with his diving stop deep in the hole behind first base, to make the third out of the inning.
Powell got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th. �Michael Brantley singled, then Powell struck out Josh Barfield. �Next, Powell hit Wes Hodges square in the back with a pitch. �After a pop out by Stephen Head, Powell grazed Lou Marson's hand with another pitch to load the bases. �A fly out to right field ended that threat, and the tie score remained.
The Clippers threatened again in the 11th. �Jesus Merchan led off with a grounder to shortstop. �He beat out SS Argenis Diaz's throw to first, and then advanced to second base when the throw went wild and sailed into the stands. �Mickey Hall sacrifice bunted Merchan to third base. �(Photo sequence) �
C Erik Kratz made the play, and appeared to want to try to throw to third base (since that play worked so well last night), but Jeremy Powell had come off the mound thinking that he might have to make the play, and Powell ended up right next to Kratz and between Kratz and third base -- so Kratz had no choice but to throw to first base. �Niuman Romero attempted a suicide squeeze to bring Merchan home, but instead of dribbling up the baseline, his bunt slipped straight to Jeremy Powell as he came off the mound. �Powell all but fell as he slid to make the play, and flipped the ball to Erik Kratz, who was blocking the plate. �The slender Merchan rammed into Kratz, which was a completely ineffective maneuver -- Kratz was immovable and the ball stayed safely in his glove for the out. �A fly out ended that inning. �Then came the 12th inning and the game-winning homer.
Indians' Hitting Gem of the Game: �Two doubles into the right field corner by Brian Myrow, on two consecutive at-bats. �The first moved Pedro Lopez over to third base in the run-scoring rally in the 6th. �They were Myrow's 21st and 22nd doubles of the season.
Indians' Defensive Gems of the Game: �As described above, two perfectly choreographed double plays by Argenis Diaz and Pedro Lopez, and two diving stops of grounders that looked destined for the outfield by Lopez.
Jeff Salazar (photo) was back with the Indians last night, after clearing waivers. �He should be activated in another day or two. �
Brian Bixler got the start as shortstop for the Pirates this afternoon. �He went 1-for-4 at the plate with a double and two strikeouts.
[Photos by Nancy Zinni-- MVN]
Louisville Bats 4,�� � Indianapolis Indians 2
Three errors by the Indianapolis Indians gave the Bats critical unearned runs, and kept Virgil Vasquez and the Indians from the win at Victory Field tonight. �Vasquez (photo) pitched 7 innings and allowed one earned run on 6 hits and a walk, but still suffered the hard-luck loss, his 4th of the season. �The Indians offense was held to just two hits in the game, and they could not capitalize on the few chances they had.
Vasquez began his outing by facing the minimum over the first two innings. �Bats 2B Luis Bolivar grounded a single up the middle to lead off the game. �Vasquez made several throws over to first base to keep Bolivar, who has stolen 22 bases already this season, close to the bag. �Bolivar was safe each time, but he was finally surprised by C Robinzon Diaz, who made a snap throw down to first on a pitch to RF Darnell McDonald, to pick Bolivar off. �
After that first inning, there was�a pattern to the Bats' at-bats: �if Vasquez, or later relievers�Jon Meloan�and�Jean Machi,�got the first Louisville batter of the inning out, then not only would the Bats not score that inning, but they would go down in order. �If the first batter reached base, then the Bats would score. �
In the 3rd inning, Vasquez gave up two line drives to the first two batters of the inning, SS Chris Valaika and C Chris Denove. �Pitcher Travis Wood did what was expected -- he dropped down a bunt, to the left of the mound in front of the plate (photo sequence). �Vasquez leapt off the mound and pounced on the ball. �
C Robinzon Diaz shouted and pointed for Vasquez to throw to first base, but Vasquez had other ideas. �He whirled and threw to third base, where 3B Neil Walker,�who had initially began charging into the infield grass, had gone back to cover the bag. �With the lead runner Valaika sliding into third, Walker made the catch to force out Valaika (as Robinzon Diaz is still pointing over to first base).
But the inning wasn't over. �With one out and runners on first and second, Luis Bolivar grounded to Neil Walker, but the hop played Walker instead of the other way around, and the ball bounced off Walker's chest and away from him -- �bases loaded. �
CF Chris Heisey popped up to Walker on the third base line for the second out of the inning, and it looked like Vasquez might get out of the inning. �The next batter, Darnell McDonald, hit a swinging bunt that landed just in front of the plate right near the third base line. �Robinzon Diaz scrambled to snatch up the ball and turned to tag the lead runner Denove as he ran past. �As Diaz lunged at Denove, Denove ran into Diaz's gloved hand -- and the ball popped out of his glove. �Denove was safe at the plate, and Diaz was charged with the second error of the inning. �3B Juan Francisco flied out to end the inning, with the Bats ahead 1-0.
Bats' starter Travis Wood had also held the Indians scoreless in the first two innings. �He allowed the Tribe's first base runner in the bottom of the 3rd, when he walked Robinzon Diaz to begin the inning. �Wood struck out SS Argenis Diaz and got Virgil Vasquez to ground out. �Then CF Jose Tabata got the Tribe's first hit of the game -- a booming home run, 370 feet long, over the right field wall, bringing in Robinzon Diaz and giving the Indians a 2-1 lead. �
Virgil Vasquez continued the pattern he'd set with the Bats' at-bats. �He retired the side in the 4th inning, but then gave up a lead-off single to Chris Denove in the 5th inning. �Another bunt by Travis Wood, this one a�
sacrifice, moved Denove to second base, and Luis Bolivar smacked a line drive off Vasquez's glove and into center field, scoring Denove to tie the game at 2-2. �In the 6th, it was 3B Juan Francisco who had the lead-off hit, on a short fly that dropped into center field, just out of everyone's reach. �Francisco advanced to second base when 2B Todd Frazier, just brought up from AA, worked a walk. �Vasquez got a pop out and a fly out, and it looked like he was goin g to get the third out when Denove grounded right to SS Argenis Diaz. �But just as Diaz was reaching down for the ball, his foot slipped and the ball slid right under his glove and into left field as Diaz fell to the ground. �It was ruled an error, and Francisco came in to score the go-ahead run. �Bats 3, Indians 2.
[Photo: �Neil Walker catches Chris Heisey's pop up, with Chris Denove on third base.]
Vasquez again retired the Bats in order in the 7th inning. �He was relieved after that, having thrown exactly 100 pitches, 66 of them strikes. �He exited on the losing side, through no fault of his own. �Jon Meloan (photo) came on to pitch the 8th inning. �He also retired the Bats in order, on an outstanding diving stop of a grounder by 2B Pedro Lopez, a strikeout, and a fly out. �It took Meloan 12 pitches. �
Jean Machi took the mound for the 9th inning. �In his previous 5 appearances with the Indians (6.1 innings), Machi had not allowed any hits, and only one earned run. �He broke that streak tonight. �The first batter Machi faced, Chris Valaika, slammed a long fly ball over the left field wall, which LF�Brian Myrow could only turn and watch sail over his head. �Machi gave up another hit, a bloop single to Chris Denove, before getting three outs to end the inning. �
The two runs in the 3rd inning were all the Indians were able to get. �Travis Wood allowed the Tribe only one base runner over the 4th through 7th innings, when Argenis Diaz reached base on a fielding error by 2B Todd Frazier in the 5th. �Wood struck out the side in the 7th inning. �
[Photo: �Manager Frank Kremblas gives the signs]
The Indians had one big chance in the 8th inning. �With reliever Federico Baez on in relief of Wood, the Indians collected their second hit of the game. �Robinzon Diaz led off with a line drive into left field. �Argenis Diaz �bunted Robinzon Diaz to second base. �Pinch-hitter Larry Broadway, in for the pitchers' spot, worked a walk to put two runners on base for Jose Tabata, who stepped to the plate with a .351 average. �Tabata was patient and he also worked a walk. �That brought up Pedro Lopez and his .329 average with the bases loaded and one out. �But Lopez was not patient, and he slapped the first pitch from Baez right to SS Chris Valaika. �The easy 6-4-3 double play ended the inning, and the Tribe again failed to capitalize on their opportunity. �The Indians went down in order in the 9th, and the Bats had their 4th win in the 6-game split series. �
The Indians will have 5 more games against the Bats, in another split series to wrap up the season. �Tomorrow the Tribe will begin a 4-game series against the Columbus Clippers at Victory Field.
Indians' Hitting Gem of the Game: �Only two hits to choose from, and the better of the two was Jose Tabata's (photo) 3rd home run since joining the Tribe.
Indians' Defensive Gems of the Game: �#1 -- Virgil Vasquez's play on Travis Wood's bunt in the 3rd inning, getting the lead runner out at third. �#2 -- 2B Pedro Lopez's diving stop of Juan Francisco's grounder toward right field in the 8th inning. �The ball looked like a sure single, but Lopez went far to his right and made a full-out dive, just managing to snag the ball in his glove. �Then he hopped up and thew from his knees to Jeff Clement at first base in time to make the out. �
[photos by Nancy Zinni -- MVN]
I was supposed to be in the audience tonight. But a business trip looms tomorrow. Thusly, I witnessed the game courtesy of Fox Sports...
Saturday's games in the Pirates' organization:
The Altoona Curve and the Bowie BaySox were rained out. �They will try for two on Sunday.
GCL Bradenton Pirates 3, �GCL Phillies 0
The Pirates managed only 3 hits but they only needed one of them to score 3 runs. �SS Elevys Gonzalez led off the bottom of the 1st with a single, but was picked off first base. �RF Melvin De La Cruz singled in the 3rd inning, and proceeded to steal both second and third bases, but was left stranded at the end of the inning. �Then in the 6th, Gonzalez walked to lead off the inning. �2B Gift Ngoepe dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but a fielding error put him on base too. 1B Gerlis Rodriguez's sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third bases. �C Andrew Walker doubled, the only hit that produced a run for the Pirates, as Gonzalez scored. �LF Rogelios Noris brought in Ngoepe with a sacrifice fly. �DH Joey Schoenfeld, in his pro debut, was hit by a pitch, as was CF�Edwin Roman, and the Pirates had the bases loaded, but a fly ball ended the inning and left all three on base. �Shoenfeld was hitless in 3 other plate appearances.
The Pirates came right back to score again in the 7th inning, this time without the benefit of a hit. �Melvin De La Cruz walked and stole second base. �Elevys Gonzalez's sacrifice bunt moved �him to third base, and he scored on Gift Ngoepe's RBI ground out. �
The Pirates pitchers also held the Phillies to just 3 hits. �Trent Stevenson and Brad Clapp were piggy-backed, with Stevenson starting the game and going 4 scoreless innings. �He scattered the 3 hits over those 4 innings, walked no one, and struck out 3 batters. �Clapp followed with 4 more scoreless innings, no hits, but with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. �He was credited with his first win. �Diomedes Garcia earned his 6th save with a perfect 9th inning. �
Winston-Salem Dash 3, �Lynchburg Hillcats 1 �(13 innings)
After nearly 3.5 hours and 13 innings, the Dash�were able to take advantage of a throwing error by Hillcats' reliever Chris Cullen. �Then Cullen gave up a walk and two singles, and the Dash had the go-ahead run and one more for insurance. �In the bottom of the 13th, C Eric Fryer led off with a double, but could not get moved around the bases, and the Dash had the extra-inning win.
Hillcats' starter Justin Wilson pitched 6 innings, and allowed only one run, with no walks and 6 strikeouts. �He faced the minimum over the first 3 innings, giving up only one single in the 3rd, but immediately eliminating that runner with a double play. �Wilson gave up three consecutive singles int he 4th inning for the Dash's first run. �Tom Boleska pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. �
The Hillcats' batters were hitless until the 5th inning, when 1B Matt Hague singled, but then was out in a double play. �Hague also doubled in the 8th inning, and was left on base. �The 'Cats finally scored in the 9th inning. �2B Jose De Los Santos singled and went to second base on a balk. �SS Jordy Mercer brought De Los Santos in with an infield single, when he bounced to third base and the throw to first base was low. �What should have been the final out of the game instead produced the tying run and sent the game into extras. �
RJ Rodriguez came on to pitch in the 10th. �He had a runner reach 3rd base, on a walk, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice bunt, but Eric Fryer snatched up a bunt and tagged out the lead runner at home to prevent a run from scoring. �In the 11th, the Dash's lead-off hitter singled but was caught stealing second base. The Hillcats went down in order in the 10th. �They put a runner on base in the 11th, when CF Alex Presley singled, but could not bring him around to score. �Chris Cullen pitched the 12th inning and worked around two runners on base, still keeping the Dash from scoring. �Jordy Mercer singled and LF Jared Keel walked in the bottom of the 12th, but again couldn't score. �That set up the top of the 13th, and the win for the Dash. �
Greenville Drive 6, �West Virginia Power 3
The Drive scored 6 runs in the 2nd inning, and the Power were unable to come back in Game 1 of the double-header. �The Power got off to a good start, with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. �RF Starling Marte opened the inning by being hit by a pitch, then stole second base. CF Robbie Grossman walked, and C Tony Sanchez's fly out let Marte tag up and go to third base. �DH�Calvin Anderson lined a single into right field, scoring Marte, and LF Quincy Latimore lined a single into left field, scoring Grossman, to give the Power a 2-0 lead.�
But the Drive came racing back in the top of the 2nd, sending 11 batters to the plate. �Starter Brian Leach gave up two singles and hit a batter, scoring one run. �A fielding error and a sacrifice fly added another run (#2). �After an RBI single (3,4), an RBI double (5), and another single, Leach was relieved by Noah Krol. �Krol got a force out, which scored another run (6), then gave up a single and got a strikeout to end the inning.
Krol pitched another 2 innings, allowing only one single, but keeping the Drive from scoring again. �Diego Moreno pitched 3 scoreless innings, striking out 6 batters. �In fact, 13 of the 21 outs the Dash made were strikeouts -- 3 by Leach, 4 by Krol, and 6 by Moreno. � Unfortunately, the Power were also striking out -- a total of 11. �The Power could not get anything going again until a late rally in the bottom of the 7th. �3B Bobby Spain led off with a double, and after two outs, Starling Marte brought him in with a triple. �That was all the Power could get, though, as a strikeout ended the inning and the game.
Drive 8, �Power 6
The Drive continued to dominate, scoring their 8 runs on just 7 hits and taking advantage of 3 Power errors. �Gabriel Alvarado kept the Drive scoreless for 2 innings, then gave up 3 runs in the top of the 3rd after two outs, on two errors, a walk, a single, and a double. �The Power tied it up in the bottom of the inning, with LF Quincy Latimore's 3-run homer. �
The Dash countered with an RBI double and a 2-run homer in the top of the 4th, to take a 6-3 lead. �Another 2-run homer in the 5th gave the Dash an 8-3 advantage. �Alvarado was responsible for all 8 runs (4 earned), on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 6 strikeouts. �Rafael De Los Santos pitched the final two innings for the Power, allowing one hit and striking out 5 batters.
The Power rallied in the last two innings. �A double by 1B Kyle Morgan and an RBI single by 3B Bobby Spain brought in one run in the 6th inning. �In the 7th,�2B Brett Willemburg led off with a single and went to second when CF Robbie Grossman walked. �Quincy Latimore bounced into a force out, moving Willemburg to third, and leaving Latimore on first base. �DH Calvin Anderson's double scored Willemburg and Latimore all the way from first base, but that was all the Power could get and they fell 2 short. �
State College Spikes 9, �Batavia Muckdogs 2
CF Evan Chambers led the Spikes by going 3-for-3, with a double and an RBI, as the Spikes posted a total of 12 hits to beat the Muckdogs. �1B Justin Byler, DH Aaron Baker, and 3B Pat Irvine had 2 hits each, with 2 RBI each for Byler and Irvine. �Starting pitcher Ricardo Paulino pitched 6 scoreless innings and held the Muckdogs to just one hit, no walks, and struck out 3 batters. �Brandon Holden pitched the 7th inning and allowed 2 runs on two doubles and a single. �Teddy Fallon and Marc Baca each pitched a scoreless inning to finish �up for the Spikes. �
The Spikes batters were having a much better night. �They scored one run in the 2nd inning on LF Edward Garcia's RBI single. �Four runs came in during the 3rd inning. �Evan Chambers and 2B Ty Summerlin both walked to open the inning, and both scored on Justin Byler's double. �Aaron Baker's single moved Byler to third base, and Pat Irvine's double scored Byler. �RF David Rubinstein brought in Baker with a sacrifice fly.
The Spikes added 3 more runs in the 4th inning. �Evan Chambers walked to begin the rally. �Three singles, by Ty Summerlin, Aaron Baker, and Pat Irvine brought in two runs, and left runners on the corners. �David Rubinstein struck out, but strike three was a wild pitch, and Baker came in to score. �One final run scored in the 7th, on C Craig Parry's single, a fielding error that moved Parry to third base, and Evan Chambers' third hit of the game scored Parry. �
Louisville Bats 15,�
�� Indianapolis Indians 6
The rain began in the third inning at Victory Field tonight, and that's about when the Bats began raining hits and runs down on the Indianapolis Indians. �The rain got heavier and lighter but didn't ever completely stop. �The Bats scored a few more and a few less and were even held scoreless for a couple of innings, but their steady rain didn't ever completely stop either. �
When it was over, the Bats had posted 18 hits and 15 runs, and took advantage of 2 errors by the Indians. �Five of their runs were unearned. �The Indians had 12 hits and 6 runs, but when the Bats made errors, they didn't turn the errors to their advantage. �
It wasn't too bad for the first three batters of the game. �Ty Taubenheim (photo above),�making his first start in several weeks, got into trouble in the first inning. �He hit the first batter of the game, 2B Luis Bolivar, who then stole second base. �Rehabbing 3B Scott Rolen smacked the ball right back to the mound, and Taubenheim quickly whirled and charged at Bolivar, who had ventured far off second base. �Taubenheim fired to SS Argenis Diaz, who chased Bolivar toward third base and tagged him for the out. �Rolen made it to second base while the play was developing. �RF Darnell McDonald grounded sharply between shortstop and third, but 3B Neil Walker (photo sequence) robbed him of a hit with a full-out dive to his left and a quick hop up to fire to first base in time. �
Rolen went to third on the play, and you could see Walker thinking, almost as if a little cartoon cloud had appeared in the air over his head, that maybe he could tag out Rolen as he ran past. �But Walker was a few steps back on the infield dirt, and Rolen was out of his reach. �Walker was still able to throw to first in time to get McDonald. �LF Juan Francisco, who the Indians have seen swing at almost anything, singled into right field, scoring Rolen. �CF Chris Heisey grounded to third, and Neil Walker made another outstanding stop, with his momentum carrying him well into foul territory. �His throw to first might have been on time, but 1B Jeff Clement dropped the ball just as Heisey crossed the bag. �
Bats' 1B Wes Bankston brought both Francisco and Heisey in with a double that fell in just out of RF Tagg Bozied's�reach in right field. �Finally, Taubenheim ended the inning with a strikeout of SS Chris Valaika. �
Taubenheim kept the Bats scoreless in the 2nd inning. �Neil Walker made another outstanding play at third, charging onto the infield grass to scoop up a ball to the left of the mound, which Taubenheim might have been able to get to, to throw out C Corky Miller. �Luis Bolivar reached base when his bunt trickled down the third base line and never did slide across the foul line, but Taubenheim struck out Scott Rolen to end the inning. �
The Indians were still in the game at that point. �CF Jose Tabata led off the bottom of the 1st with a single that bounced off the back of the mound and continued into center field. �He also stole second base, and moved to third on LF Brian Myrow's single that slipped past 3B Scott Rolen and into left field before Rolen could react. �Jeff Clement brought Tabata across the plate with a sacrifice fly. �Tagg Bozied led off the 2nd inning with a bloop broken bat single over second base and into center field. �Neil Walker surprised the Bats by dropping down a perfect sacrifice bunt, his first sac bunt of the season, to move Bozied to second base. �A wild pitch put Bozied on third base, and Argenis Diaz popped a single into short right-center field, to score Bozied. �The Indians were within one run of the Bats, 3-2. �
[Photo: �Chris Barnwell and Ty Taubenheim]
Then it got ugly.
Third Inning: �The dark clouds moved in, the wind changed direction and picked up, and the rain began to fall. �The Bats batted around, scoring 4 runs after Taubenheim had gotten two outs. �A double, an error, a double, a walk, two singles, and a passed ball. �With Chris Heisey on second base after a double, Wes Bankston grounded to short. �Instead of throwing to first to get what would have been a near-certain third out on Bankston, SS Argenis Diaz was distracted by Heisey running past him, and threw to third base. �If the throw had been on target, and if Neil Walker hadn't been as surprised as everyone else by the throw, Walker might have had a chance of making the catch and tagging out Heisey. �But Walker just barely got there and the throw was wide and in the dirt. � As the ball skipped over towards the Indians' dugout, Heisey rounded third and scored easily, and Bankston made it to second base. �Taubenheim was pulled after 8 of the batters, and the newest member of the Tribe, Jeff Sues, came on in relief with the bases loaded. �His third pitch became the passed ball, which scored Corky Miller from third. �A fly out ended the inning.
Fourth Inning: �Sues (photo) stayed in the game, and had gotten two quick outs. �Then Chris Heisey lifted a long fly ball to straight-away center field. �Jose Tabata went back, back, back -- and then there was suddenly a wall in the way. �Tabata slammed into the wall as the ball hit the wall and both bounced. �The ball trailed away along the warning track towards left field, and by the time Brian Myrow could come over to chase it down, Heisey had an inside-the-park home run. �Tabata took a few moments to get up and walk around. �He was checked out by trainer Jose Ministral, and was able to remain in the game.
Fifth Inning: Sues gave up back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. �A sacrifice bunt put the runners on second and third, and a sacrifice fly by Luis Bolivar and a single by Scott Rolen scored two runs.
Eighth Inning: �The Bats batted around again for another 4 runs. �Corey Hamman, who had just pitched 2 scoreless innings, began the inning with a walk, a double, and a single for one run. �Then a grounder got under Neil Walker's glove and past him, and another run came in. �For the second time in a week, Larry Broadway (photo) came on to pitch for the Indians. �Broadway had pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Indians already this season, but today was not as good. �He gave up back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced, bringing in two more runs. �
Ninth Inning: �Not one, but two position players taking the mound. �Chris Barnwell (photo below) came on to pitch. �He got Michael Griffin to ground out to third, then gave up a booming home run to Darnell McDonald. �Juan Francisco tapped what he thought was a foul ball, but the home plate umpire called it fair. �C Erik Kratz just needed to take three steps forward, pick up the ball, and tag Francisco. �Barnwell walked Chris Heisey, and then got Wes Bankston to fly out. �
Taubenheim was charged with the loss, his 9th of the season. �He made 67 pitches (45 strikes) in his 2.2 innings, and gave up 3 earned runs and 4 unearned runs, on 9 hits and a walk. �Sues was responsible for 3 runs. �Hamman was responsible for 4 runs, though one was unearned. �Larry Broadway was the only pitcher who was not charged with an earned run, though he let the inherited runners score.
Bats' LF Juan Francisco made a very wild throw to the plate in the 5th inning, moving two runners into scoring position with one out. �But the Indians' couldn't capitalize, as Erik Kratz struck out and Argenis Diaz grounded out to end the inning and leave the runners in place. �
1B Wes Bankston made a fielding error on Neil Walker's grounder behind the first base bag in the 8th inning. �The Indians couldn't take advantage, though, and a line out, a grounder force out, and a fly out later, the Indians left another runner on base.
There were a few positives for the Tribe:
Brian Myrow went 4-for-4 at the plate, with a double and three singles, a walk, and 2 RBI.
Jose Tabata went 3-for-5 with a double. �
Neil Walker went 2-for-3, with two RBI singles. �He had the sacrifice bunt in the 2nd inning, and reached base on a fielding error by Bats' 1B Wes Bankston in the 8th. �He ended the game with a sharp line drive right into Bankston's glove in the 9th.
The Tribe scored one run in the 3rd inning. �Brian Myrow and Jeff Clement had back-to-back walks with one out, and Neil Walker's first RBI single brought Myrow in. �
[Photo: �Larry Broadway on the mound]
Walker brought in another run in the 5th inning. �Myrow led off with a double, and Jeff Clement walked. �Walker lined a single into left field, scoring Myrow from second base. �
The Indians didn't give up. �They scored two more runs in the 9th inning, which opened with three straight hits: �a single by Jose Tabata, a double into the right field corner by Pedro Lopez, and Brian Myrow's fourth hit of the night, which scored both Tabata and Lopez. �
Pedro Lopez's double in the 9th extended his hitting streak to 7 games.
Tagg Bozied extended his hitting streak to 8 games.
Corey Hamman pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk, in the 6th and 7th innings.
[Photo: �Chris Barnwell considers his next pitch]
Indians' Hitting Gems of the Game: �Brian Myrow's 4 hits, with 2 RBI. �
Indians' Defensive Gems of the Game: �Several strong plays at third by Neil Walker, and a double play by the middle infield, Pedro Lopez to Argenis Diaz to Jeff Clement (4-6-3) in the 3rd inning. �
Ty Taubenheim and Jeff Sues take their turns at the plate (note no battin g gloves for Sues)
Phil Dumatrait's rehab time is over, and he has been added back onto the Pirates' 40-man and 25-man active rosters. �The Pirates made space for him on the active roster by placing Jeff Karstens on the bereavement list (his grandmother is ill). �To make room on the 40-man roster, Evan Meek was moved to the 60-day disabled list. �Meek was on the DL with an oblique strain, and this means the end of his season. �
[Photos by Nancy Zinni -- MVN]
The Pirates offense was loudly efficient tonight. The team totaled just five hits. But three of them went for extra bases. Trailing 1-0 with...
Friday's minor league action in the Pirates' organization, beginning with an afternoon contest.
The West Virginia Power were rained out and will play two on Saturday.
GCL Yankees 3, �GCL Bradenton Pirates 1
The Pirates avoided a shutout by scoring one run in the top of the 9th, as Brooks Pounders took his second loss of the season. �Pounders pitched 3 innings, and gave up a single and a double in both the first and the third innings. �Unfortunately in the 3rd inning, the single and double were followed by a home run, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. �Zachary Fuesser pitched 4 scoreless innings and allowed one hit and 2 walks, and Andres Santos allowed a double in the scoreless 9th inning. �
The Pirates batters were given the gift of 3 errors by the Yankees, but were able to post only 3 hits and a walk in the first 8 innings and could not score. �3B Henry Henry tripled in the 2nd inning, and was left on base. �SS Gift Ngoepe singled to lead off the 3rd inning but was caught stealing second base, and 1B Gerlis Rodriguez singled in the 4th and was erased in a double play. �Finally in the 9th inning, 2B Benjamin Gonzalez led off with a single, and a wild pitch advanced him to second base. �DH Andrew Walker walked, but was out at second in a grounder force play, leaving Gonzalez at third and Rodriguez at first. �C Jairo Marquez singled, scoring Gonzalez. �Pinch hitter Ramon Cabrera walked to load the bases with two outs, but the inning and the game ended when pinch hitter Elevys Gonzalez struck out. �
Altoona Curve 4, �Bowie BaySox 1
Donnie Veal made his first start of the season tonight, going 2 innings for the Curve and allowing one hit and one walk, both in the 1st inning. �A double play got him out of the inning, and he retired the side in order in the 2nd. �Yoslan Herrera came on in relief of Veal, and�pitched 5 innings. �He allowed only one run, which came in the 5th inning, on a walk, a throwing error by 3B Pedro Alvarez, and two singles. �Herrera retired the BaySox in order in the next 3 innings, including a total of 5 strikeouts, to earn his 10th win of the season. �Ramon Aguero collected his second save with two scoreless innings and 4 strikeouts.
SS Ray Chang had 2 hits and 2 RBI for the Curve. �LF Jonel Pacheco scored the Curve's first run in the 5th to tie the game. �He was hit by a pitch, went to second base when the Bowie first baseman missed the catch on a pick-off attempt, moved to third base on C Steve Lerud's single, and scored on RF Miles Durham's sacrifice fly. �The Curve broke the tie with 3 runs in the 6th inning. �Pedro Alvarez and 1B Jason Delaney both walked with one out. �Ray Chang's double and a throwing error on the relay throw by the cut-off man allowed Alvarez and Delaney to score. �Chang went to third on the error, and he scored on an wild pitch. �The Curve threatened again in the 8th, when both Alvarez and Delaney singled, but Chang bounced into a double play to end the inning. �
DH�Brian Friday went 0-for-4, ending his 10-game hitting streak.
Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Winston-Salem Dash 1 �(7 innings)
Jeff Locke got the start for the Hillcats and pitched 5 innings, allowing one run on 4 hits, no walks. �Locke gave up a double in each of the first 3 innings, though in the 1st and 2nd innings he was able to leave the runners on base. �In the 3rd inning, the double was followed by a stolen base and an RBI ground out. �Locke allowed only a single over the next 2 innings, to earn his 4th win. �Moises Robles pitched 2 scoreless innings, with 3 strikeouts to finish the game.�
The Hillcats came back in the bottom of the 3rd with two singles, by LF Alex Presley and CF Jose De Los Santos to open the inning. �At that point, the game was interrupted by a 45-minute rain delay. �When play resumed, 2B Chase d'Arnaud singled, scoring Presley, and 3B Josh Harrison hit a sacrifice fly to score De Los Santos, to give the Hillcats a 2-1 lead.
Two more runs came in during the 4th inning. �C Kris Watts led off with a walk, and another pair of singles by Presley and De Los Santos loaded the bases. �Harrison's single brought in both Watts and Presley, and Lynchburg had a 4-1 lead. �1B Matt Hague scored one more in the 5th, when he walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on DH Kent Sakamoto's RBI single. �
This was supposed to be the first game of a double header, but the rains returned, and the second game had to be postponed. �It will be made up in a double header on Sunday. �
State College Spikes 8, �Brooklyn Cyclones 0
A record-breaking crowd saw the Spikes take the wind out of the Cyclones in State College. �The Spikes scored 5 runs in the 1st inning before an out had been recorded. �SS Brock Holt, CF Evan Chambers, 1B Aaron Baker, and DH Justin Byler opened the inning with 4 consecutive singles, as Holt and Chambers scored on Byler's hit. �LF/3B Pat Irvine made it 5-0 with his 3rd home run of the season, a 3-run blast over the right field wall. �RF Butch Biela also singled and 3B/SS Andy Vasquez walked after the home run,b ut a double play and a ground out ended the inning. �
The Spikes added two more runs in the 2nd inning, which began with a double by Brock Holt and an RBI single by Evan Chambers. �A grounder force play put Chambers out at second and left Aaron Baker at first. �Baker went to second on a wild pitch, and a fielding error put Justin Byler on base. �Pat Irvine collected his 4th RBI of the game with a single, scoring Baker. �In the 3rd inning, C Miguel Mendez singled, Holt hit a ground-rule double, and Evan Chambers hit a sacrifice fly to score Mendez and give the Spikes an 8-0 lead. �
The Cyclones' bullpen settled down and held the Spikes scoreless over the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Spikes starter Kyle McPherson and reliever Zach Foster had no trouble holding the Cyclones scoreless. �McPherson retired the first 8 batters he faced, then scattered 6 hits and a walk over the next 4.1 innings, for a total of 6 innings. �He struck out 7 batters. �Foster allowed only 2 hits, no walks, and struck out 2 batters. �The Cyclones had a runner get as far as third base only once, in the 4th inning, on two singles.
Here is a question from Dejan's Q&A yesterday: Q: Dejan, with all of the dumping of players over the past two seasons, would it...