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Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �0 (box)

IMG_3446The Indians shut out the Columbus Clippers, who currently reside in first place in the International League Western Division, at Victory Field tonight, to begin an 8-game home stand. �Four Indians' pitchers, starter Mike Crotta (photo above), Vinnie Chulk, Justin Thomas, and Brian Bass, combined to hold the Clippers to 4 hits and 4 walks, while the Tribe batters piled up 10 hits for 5 runs.

Mike Crotta pitched 5.1 scoreless innings to earn his 3rd win with the Indians, needing 87 pitches (46 strikes) to get the job done. �He was responsible for 3 of the hits and 3 of the walks. �He kept his infielders busy, as all of the outs he recorded were either ground outs, except for two strikeouts and one runner thrown out at second base.

IMG_3447Crotta gave up a 2-out double to Columbus catcher Carlos Santana in the 1st inning, but ended the inning with a bouncing grounder to SS Argenis Diaz (photo above). �Crotta retired the Clippers in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a walk to former Indy Indian 2B Brian Bixler (photo) to begin the 4th. �Santana followed with a grounder to third base, and as 3B Pedro Alvarez made the scoop and throw to first, the speedy Bixler got a good jump and broke for third base, where he slid in safely before 1B Brian Myrow could return the throw across the diamond. �Bixler was left standing there, though, as Crotta struck out 1B Wes Hodges and got DH Jordan Brown to ground out to second.

Crotta had to have a little help from his friends to get out of the 5th inning. �LF Nick Weglarz worked a walk to open the inning, then 3B Brian Buscher hit a high hop right to Brian Myrow at first base. �Myrow turned and fired to second base, forcing out Weglarz, then scrambled back to cover the first base bag and take the return throw from Argenis Diaz for the double play. �SS Anderson Hernandez followed with a line drive into center field for a single, but when he tried to steal second base, C Luke Carlin's throw was right on target, and the inning was over.

Crotta and Carlin did not have the same luck in the 6th. �With one out, CF Michael Brantley slipped a single through the hole and into left field. �He stole second base, and as he slid in, Carlin's throw might have hit the ground near second base, or maybe even hit Brantley, but either way, the ball ricocheted into center field, and Brantley took off for third base. �Argenis Diaz chased down the ball and threw to third as Brantley was reaching the base there, but Diaz's throw went way wide of third, and very nearly sailed into the Indians' dugout. �Brian Bixler worked his second walk of the game, and that was all for Crotta.

Vinnie Chulk came on in relief, and the speedy Bixler stole second base without drawing a throw from Carlin, putting two runners in scoring position. �But Chulk made it not matter -- he struck out both Carlos Santana and Wes Hodges to end the inning without the Clippers scoring.

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