Chase d'Arnaud makes the play at shortstop
Indianapolis Indians 9, Columbus Clippers 5
It took 8 games, but the Indians finally got their first win of the season against the Columbus Clippers tonight at Victory Field. Brad Lincoln made a solid start, going 7 innings to earn his 3rd win. It was the second game in a row that the Tribe scored 9 runs, but also the second in a row when they allowed the opposition to rally in the late innings. The Indians posted 16 hits (two more than last night), with 1B Matt Hague and SS Chase d'Arnaud each contributing 3 hits and 3 RBI. Each member of the starting line up had at least one hit.
Lincoln (photo) allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts in his 7 innings. He had only one inning in which he retired the Clippers in order, but left 8 runners on base. The righty got through the first inning with only one runner reaching base, when he hit Columbus' DH Lonnie Chisenhall with a pitch. The two runs scored in the 2nd inning. RF Travis Buck led off the inning with a single into right center field. A fly out and a pop out followed, and it looked like Lincoln might get out of the inning unscathed. Then former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin ran the count full and took a walk. That brought up 3B Luis Valbuena, who ripped a grounder into right field so hard that it travelled all the way to the right field wall. He drove in both Buck and Carlin, and by the time the ball got to the infield, Valbuena was on second base. A spectacular catch by CF Alex Presley on a long fly ball off the bat of CF Ezequiel Carrera ended the inning.
Lincoln went on to give up a single to Chisenhall in the 3rd inning, and also struck out 2 in the 3rd. 1B Chad Huffman singled and stole second base in the 5th. That inning ended with a grounder toward second base. 2B Pedro Ciriaco charged in, made the scoop on the run, then threw across his body and a little behind him to first base, where Matt Hague had to pick the ball out of the dirt, but did it in time for the out. Chisenhall doubled in the 7th inning, but was again left stranded.
After scoring in the 2nd inning, the biggest threat the Clippers made against Lincoln came in the 4th. With one out, LF Jerad Head slipped a grounder past the diving d'Arnaud and into left field. Carlin again worked a full count and took a walk. Valbuena flied out to short left field for the second out. Carrera grounded to third for what should have been the final out, but the ball skipped off 3B Josh Harrison's glove and over his shoulder. D'Arnaud was in the perfect position to back up Harrison, and made the catch behind him, but by then Carrera had reached first base safely, loading the bases. D'Arnaud's back-up kept a run from scoring, though, and Lincoln got another grounder to Harrison, this one fielded cleanly, to end the inning and leave the bases full. It took Lincoln 97 pitches (62 strikes) to get through his 7 innings.