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Mike Crotta (photo) made the start for the Indians.� He gave up only two runs (one earned) on 8 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts in 6.1 innings, but without run support, his effort was not enough.� Bulls’ RF Justin Ruggiano was a big thorn in Crotta’s side, as he went 4-for-4 in the game.� Ruggiano singled in the 1st inning, but Crotta left him on base.� Ruggiano picked up the RBI on the Bull’s first run in the 3rd inning.� After former Indy Indian 2B JJ Furmaniak reached base on a throwing error by Pedro Ciriaco at short, Furmaniak stole second base, then advanced to third on a ground out.� Ruggiano slipped a single through the hole and into left field, driving in Furmaniak, to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead.

The Bulls scored again in the 5th, and again it was Ruggiano who had the RBI hit.� With one out, Mike Crotta hit CF Desmond Jennings with a pitch.� A ground out moved Jennings to second base, and he promptly stole third base (his 28th steal of the season).� Ruggiano lined a double down the right field line and into the corner, allowing Jennings to score easily.� Ruggiano tried to reach third base on the play, but the throw in from RF John Bowker to Aki Iwamura at third was in time for Iwamura to tag out Ruggiano as he slid in.

IMG_3805Mike Crotta gave up another two hits in the 4th inning, but was rescued by a double play, started by 2B Brian Friday.� Crotta also gave up a single to another former Indian, DH Chris Richard, in the 6th, but he was forced out in a ground out play.� Crotta got into trouble again in the 7th.� Furmaniak reached base when his grounder bounced off Aki Iwamura’s glove for an error,� and Jennings lined a single into right field.� By then, Crotta had thrown 96 pitches (61 strikes), and was relieved by southpaw Corey Hamman (photo). Hamman quickly ended the inning with another timely double play, this one started by SS Pedro Ciriaco.

Hamman also worked his way out of a jam in the 8th inning.� Ruggiano dribbled the first pitch he saw along the third base line — not a bunt, but only about half way to third base.� As the ball trickled along just about 4 inches from the foul line, Indians C Luke Carlin walked after it, hoping the ball would decide to roll foul.� Then Carlin tried to help the ball get foul by crouching down and blowing on the ball to encourage it.� The umpires ruled the windy aid illegal, and awarded Ruggiano his fourth hit of the game.� Chris Richard followed with a single into right field on the first pitch he saw. Hamman got a fly out, then whirled and caught Ruggiano off second base.� Ruggiano was out in the run down, and a ground out ended the inning.� All that took Hamman just 9 pitches (7 strikes).

The Indians are done with this long road trip, and will return to Victory Field on Monday to begin an 8-game home stand — 4 games against the Norfolk Tides and 4 games against the Syracuse Chiefs.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Not a lot to choose from here…. Brian Friday’s hit was the better of the two, a solid smack into left field.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� Two double plays that got pitchers out of jams with two runners on base.� The 4-6-3 (Brian Friday to Pedro Ciriaco to 1B Jonathan Van Every) came in the 4th, and the 6-4-3 play came in the 7th.

NOTES:

Roster moves:� C Erik Kratz was optioned back to the Indians when Ryan Doumit came off the Pirates’ disabled list and needed a roster spot.� The Indians went from having only one catcher on the roster (Luke Carlin) to now having 3 catchers.

Akinori Iwamura came off the Indians’ disabled list (he’d had a concussion after a collision at first base), and to make room for him, INF Jim Negrych was sent back to the AA Altoona Curve.� Negrych played in today’s Curve game and went 1-for-4 and scored a run.

INF/OF Brian Friday, who had been bought back from the Cleveland Indian organization, has now moved on to his third organization of the season:� the Washington Nationals.� The Pirates traded Bixler for cash yesterday, saving Bixler from having to go to Altoona to free up a spot on the Indy Indians’ roster.� The Nationals assigned Bixler to their AAA team, the Syracuse Chiefs, so we will see Bixler again in just a few days, when Syracuse comes to Indianapolis.� Bixler made his first appearance with the Chiefs today in their game against the Rochester Red Wings.� He had a single and a double and scored a run, while playing left field.

News on some other former Indy Indians:� OF Chris Duffy has been released by the Phillies’ organization.� He had been playing for the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and hitting .243 with 18 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, and 34 RBI, and had missed some time due to injury.

RHP� Mike Koplove (Indians in 2009) had made 22 relief appearances for Tacoma (AAA Seattle) this season, and in 28.1 innings, he had allowed 34 hits and 13 walks, with 21 strikeouts.� He had a 0-1 record with one save, and a 4.45 ERA.� Koplove has now been signed by the Padres and sent to their AAA team in Portland.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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