Tag: Brian Bixler

McCutchen Has Another Tough Loss

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Home plate umpire Chris Ward and manger Frank Kremblas discuss an ejection.

Charlotte Knights� 3,� Indianapolis Indians� 2 (box)

IMG_4130Indians' starter Daniel McCutchen (photo, making a pickoff throw to first base) suffered another tough loss this afternoon at Victory Field.� Like in his previous four starts, McCutchen gave up 3 runs (it was 2 runs on June 21st) but did not get enough run support to get the win.� Today McCutchen pitched 8 innings, his longest start of the season, and threw 101 pitches (67 strikes).� Other than a 3-inning rain-shortened start in May, this was McCutchen's first start in which he did not strike out anyone.

McCutchen gave up just 6 hits in his 8 innings.� The first hit, to Knights' lead-off batter CF Alejandro De Aza to begin the game, was erased when De Aza was thrown out by C Luke Carlin trying to steal second base.� After two of the hits, a double by RF Stefan Gartrell in the 4th and a single to De Aza in the 8th, the runner was left on base.� (McCutchen retired the side in order in 3 innings.)

That left just three hits that were a problem for McCutchen.� LF Josh Kroeger led off the top of the 2nd inning with a line drive single into center field.� He moved to second base when 3B Brent Morel grounded slowly to third base -- 3B Jim Negrych charged the ball, but had only the one play at first base.� A balk by McCutchen put Kroeger on third base, but that turned out to not matter.� A moment later, 1B Jeremy Reed put a long fly ball well over the right field wall, landing on the patio beyond the right field corner.� Charlotte up, 2-0.

With one out in the 6th inning, 2B Luis Rodriguez deposited a home run just barely over the wall in the right field corner.� Rodriguez has now homered in each of the three games so far in this series between the Indians and the Knights, and in fact, it is his 4th home run in his last 4 games.

Those were all the hits the Knights needed.

IMG_4150Yesterday, Knight's starter Carlos Torres, who leads the International League in walks with 56, walked 7 batters.� Second in the league in free passes is Charlotte's Lucas Harrell -- today's starter.� Harrell came into the game having walked 53 batters so far in the season.� Unfortunately for the Indians, he left the game with exactly the same number of walks.

The Indians had at least one runner on base in 4 of Harrell's 6 innings, with 6 hits.� Unfortunately, four of those base runners were eliminated on force plays, including two double plays.� DH Kevin Melillo led off the bottom of the 1st with a soft looper into left field.� He was removed when 2B Brian Friday bounced into a double play.� LF Brian Bixler beat out a bunt up the third base line for a hit in the 5th inning, but he was erased when SS Argenis Diaz bounced into a double play.� Diaz slipped a grounder past the Knights' 2B Rodriguez for a single in the 3rd, but Melillo's grounder to first base forced him out at second base (photo).� There wasn't time for a throw to first base on that play.

The remaining force out was part of a rally in the 2nd inning, along with one of the Indians' other hits.� The Knights had just taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the inning, and with one out, Jim Negrych lined a single into center field.� Luke Carlin followed with a grounder right to SS Rob Hudson.� Hudson tossed to second base to force out Negrych, but he airmailed the relay throw to first base, and Carlin was safe at first.� 1B Doug Bernier, lined a double down the right field line and into the corner.� Carlin raced around the bases, scoring from first base, to cut the Knights' lead to 2-1.

Back-To-Back Homers Trip Up Tribe

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Conference time

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs� 4,�� Indianapolis Indians� 2 (box)

Back-to-back home runs in the 3rd inning was all the Iron Pigs needed to beat the Indians at Victory Field tonight.� Former Indianapolis Indian CF Chris Duffy smacked the first homer, and 2B Ozzie Chavez followed with the second.

The start of the game was delayed by nearly 90 minutes, though it wasn't raining, and in fact the sun was shining for part of that time.� The sun was not shining in downtown Indianapolis at around 5 pm, though.� That's when a sudden downpour sprang up with virtual no warning, catching the Victory Field ground crew without the tarp on the field.� By the time the tarp could be spread, quite a lot of water had gotten onto the infield.� Shortly before 6 pm, the tarp was pulled back and the crew went to work, first on the third base line and the third base and home plate areas, then later on the opposite side of the infield.� Several times in the process there was a conference on the field (photo above), including Lehigh Valley manager Dave Huppert, two of the umpires (black shirts on the left), head groundskeeper Joey Stevenson (red shirt), Indians' assistant general manager Randy Lewandowski (white shirt), and Indians' manager Frank Kremblas (far right).� It took the crew more than 2.5 hours to get the infield into a safe and playable condition, and the game began at about 8:30 pm.

IMG_4033Daniel McCutchen (photo) made the start for the Indians, and he generally looked sharp.� He threw 80 pitches (52 strikes) over 5 innings, and was only removed at that point because his turn in the batting order came around in the bottom of the 5th and the Indians had a runner on base and were trying to catch up.

McCutchen gave up 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk, and struck out 5 batters.� He retired the side in order only one time, in the 5th.� He worked around one base runner in the 1st (a walk to LF Domonic Brown), in the 2nd (a single by C Dane Sardinha), and the 4th (he hit Sardinha with a pitch).� The only inning that gave him any serious trouble was the 3rd.

That inning began with Iron Pigs' pitcher JA Happ taking a 2-2 pitch down the right field line and into the corner for a double.� Happ is a lifetime .070 hitter, who has had one previous double, in 2009.� Chris Duffy took McCutchen's next pitch for a ride over the wall in right-center field, for a no-doubt 2-run homer.� Then Ozzie Chavez also hit the first pitch from McCutchen ove rthe right field wall, to the right of where Duffy's sailed out.� McCutchen took a deep breath, and struck out the next batter, Domonic Brown, then ended the inning with two ground outs.� After the homers, McCutchen faced only one batter over the minimum for the rest of his might, and that was when he hit Sardinha with a pitch.

Indians Snatch Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

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Brandon Moss is congratulated on his home run

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs� 10,� Indianapolis Indians� 8 (box)

Yes, that's what they did.� The Indianapolis Indians squandered a 7-run lead at Victory Field tonight. � They were one strike away from a win, when the Iron Pigs scored 3 runs to take the lead in the 9th inning, and a few minutes later, win the game.

IMG_4002Tribe starter Dana Eveland (photo) was going to be limited to a pitch count of about 75 pitches.� He used up 26 of them in the 1st inning.� Eveland ran the count full on the first two batters he faced, then went to a 2-2 count with an extra foul ball on the third batter.� Former Indy Indian (2007) LF Chris Aguila led off the inning with a soft single into center field.� 2B Ozzie Chavez took that full count, then took another ball, for a walk.� RF Domonic Brown (remember him from the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League?� He was a teammate of Daniel Moskos, Donnie Veal, Brian Friday, Jose Tabata, and others) grounded sharply to the right side, and 2B Jim Negrych's dive kept the ball from going into right field for a single.� Negrych knocked the ball down, then hopped up and threw to first base for the out on Brown, but Aguila moved to third and Chavez to second.� CF John Mayberry dropped a short fly into center field, driving in Aguila with the first run of the game.� With runners on the corners, Eveland caught a break -- 3B Neil Sellers bounced to short, where SS Argenis Diaz started a 6-4-3 double play, Diaz to Negrych to 1B Jeff Clement, to end the inning.

All-Star pitcher Nate Bump made the start for the Iron Pigs.� Bump had recently spent a couple of weeks on the Disabled List, and it appeared that he is not back up to speed yet.� He began the bottom of the frame a little like the way Eveland started the top of the frame.� He ran the count full, then gave up a single on a big bouncer into center field by LF Kevin Melillo, then walked 3B Akinori Iwamura on another full count. The similarilty ended there, though.� Melillo tried to time Bump's delivery and make an early jump for a stolen base, and was easily thrown out when Bump turned and saw him going.� It was an unfortunate mistake, because Melillo would have been to second base in just a moment when Iwamura walked, and Melillo could have scored when CF Alex Presley extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a double off the tip of 3B Sellers' glove and into left field.� Instead, when Presley doubled, Iwamura went to third and the Indians had two runners in scoring position.

IMG_40111B Jeff Clement made it back-to-back doubles with a fly that bounced on the track at the base of the wall in the right field corner, scoring both Iwamura and Presley.� RF Brandon Moss slipped a low line drive through the hole and into right field, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.� Clement had been a little slow taking off from second base, maybe thinking that Iron Pigs' RF Domonic Brown would get to the ball more quickly, and so he only reached third base instead of scoring on the play.� No matter, Jim Negrych brought in Clement with a sacrifice fly to center field.� New Tribe catcher Jason Jaramillo (photo) added the third double of the inning, a long fly to right field, where Brown made a leap -- but had the ball bounce off his glove, off the top of the wall, and then down onto the track.� That brought Moss all the way around from first base, scoring the 4th run of the inning.� A strikeout ended the inning, but the Indians had a 4-1 lead, and Nate Bump had thrown 35 pitches.

Van Every’s Three RBI Help Indians Hang On For The Win

Indianapolis Indians� 4,� Rochester Red Wings� 3 (box)

IMG_3987Three RBI from RF Jonathan Van Every (photo) gave the Indians the spark they needed to get the win this afternoon at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY, giving the Indians a split of the 4-game series with the Red Wings, and a 6-4 record on the extended road trip.

Like yesterday, today's game involved the teams trading the lead and playing catch-up.� Tribe starter Mike Crotta had little trouble with the Red Wings in the first two innings, allowing only a single to C Jose Morales, when his grounder into right field hopped off Van Every's glove, giving Morales the chance to reach second base.� Morales tagged and advanced to third base on the second of two fly outs, but Crotta left him standing there when he ended the inning with a ground out.

Crotta did get into more difficulty in the 3rd inning.� With one out, the next four batters reached base safely.� Crotta (photo below) walked CF Dustin Martin, then SS Trevor Plouff's knocked a bloopy hit into center field, just out of reach of Tribe CF Alex Presley. Martin had to hold up to see whether or not Presley was going to make the catch, so he was only able to get as far as third base on the hit.� LF Matt Macri singled into left field, just past the diving 3B Akinori Iwamura, and Martin scored easily.� Plouffe stepped up to third base on the play, and then scored on RF Brian Dinkelman's RBI single into right field.� Jose Morales was next, and he hit a line drive -- but right at 1B Jeff Clement, for the second out of the inning.� Clement hesitated before throwing the ball to second base, which gave Macri the extra second needed to get back to the bag safely.� It turned out to not matter, as 2B Brendan Harris grounded into a force out to end the inning.� The Red Wings were ahead, 2-0.

IMG_3569The Tribe batters put two runners on base in each of the first three innings, but could not bring any of those six runners around to score.� Aki Iwamura and SS Brian Bixler both singled in the top of the 1st, while Alex Presley and C Luke Carlin walked in the 2nd, and Iwamura and DH Brandon Moss walked in the 3rd.�� The Red Wings' pitching staff gave up a combined 11 walks in the game, but those four were wasted opportunities for the Indians.

Rochester starter Ryan Mullins pitched 2 innings, but when he came out to warm up prior to the top of the 3rd, he suddenly stopped and called out his training staff, then left the game.� He has been battling back problems recently, and they may have flared up again.

In the top of the 4th, Alex Presley and Jonathan Van Every took it upon themselves to erase the Red Wings' lead.� Presley led off the inning with a triple over the head of CF Dustin Martin.� Presley thought about holding up at second base, but when Martin's throw in from deep center field was coming in way high, Presley aggressively headed for third, and arrived there in plenty of time.� Van Every tied the game with a magnificent no-doubt-about-it 2-run homer over the right-center field wall.

Moss Has 3 Hits and 3 RBI In Indians’ Loss

Rochester Red Wings� 6,� Indianapolis Indians� 5 ..�������� (box)

IMG_3824The Indians out-hit the Red Wings 15 - 8 at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY, but just getting on base is not enough� -- you have to come around to score.� That was what the Indians could not do, as they lost to the Red Wings tonight.� Each member of the Tribe's line-up had at least one hit, with RF Brandon Moss (photo) leading the charge with 3 singles.� Starter Brian Burres was charged with the loss, and reliever Brian Bass was charged with a Blown Save.

The two teams traded runs in the 1st inning.� Aki Iwamura, playing second base tonight, got things started for the Tribe with a one-out single into center field.� 1B Brian Myrow grounded to first, where Red Wings' 1B Brock Peterson made the scoop and threw to SS Trevor Plouffe, who forced out Iwamura at second, but could not get the ball back to first base in time to make the out on Myrow.� Three consecutive singles followed -- by DH Jeff Clement, RF Brandon Moss, and C Luke Carlin. Myrow scored on Moss's hit.� Carlin's grounder to second loaded the bases, but another ground out ended the inning.

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IMG_3818Brian Burres (photo) gave up two walks in the bottom of the 1st, to RF Matt Macri and C Jose Morales.� With two outs and those runners on first and second bases, 2B Brendan Harris singled into right field, scoring Macri from second base.� A ground out ended the inning, with the score tied at 1-1.

Burres retired the Red Wings in order in the 2nd inning, but gave up another run in the 3rd inning on three straight singles, to Macri, LF Jacque Jones, and Jose Morales.� Morales' liner into left field drove in Macri, and the Red Wings were ahead 2-1.

Rochester's starter Glenn Perkins held the Indians to just one single over the 2nd through 4th innings.� He struck out the side in the 2nd and again in the 4th, and only Brian Myrow reached base with his line drive single up the middle.� The Indians got to him in the 5th, with a rally started by a lead-off walk to SS Argenis Diaz. As so often happens, the lead-off walk comes back to haunt you, and that's what happend to Perkins.� Newly returned 3B Brian Bixler did what we so often have seen him do in Indianapolis -- he rocketed a ball into right field for a triple, scoring Diaz.� Aki Iwamura slipped a single just to the left of SS Plouffe, and Bixler came in with the go-ahead run.� Brian Myrow struck out, and Jeff Clement grounded right to 1B Peterson, who stepped on the first base bag for the out on Clement, then tried to get the reverse double play at second.� But that play requires a tag out at second (since with Clement out, it's no longer a force out at second), and even though the ball got to second base before Iwamura, he slid into second before Harris could get the tag down.� Brandon Moss singled into center field, and Iwamura scored from second base, giving the Indians a 4-2 lead.

Indians Begin Second Half With Loss

Rochester Red Wings� 7,� Indianapolis Indians� 5 (box)

IMG_3597Late inning runs put the Red Wings ahead to stay as the Indians lost at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY tonight.

Pitching was the story in the first half of the game.� Red Wings' starter Anthony Swarzak pitched 5 shutout innings and allowed only one hit, a double by LF Kevin Melillo to lead off the 5th inning.� Swarzak did walk an amazing 5 Tribe batters, though none of them were able to come around and score.� After 3B Akinori Iwamura reached base on a fielding error by Swarzak in the top of the 1st, 1B Brian Myrow walked.� A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning with both still on base.� CF Alex Presley walked in the 2nd and the 4th, and Iwamura and Myrow both walked in the third, but all were left on base.

Indians' starter Daniel McCutchen (photo above) faced only one batter over the minimum in his first 4 innings of work.� Unfortunately that one extra batter, DH Jose Morales blasted a lead-off homer to begin the 2nd inning and give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.� The Red Wings extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th.� RF Brian Dinkelman led off the inning by slipping a ground ball past Tribe 2B Jim Negrych, for a single into right field.� 2B Brendan harris lined a double into the left-center field gap, and Dinkelman came around to score from first base.� McCutchen walked 1B Brock Peterson.� C Wilson Ramos grounded to short, where SS Argenis Diaz tried to start a double play.� Peterson was out at second base, but Negrych's throw to first base sailed wide to the outfield side of the bag and got past Brian Myrow.� The throwing error let Ramos advance to second base and let Harris score.� 3B Matt Macri singled on a little looper into left field, though Ramos was held at third base.� McCutchen struck out CF Dustin Martin for the second out, but walked SS Trevor Plouffe to load the bases.� McCutchen got out of that when LF Jacque Jones grounded to second base, and no further runs scored, but the Red Wings were ahead� 3-0.

RF Jonathan Van Every got the Indians one run closer with a solo home run to straight-away center field in the top of the 6th.� They took another step closer in the top of the 8th.� Jim Negrych and Alex Presley hit back-to-back singles with one out.� After a pitching change, Van Every struck outs.� Then C Jason Jaramillo, just down from Pittsburgh, grounded to short, but this time it was the Red Wings who had the throwing error.� SS Trevor Plouffe's throw to first got past 1B Peterman, and Negrych scored as Jaramillo was safe at first.� The inning ended when Argenis Diaz struck out.

Bixler Returns; Krol Saves #21

IMG_3495The Pittsburgh Pirates have reaquired infielder Brian Bixler (photo) from the Cleveland Indians' organization.� Bixler, who was originally drafted by the Pirates in the second round of the 2004 draft, played in the Pirates' organization for all of his career until he was traded to Cleveland in January 2010 for infielder Jesus Brito. Bixler did not make the Cleveland major league team out of spring training, and he was removed from their 40-man roster.� He has been playing for AAA Columbus, and has appeared in several games against the Indy Indians.� For the Clippers, the 27-year-old Ohio native has been hitting .278 with 13 doubles, one triple, 3 homers, and 27 RBI.� That's about the same average but with a little less power than he showed with the Indy Indians in 2009.� Bixler has not been able to take his AAA level success up to the major league level.� In a total of 68 games with the Pirates, Bixler hit .178 with 7 doubles, one triple, and 5 RBI, and struck out 62 times.� Bixler will join the Indy Indians after the All-Star break.


The Indy Indians are off for their All-Star break.� The AAA All-Star game will be played on Wednesday in Lehigh Valley.� The game will not be on ESPN2 as in past years, but will be televised on the MLB network.� It will also be on-line on milb.com.�� More Monday action in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Richmond Flying Squirrels� 6,� Altoona Curve� 3..... suspended (box)

They got into the 4th inning before rain halted play in Altoona this afternoon.� The Curve got busy in the bottom of the 1st, with a double by 3B Shelby Ford, and an RBI single by 2B Jordy Mercer. Mercer stole second, then went to third on walks to C Kris Watts and LF Brandon Jones. RF Miles Durham drove in both Mercer and Watts with a line drive single into left field.� Durham also stole second, but was left there when the inning ended.

Starter Tim Alderson retired the side in the top of the 1st, but struggled after that.� The Squirrels came right back in the top of the 2nd to tie the score.� The inning began with three consecutive singles, which brought in one run.� A throwing error by 1B Matt Hague loaded the bases, and another single drove in two more runs.� A sacrifice bunt moved two runners into scoring position -- and provided the first out of the inning.� A hit batter loaded the bases again, but an infield fly rule pop out and a grounder force out ended the inning.� The second inning did not go any better.� A double, a walk, and a double opened the inning, bringing in 2 runs.� After two ground outs, another double drove in the Squirrels' 6th run.� Alderson was relieved by Dustin Molleken to begin the top of the 4th, and Molleken retired the side in order.

The Curve went down in order in the 2nd.� Mercer and Watts both singled in the 3rd, though neither scored.� The bottom of the 4th began with a walk to Durham and a single by CF Anthony Norman, moving Durham to third.� Molleken's sacrifice bunt moved Norman to second base, and that's how things stood when play was halted.� The game will be resumed on August 26th.

After the game, Alderson was reassigned to A+ Bradenton.� He had made 17 starts for the Curve, and in 86.2 innings, Alderson had allowed 105 hits and 54 earned runs (5.30 ERA).� He had 26 walks and 57 strikeouts, and batters hit .307 against him. His record:� 7-5.

Jeff Locke is being promoted from Bradenton to Altoona -- a pitcher swap.� Locke has a 9-3 record with the Marauders.� He also has 17 starts, for 86.1 innings, allowing 82 hits and 42 earned runs (3.54 ERA).� Locke has walked 14 and struck out 83, and batters hit .248 against him.

Bixler Comes Back To Haunt The Indians

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Charlie Morton is here (far right)

Columbus Clippers �5, �Indianapolis Indians �1 (box)

IMG_3495There's a reason that the Columbus Clippers are in first place, and today the Indians saw why. �Stellar pitching by Columbus starter Yohan Pino combined with a 2-hit, 4-RBI day by former Indian SS Brian Bixler (photo) gave the game to the Clippers this afternoon at Victory Field.

Hayden Penn made the start for the Indians, but suffered the loss as he allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in 6.1 innings. �Brian Bixler had a hand in each of those 4 runs, plus the run given up by reliever Jean Machi. Penn began the game well, retiring the first six batters in order, including getting Bixler to pop out to Tribe 2B Doug Bernier in the top of the 1st. �Penn struck out two batters in the 2nd inning. �There was also a moment in the 2nd that made the crowd gasp. �LF Nick Weglarz smacked a sharp one right back to the mound on one bounce. �The ball hit Penn (like yesterday with Powell, it wasn't clear where on his body he'd been hit). �The ricochet off Penn went high into the air, and came back down right at 3B Pedro Alvarez, who was playing over toward the shortstop position. �Alvarez caught the bounce, and threw to first base to make the out on Weglarz. �Manager Frank Kremblas and trainer Thomas Pribyl leapt out of the dugout, but they took only two or three steps onto the field before Penn vigorously waved them off. �He was fine, and he proved it by striking out the next batter to end the inning.

IMG_3497Columbus made their first move in the 3rd inning. �Penn (photo) gave up singles to DH Brian Buscher and 2B Josh Rodriguez to open the inning. �A sacrifice bunt by RF Jose Constanza moved both runners up one base. �Penn struck out CF Michael Brantly for the second out of the inning. �That brought up Brian Bixler, who lifted a bloopy ball into short right field just inside the foul line -- right in no-mans'-land, where neither RF Kevin Melillo, 1B Brian Myrow, nor 2B Doug Bernier could reach it. �That brought in both Buscher and Rodriguez, two RBI for Bixler, to give the Clippers a 2-0 lead.

Penn gave up a ground rule double to 3B Jared Goedert in the 4th inning, but left him on base. �Then he got into trouble with lead-off hits again in the 5th inning. �This time Rodriguez got on with a grounder up the middle, but he was erased when Penn picked him off first. � Constanza beat out what was supposed to be a bunt when, the ball got stuck in Penn's mitt -- by the time he pulled it out and made the throw, Constanza beat the throw easily. �Michael Brantly walked on four pitches, as Constanza stole both second and third bases. �C Luke Carlin double-clutched on his throw to second base for the first steal, and Constanza was in well ahead of the throw. �Carlin made a good throw to third on that steal, but 3B Pedro Alvarez couldn't hold onto the ball, and Constanza was safe. �With runners on the corners, guess who came to the plate again? �Brian Bixler, of course. �Bixler doubled for the second time in the game, taking this ball down into the right field corner for one RBI as Constanza scored easily. �With Brantley at third and Bixler at second, Penn bore down and got a pop out and a fly out to end the inning. �Clippers 3, Indians 0.

Can’t Keep Alvarez Off Base In Indians’ Win

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Help is on the way!

Indianapolis Indians �7, �Columbus Clippers �2 (box)

IMG_3478Solid pitching and enthusiastic offense was just what the Indians needed, as they defeated the Columbus Clippers for the second straight night. �The win assures the Tribe of at least an even split of this critical 4-game series, which means that they can not slip further down in the standings than where they were when the series began -- 6.5 games behind the Clippers. �Currently, the Indians have climbed to 4.5 games behind the first-place Clippers, and one game behind the second-place Toledo Mud Hens (who lost to the Rochester Red Wings tonight, 8-4).

After a quiet first inning for both teams,the Indians got going in the bottom of the 2nd. �3B Pedro Alvarez led off with a line drive into right field, which landed just in front of Clippers' RF Chris Gimenez. �CF Jonathan Van Every slipped a single through the right side of the infield, keeping Gimenez busy in right field. �C Erik Kratz bounced to third base, and it looked like it was going to be a double play, but Van Every slid hard (but clean) into second base, where he threw former Indy Indian 2B Brian Bixler off balance enough so that Bixler could not make the throw to first base. �With Alvarez on third and Kratz on first, DH Brandon Jones blasted a 3-run homer over the fence in right-center, which landed on the grass in front of the scoreboard (photo). �Indians up, 3-0.


IMG_3477The Indians doubled their lead with another 3 runs in the 3rd inning. �The first four batters of the inning pounded Columbus starter Jeanmar Gomez with four straight hits. �LF Brandon Moss began with a double that put a visible pock-mark in the padding on the center field wall. �1B Brian Myrow blooped a single into right field, moving Moss to third. �Pedro Alvarez's hit was a single that squeaked through the right side of the infield just out Bixler's reach, and that brought Moss across the plate. �Jonathan Van Every (photo) lined another single into right field, to load the bases for Erik Kratz. �Kratz could only manage a weak tap towards third base, which was easily turned into a 5-4-3 double play, also erasing Van Every at second base. �Myrow scored from third on the play, though Kratz does not get credit for an RBI. �Brandon Jones drove in Alvarez with a double lined into right-center field, for his 4th RBI of the game.

Indians Blank First-Place Clippers

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Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �0 (box)

IMG_3446The Indians shut out the Columbus Clippers, who currently reside in first place in the International League Western Division, at Victory Field tonight, to begin an 8-game home stand. �Four Indians' pitchers, starter Mike Crotta (photo above), Vinnie Chulk, Justin Thomas, and Brian Bass, combined to hold the Clippers to 4 hits and 4 walks, while the Tribe batters piled up 10 hits for 5 runs.

Mike Crotta pitched 5.1 scoreless innings to earn his 3rd win with the Indians, needing 87 pitches (46 strikes) to get the job done. �He was responsible for 3 of the hits and 3 of the walks. �He kept his infielders busy, as all of the outs he recorded were either ground outs, except for two strikeouts and one runner thrown out at second base.

IMG_3447Crotta gave up a 2-out double to Columbus catcher Carlos Santana in the 1st inning, but ended the inning with a bouncing grounder to SS Argenis Diaz (photo above). �Crotta retired the Clippers in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a walk to former Indy Indian 2B Brian Bixler (photo) to begin the 4th. �Santana followed with a grounder to third base, and as 3B Pedro Alvarez made the scoop and throw to first, the speedy Bixler got a good jump and broke for third base, where he slid in safely before 1B Brian Myrow could return the throw across the diamond. �Bixler was left standing there, though, as Crotta struck out 1B Wes Hodges and got DH Jordan Brown to ground out to second.

Crotta had to have a little help from his friends to get out of the 5th inning. �LF Nick Weglarz worked a walk to open the inning, then 3B Brian Buscher hit a high hop right to Brian Myrow at first base. �Myrow turned and fired to second base, forcing out Weglarz, then scrambled back to cover the first base bag and take the return throw from Argenis Diaz for the double play. �SS Anderson Hernandez followed with a line drive into center field for a single, but when he tried to steal second base, C Luke Carlin's throw was right on target, and the inning was over.

Crotta and Carlin did not have the same luck in the 6th. �With one out, CF Michael Brantley slipped a single through the hole and into left field. �He stole second base, and as he slid in, Carlin's throw might have hit the ground near second base, or maybe even hit Brantley, but either way, the ball ricocheted into center field, and Brantley took off for third base. �Argenis Diaz chased down the ball and threw to third as Brantley was reaching the base there, but Diaz's throw went way wide of third, and very nearly sailed into the Indians' dugout. �Brian Bixler worked his second walk of the game, and that was all for Crotta.

Vinnie Chulk came on in relief, and the speedy Bixler stole second base without drawing a throw from Carlin, putting two runners in scoring position. �But Chulk made it not matter -- he struck out both Carlos Santana and Wes Hodges to end the inning without the Clippers scoring.

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