Louisville Bats 5, Indianapolis Indians 2[ box ]
Louisville’s Edison Volquez, who was not one of the eight Bats’ players called up to the Reds when major league rosters expanded yesterday, took his frustration out on the Indians tonight, earning the win as the Reds beat the Tribe at Victory Field tonight. Volquez pitched 7 innings and allowed two runs — one earned and one unearned — on 5 hits, while striking out 12 batters. Tribe starter Jose Ascanio lasted just 4 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, and was charged with his third loss of the season.
SS Pedro Ciriaco began the bottom of the 1st with a line drive single into left field. That was the only hit Volquez allowed in the first three innings. Ciriaco was forced out at second on a grounder, and a double play ended the inning. Volquez gave up a walk to 3B Pedro Alvarez in the 2nd and hit CF Gorkys Hernandez with a pitch in the 3rd, but he struck out three batters in the 2nd and one more in the third.
The Bats got flying in the top of the 1st, as Ascanio struggled right away. With one out, he gave up a double down the left field line to SS Kristopher Negron. Ludwick, in his first game at Victory Field, stumbled as he went after the ball in the left field corner, but Negron would have reached second base anyway. Ascanio struck out LF Denis Phipps, then RF Danny Dorn ripped a double down the right field line, just barely fair, and heading into the corner. Negron scored easily on the second double. Dorn advanced to third base on a wild pitch, then scored on 1B Neftali Soto’s line drive that sailed just over the leaping SS Ciriaco’s glove. C Yasmani Grandal also was credited with a single on an uncommon play: his grounder heading for the hole between first and second bases hit Soto, who was running for second. Grandal got the hit, but Soto was out to end the inning. Bats 2, Indians 0
Ascanio settled down for the next two innings. He gave up a one-out triple to 2B Jose Castro, into the right field corner, in the 2nd inning, but struck out the next two batters, leaving Castro standing on third base. He also worked around a walk in the 3rd inning, striking out another two batters. But Ascanio got into trouble again in the 4th. He began by hitting Grandal with a pitch, then gave up a double into the right-center field alley to 3B Mike Costanzo, moving Grandal to third. 2B Jose Castro doubled over 3B Pedro Alvarez’s head down the left field line, driving in both Grandal and Costanzo, to give the Bats a 4-0 lead.
LF Ryan Ludwick, on a rehab assignment from the Pirates, put the Indians onto the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th. He crushed a huge home run over the left field wall and onto the sidewalk behind the grass berm. Hernandez cut the Bats’ lead to 4-2 with a run in the 5th. He led off by slapping a line drive down the right field line, then racing around and sliding into third with a triple. He scored moments later when Ciriaco hit a little pop along the first base line. Volquez ran toward the line to catch the ball , but as he crossed into foul territory, the ball tipped off the end of his glove, landing in foul territory. Volquez kept running, as if he’d either forgotten about the runner on third, or else thought that it didn’t matter because the ball landed in foul territory. His first baseman, Soto, ran past Volquez to pick up the ball and fire to the plate, but it was too late — Hernandez was already crossing the plate. Bats 4, Indians 2.
Volquez allowed two more hits over the next two innings. 1B Matt Hague picked up his 162nd hit of the season to begin the bottom of the 6th, but he was erased when Alvarez bounced into a double play. Pinch-hitter Andy Marte singled in the 7th, but Volquez struck out three other batters in that frame. Bats’ reliever Jordan Smith retired the Indians in order in the 8th, and reliever Brad Boxberger struck out the side in the 9th.
Ascanio finished his work having thrown 64 pitches (45 strikes). He was relieved by Aaron Heilman, who put a (temporary) clamp on the Bats’ offense with a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th. Justin Thomas pitched a scoreless 6th, allowing a single to Castro (who finished his night only a homer away from hitting for the cycle). Thomas began the 7th inning with a bunt ground out and a walk. Jared Hughes needed only one pitch to end the inning. Phipps hit a big blast into right field, which SS Negron and most of the people in the park thought was heading over the wall. But it fell at the last moment. Negron had been off and running and had already rounded second base. RF Miles Durham’s throw back to first base reached the bag before Negron did, for a double play and an outfield assist for Durham.
Rehabbing Evan Meek pitched the 8th inning. Dorn lifted a looper just out of reach of Ciriaco’s leap for a single. Two outs later, Costanzo singled off the tip of 2B Jordy Mercer’s glove and into right field. Dorn was off and running with the swing of the bat, rounding third and scoring easily. Costanzo advanced to second on the throw, and slid in as Ciriaco applied the tag… or not. Costanzo was ruled safe on a missed tag, though the radio guys Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley reported that the in-house replay did not agree with that call. Again, it turned out to not matter, since Meek got Castro to ground out to first to end the inning. Bats 5, Indians 2.
Danny Moskos took the final inning for the Indians. He gave up a single and a walk, but ended the inning with a strikeout and a pop fly.
The Indians began the game two games behind the leaders in the International League Wild Card race. The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Gwinnett Braves were tied for first place. The Indians’ loss combined with a Lehigh Valley win, 2-1 over the Buffalo Bison, means that the Indians are now 3 games behind Lehigh Valley. The best the Tribe can do is a tie with Lehigh Valley, if the Indians win all three of their remaining games, and Lehigh Valley loses all three of theirs. The Gwinnett Braves got their game started, but rain halted play. They will finish that game and play the regularly scheduled game tomorrow. If they lose all of theirs and the Indians win all of theirs, they can also finish in a tie. It’s also possible that the season ends with a 3-way tie for the wild card spot. Lots of “ifs”….
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Ryan Ludwick’s solo home run in his first rehab game with the Indians.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: The fly out-double off double play in the top of the 7th inning. Jared Hughes made one pitch and got two outs — a fly out on Denis Phipps and the double-off on Kristopher Negron, thanks to an on-target throw by Miles Durham.
P Brian Burres, who was called up by the Pirates yesterday when rosters could be expanded, made the start for the Pirates today, and earned the win. He went 5.1 innings and allowed one run on a solo home run by Cubs’ Carlos Pena. Burres gave up 4 more hits and a walk, and he struck out 5 batters. Alex Presley tripled twice in the game, singled, walked, and scored twice.
C Jason Jaramillo was also recalled by the Pirates yesterday, though he did not get into today’s game.
Inf Brian Friday was activated off the Indians’ Disabled List today. He made a pinch-hit appearance in tonight’s game, but struck out.
(photos by Nancy)