Shortstop Chase d'Arnaud has to leave the second base bag to keep this throw from C Eric Fryer from going into center field, as Braves' Jose Constanza stole second base in the first inning.
Indianapolis Indians 1, Gwinnett Braves 0
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For the second time in less than a week, the Indians battled through a pitching duel to win by a score of 1-0. On Wednesday in Buffalo, the Tribe scored one run in the top of the 8th to beat the Bison. Today, the Indians won the opening game of a 4-game series with the Gwinnett Braves at Victory Field by the same score.
Brian Burres (photo, getting a turn at the plate) made the start for the Indians, and again he could not get the win while pitching at Victory Field. It was not through any fault of his own -- he pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing only 3 hits, with 4 walks and 6 strikeouts. But the Tribe batters could not come through with any runs for him in the early innings of the game.
Burres had to work out of a jam in the top of the 1st. Braves' CF Jose Constanza lined the first pitch of the game into right field for a single. Burres struck out SS Julio Lugo, but Constanza stole second base on strike three. The throw from C Eric Fryer was wide of the bag at second, and Constanza slid in easily. Constanza also stole third base, sliding in just a split second ahead of the tag by 3B Matt Hague. Burres walked RF Stefan Gartrell to put Braves on the corners. 1B Mauro Gomez lifted a fly ball to center field, and it looked like it was going to fall in for a single, so Constanza started down the third base line to the plate. But at the last second, CF Gorkys Hernandez charged in to make the running catch at knee-level. Constanza had to scramble back to third, and by then it was too late to tag up and try again to head for home. That was a big break for Burres and the Indians. The next batter, 2B Ed Lucas hit the first pitch into center field, an easier catch for Hernandez, to end the inning.
Burres retired the Braves in order in the next two innings. He began the 4th inning by giving up a single to Gartrell, on a line drive that looped over Hague's head and into left field. After a strikeout by Gomez and another great running catch by Hernandez on a fly ball by Lucas, Burres got LF Wilkin Ramirez to ground to third base. Hague's throw to 2B Brian Friday was wide to the outfield side of the bag, and Friday had to reach and fell to the ground, but still kept the ball in his glove and his toe on the bag, for the inning-ending force out.