Kris Watts' first AAA hit is a triple, as he slides in ahead of the tag.
Indianapolis Indians 4, Gwinnett Braves 3
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The Indianapolis Indians took a step above the .500 level today, with a win over the Gwinnett Braves this afternoon at Victory Field. Starter Justin Wilson made his 13th start of the season and earned his 8th win, but had to work around a lot of base runners to do it. 3B Andy Marte, just back in the line-up after a hamstring injury, went 3-for-3 at the plate, and sparked the Tribe's key rally in the 6th inning.
The Indians jumped out to an early lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. With two outs, CF Alex Presley (photo), who leads the International League in hits, got hit #83 on a line drive into short center field. He stole second base, then a walk to LF John Bowker gave the Indians runners on first and second bases. 1B Matt Hague grounded to short, where Braves' SS Julio Lugo could not get the ball out of his glove fast enough to throw anyone out. That loaded the bases for Marte, who took a 3-1 pitch into right field for a single. Presley and Bowker scored easily, and as RF Stefan Gartrell made the throw in to the plate, Hague also rounded third and was sent home. Hague slid in to the plate, but by then C Wilkin Castillo had the ball and was planted in front of the plate -- Hague was tagged out at home to end the inning. Indians up, 2-0.
With one out in the 2nd inning, the newest member of the Tribe, C Kris Watts, who made his first AAA start today, also picked up his first AAA hit -- a triple into right field. Gartrell made a dive for the ball, but missed, and the ball bounced all the way to the right field wall, as Watts raced around second and slid into third base (photo above). A walk to SS Chase d'Arnaud gave the Indians runners on the corners, but a ground out at second base ended the inning. The Tribe had only one hit over the next two innings, and that was Marte's second hit of the game, a double to center field to lead off the bottom of the 4th. Braves' CF Jose Constanza ran all the way back to the wall, where he made a leap for a catch. But the catch threw him into the outfield wall, and that jarred the ball out of his glove. The umpires ruled that it was not a catch, and Marte reached second base. He was stranded there, though, as Braves' starter Erik Cordier retired the next three batters on fly outs.