Alex Presley is congratulated after one of his two home runs.
Indianapolis Indians 13, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
The Indianapolis Indians exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits to defeat the Yankees at Victory Field tonight, earning a split of both the 4-game series and the 8-game season series with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LF Alex Presley blasted a pair of 3-run home runs to lead the offense, as each member of the line-up collected at least one hit, and all but one scored at least one run.
Both starting pitchers began their evening with struggles in the first inning. For Tribe starter Justin Wilson (photo), the game started with a triple off the bat of Yankees' 2B Kevin Russo. Russo's lined into right field, where RF Miles Durham raced in and made a feet-first slide, but missed the ball. By the time, Durham got up and chased the ball down, Russo was gliding into third base. SS Ramiro Pena dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, with Wilson scrambling off the mound to make the scoop and throw right back to C Eric Fryer as Russo came from third. Fryer blocked the plate, but he dropped the ball, and Russo was safe. It was first ruled a sacrifice bunt and a fielders' choice -- but then the ruling was changed to a missed catch error on Fryer, with no RBI for Pena.
With a runner still on first base, Wilson got C Jesus Montero to fly out and struck out 3B Jorge Vazquez. A wild pitch moved Pena to second base, then he scored on 1B Brandon Laird's single, lined over SS Chase d'Arnaud's head and into left field. Both runs were unearned, but the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.
But Yankees' starter Andrew Brackman was having his own troubles. His pitches were going everywhere, with no apparent control on his part. He walked lead-off batter d'Arnaud, with d'Arnaud ducking out of the way as one pitch came in a little too close to his head, and ball four going crazy wild all the way to the backstop. Another crazy wild pitch to 2B Brian Friday let d'Arnaud advance to second base. Brackman settled down enough to get Friday to fly out, then retired Presley on a high bouncer back to the mound, and struck out 1B John Bowker. When Brackman came out for the second inning, his command was even worse -- reminiscent of the "Wild Thing" character in the movie "Major League". Brackman walked both 3B Andy Marte and DH Matt Hague, with pitches going everywhere. After three more balls for a 3-1 count on Fryer, Brackman threw another wild one that hit Fryer on his helmet, then bounced off the helmet and into the stands behind the visitors' dugout. That was the last pitch for Brackman, who was quickly yanked.
Reliever Ryan Pope came on for the Yankees, with the bases full and no outs. RF Miles Durham cleared the bases on Pope's first pitch, with a ringing double to the base of the wall in right-center field, and the Indians took a 3-2 lead as Marte, Hague, and Fryer all scored (photo). Pope also gave up a single to CF Gorkys Hernandez and walked Friday before ending the inning on two fly outs.
Wilson was able to relax after that first inning. He gave up a two-out single to CF Austin Krum in the 2nd inning, but struck out Russo to end the inning. He loaded the bases in the 3rd inning with singles by Montero and RF Jordan Parraz and a walk to Vazquez. But with two outs and the bases loaded, Wilson reached deep, and fired two pitches at 92-93 mph to strike out LF Dan Brewer and end the inning. Wilson went on to pitch 3 more innings, without allowing another hit. He walked two batters in the 5th, but erased one base runner with an around-the-horn double play (Marte to Friday to Bowker, 5-4-3). Alex Presley made the final out of the inning with a spectacular leaping catch of Laird's fly ball to deep left field, snatching the ball at the top of the left field scoreboard.