Tag: Brian Friday

Duke Pitches Well In 2nd Rehab Start; 3 Rehab Hits For...

Saturday's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve� 2,� Richmond Flying Squirrels� 1 (box)

Zach Duke pitched 4 rehab innings, allowing only one run on two hits and a walk.� Double plays got Duke out of the 1st inning, when a runner reached on Duke's fielding error, and out of the 2nd, when he walked a batter.� He retired the side in order in the 3rd, then with two outs in the 4th gave up a solo home run followed by a single before ending the inning.� Duke did not strike out any batters.

The Curve gave Duke 2 runs worth of support in the bottom of the 1st.� CF Anthony Norman led off with a single, and two outs later, 1B Matt Hague blasted his 8th home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.� Three innings later, the Squirrels homered off Duke, and that was all the scoring in the game.� The Curve had only two other hits in the game -- a single by 2B Jordy Mercer immediately following Hague's homer, and a double by Hague to lead off the 4th.� After Hague's double, the next 15 Curve batters went down in order.

Not that the Squirrels were doing much better.� After the homer and the single in the 4th, Richmond posted only two more hits.� Those came back-to-back to open the 8th inning off reliever Anthony Claggett. Claggett struck out the next two batters and got a line out to end the inning without a run scoring.� Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing only one walk, and he was credited with the win.� Ramon Aguero earned his second save with a perfect 9th inning.

Don't forget to watch Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Morris in the Futures Game on Sunday at 6pm (Eastern) on ESPN2 and MLB.TV.� Hernandez will be the starting center fielder for the World Team.� Tony Sanchez was invited too, but he's still on the DL due to jaw surgery.

Friday Begins Rehab; D’Arnaud Added To All-Star Squad

Losses for all of the Pirates' minor league affiliates today.

GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)

Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.

The Pirates cut the Tigers' lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.

Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.

Indy Indians'�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.

Found: The Real Charlie Morton

Indianapolis Indians �9, �Durham Bulls �1 (box)

IMG_3720Message to the Pirates: �The Real Charlie Morton has been found -- he's safe and sound, and was last seen pitching a 2-hit complete game at Victory Field tonight. �Are you going to want him back soon?

Morton (photo) dominated the Bulls, throwing 109 pitches (77 strikes) over 9 complete innings. �He faced only 3 batters over the minimum -- two hits, one hit batter, and one walk, minus one double play. �He began the game totally focused, getting 6 straight outs, including two strikeouts in the 2nd inning.

The only Bulls' run came in the 3rd inning. �Morton walked 3B Angel Chavez to open the inning, then he hit former Indy Indian (2005-06) JJ Furmaniak on the shoulder (or maybe the shoulder of his jersey), moving Chavez to second base -- two on and no out, and Morton was looking like he had lost that focus he'd just had in the previous two innings. �CF Fernando Perez tapped a 1-1 pitch right back to Morton on the mound, and Morton whirled and fired to SS Argenis Diaz, covering second base, to start a double play, 1-6-3 (Morton to Diaz to Jeff Clement) (photo below). �That put Chavez on third base, but somehow, it seemed to refocus Morton and get him charged up again. �LF Desmond Jennings hit a slow roller towards third base, and Steve Pearce, playing third for the second time in his career, charged in to make the pick-up. �The speedy Jennings was nearly at first base already, and Pearce should have just held the ball, but he didn't. �Instead, he threw across his body, and the ball sailed wide of first base, heading down toward the Bull's pen. �Chavez scored from third base, and Jennings was credited with a hit and an RBI, then advanced to second base on Pearce's error.

IMG_3727Still, that did not disrupt Morton's rediscovered concentration. �He got SS Omar Luna to ground to first base to end the inning. �Then he retired the Bulls in order in the 4th inning, including a second strikeout of C Alvin Colina.

The only other hit Morton allowed came in the 5th. �With one out, Angel Chavez bounced a single past the diving 2B Jim Negrych and into right field. �Chavez was forced out at second base when JJ Furmaniak grounded to Negrych. �Negrych bobbled the ball for a split second, but it was long enough so that the relay throw from Argenis Diaz covering second to first base was not in time, leaving Furmaniak safe at first. �CF Fernando Perez also grounded to Negrych, who ended the inning with a little flip to second base, forcing out Furmaniak.

That was the last time the Bulls had a base runner. �Morton retired the next 12 batters in order, striking out the last batter, Justin Ruggiano. �He buzzed through the last 4 innings, not letting the Bulls hit any balls very hard, or making his teammates behind him have to make many tough plays to get the outs. �The toughest out was the 2nd in the 9th, when Omar Luna dropped a little dribbly ball, not a bunt, along the first base line about half way down. �C Erik Kratz had to scramble over, make a sliding stop to grab the ball, then make the throw to first without hitting Luna in the basepath, for the out. �Morton needed only 4 pitches to get through the 6th inning, and 9 pitches in both the 1st and the 5th.

Indians Sweep PawSox WIth Offensive Explosion

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Brandon Moss is congratulated on his home run.

Indianapolis Indians �10, �Pawtucket Red Sox �3 (box)

IMG_3606The Indianapolis Indians scored 9 runs in the first three innings tonight at Victory Field, pounding the Pawtucket Red Sox to earn a sweep of their 4-game series. �The two teams have now completed their 8-game season series, with the Indians nearly sweeping that too -- 7 wins for the Indians and only one for the PawSox. �The win, combined with a loss by the Columbus Clippers, moves the Indians up to 1.5 games behind the first-place Clippers in the International League Western Division.

The game began with a run for the PawSox in the top of the 1st. �Tribe starter Hayden Penn (photo) had a tough 1st inning, and it was not entirely his own doing. �Penn gave up a single to the Pawtucket lead-off hitter, 2B Niuman Romero. �He got SS Gil Vasquez to fly out and tricked DH Angel Sanchez into swinging at an outside pitch for strike three, but then hit 1B Lars Anderson with a pitch. �LF Aaron Bates grounded to third base, but 3B Pedro Alvarez, going to his right, has the ball pop into and out of his glove as he crossed into foul territory. �Alvarez recovered the ball quickly and turned to fire to first -- but airmailed the ball way over 1B Jeff Clement's head and into the stands. �That allowed Romero to score, and put Anderson on third and Bates on second base, as Alvarez was charged with both a fielding and a throwing error. �A ground out ended the inning, with Pawtucket up 1-0.

IMG_3615That didn't last long. �The Indians exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the inning, as they sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. �LF Kevin Melillo led off with a line drive into right field for a single. �RF Brandon Moss took the lead back for the Indians with a 2-run blast over the wall in the deepest part of left-center field (photo). �Brian Myrow, who had DH duties tonight with the arrival of Jeff Clement, continued the fun with a grounder that handcuffed the PawSox 2B Romero, ruled a single. �Myrow moved to second base when Pawtucket pitcher Randor Bierd, and moments later, took third base the same way. �Neither of those wild pitches got all that far away from home plate, but Myrow was being alert and took the Red Sox by surprise.

Pedro Alvarez struck out for the first out of the inning, and Clement followed with a walk. �With runners on the corners, CF Jonathan Van Every hit a long fly ball that turned into a sacrifice fly, scoring Myrow. �C Erik Kratz grounded up the middle for another single, and Clement advanced to second base. �2B Doug Bernier continued with a grounder through the hole into left field, scoring Clement from second base. �Kratz and Bernier both came across the plate on a grounder that slipped past third base and continued along the left field line by SS Argenis Diaz. At this point, Randor Bierd was looking hopefully down toward his bullpen, where he saw -- no one moving, no rescue in sight. �But Bierd got Kevin Melillo to fly out, finally ending the inning. �The Tribe had a resounding 6-1 lead.

Indians Survive 9th Inning Scare As McCutchen Wins

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This is the huge shift the Indians use against lefty batters.... that's 3B Pedro Alvarez standing where the shortstop would usually stand, about half a mile from third base. �SS Argenis Diaz is standing almost behind second base.

Indianapolis Indians �4, �Pawtucket Red Sox �2 (box)

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The Indians survived a scare in the 9th inning to win their 4th straight game tonight at Victory Field. �Starter Daniel McCutchen dominated the PawSox for 7 innings to earn his 4th win of the season with the Indians. �McCutchen allowed only one run on 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7 batters. �LF Kevin Melillo, 3B Pedro Alvarez, and RF Brandon Moss had 2 hits each in the contest, and one of Melillo's hits was a solo home run. �The Tribe has now won 6 of the 7 games (so far, tomorrow is the last) on this homestand.

The Indians got busy in the 1st inning. �With one out, DH Brandon Jones worked a walk. �Pedro Alvarez sent him to third base with a single lined into right field. �Brandon Moss followed with a double driven down the right field line and into the corner, easily scoring Jones from third base to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

McCutchen (photo) sailed through most of his ininngs, and only had serious trouble in one inning. �He began his outing by retiring 9 of the 10 batters he faced over the first three innings. �The only Pawtucket batter to reach base in the first third of the game was RF Daniel Nava, who was hit by a pitch (it barely grazed his uniform, but that counts) in the 1st inning.

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(Photo: �Doug Bernier makes a play at second base)

The 4th inning was tougher for McCutchen, as the first three batters who came to the plate reached base safely. �SS Angel Sanchez opened the inning with a liner up the middle for a single, and Nava followed with a double into righ field, moving Sanchez to third base. �1B Lars Anderson walked on four straight pitches, and the bases were loaded. �C Luke Carlin had a brief chat with McCutchen, who then bore down and struck out C Dusty Brown on three pitches for the first out of the inning. �LF Ryan Kalish bounced a slow dribbler over toward first base. �1B Brian Myrow had to charge in onto the grass to field the ball, and by the time he had it in his glove, his only play was at first base. �Kalish was out at first, but he brought in Sanchez from third base to tie the score at 1-1. �McCutchen ended the inning by striking out DH Tug Hulett.

The only other hit McCutchen allowed came in the 5th inning, after two outs had already been recorded. �2B Niuman Romero lined a single into center field, then stole second base without even drawing a throw from Luke Carlin. �Sanchez worked the count full, then on ball four, Romero took off from second base, to steal third base. �This time Carlin made the throw to third. �Pedro Alvarez, who was playing wide of third, had to scramble back to the bag, and wasn't quite there yet as the throw was coming to him. �He made the catch on the run, then reached down to make the tag on Romero as he slid in. �Romero was called out, and Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo argued the call. �Radio broadcasters Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley, who have replay capabilities in their booth, said that they thought the replay showed that Alvarez did not actually get the tag on Romero. �The ball reached the bag before Romero did, and on the replay, Alvarez seemed to tag the dirt next to Romero.

McCutchen pitched two more innings, both 3-up-and-3-down, including one strikeout in each. �He finished his evening with 98 pitches, 65 for strikes.

Alvarez Has Three Big Hits In Tribe Win

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A sight Pirates' fans have longed to see

Indianapolis Indians �5, �Pawtucket Red Sox �3 (box)

IMG_3589Mike Crotta earned his 4th win with the Indians this afternoon at Victory Field, and he was boosted by a 3-hit performance by 3B Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez was a single short of hitting for the cycle, a feat that has never been accomplished by an Indians' player at Victory Field.

Alvarez had the first of the Indians' 6 hits in the game -- in fact, he had half of the team's hits. �In the bottom of the 2nd, Alvarez drove a long fly ball to the deepest part of Victory Field, to the 418' sign in the left-center field alley. �The Pawtucket LF Aaron Bates and CF Ryan Kalish were no where near to that area when the ball fell in, nearly at the warning track. �By the time they got there, Alvarez was easily on his way to third base with a triple. �After a strikeout, Tribe CF Brandon Moss plated Alvarez with an RBI ground out to the right side of the infield, and the Indians had the first run of the game.

1B Brian Myrow led off the Indians' half of the 4th inning with a double, which fell in almost at the feet of LF Aaron Bates (who usually plays first base, not outfield). �Alvarez followed the double by taking a 1-2 pitch just barely over the right field wall (probably by less than 10 inches) and into a crowd of summer-camp kids. �It was his 12th homer of the season.

Alvarez's third hit followed more Tribe scoring in the 5th. �SS Argenis Diaz led off the inning by working a walk. �LF Kevin Melillo, who has 5 hits in his last 3 games, doubled to the wall in the right-center alley. �Diaz was off and running on contact. �Aided a bit when RF Daniel Nava picked up the ball, dropped it, and picked it up again, Diaz raced around to score. �Doug Bernier dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Melillo to third base. �Myrow brought Melillo in from third with a sacrifice fly to right field. �The throw in to the plate was up the line, and Melillo scored easily. �Alvarez came to the plate with the bases clean, and he kept the rally going with a double to right-center field. �That was as far as he would get, though, as C Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.

Lincoln And Tabata Move Up As Indians Win In 11th

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Indianapolis Indians �6, �Pawtucket Red Sox �5 �(11 innings) (box)

IMG_3551It took 11 innings and a throw into the dugout, but the Tribe opened a 4-game series against the Pawtucket Red Sox with a win at Victory Field tonight.

And the best part, at least for Pirates' fans, is the news that came down after the game: �pitcher Brad Lincoln will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to make his major league debut with a start against the Nationals on Wednesday. �In addition, Lincoln will be going with a buddy -- outfielder Jose Tabata has also earned a promotion to the Pirates.

Charlie Morton (photo here and above) was making his first rehab start with the Indians, and in fact his second start ever for the Tribe. �He had made one start in 2009, shortly after being traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Pirates' organization, but has been with the Pirates' club ever since.

IMG_3553This start was not exactly all he could have hoped it would be. �Morton pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 1st, sandwiching a ground out between two strikeouts. �He went deep into counts, though, and it took him 16 pitches to get through the inning.

The Indians scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the 1st. �LF Jose Tabata worked a walk, and stole second (his 24th steal of the season) (photo). �After two fly outs, 3B Pedro Alvarez drove a double into the right-center gap, which rolled all the way to the wall and easily scored Tabata from second base.

Morton took the mound with a 1-0 lead to begin the second inning. � PawSox' 1B Lars Anderson dribbled a slow roller toward third base, then beat out 3B Pedro Alvarez's throw to first base. �DH Aaron Bates singled into right field, sending Anderson to third base. �RF Kevin Melillo's throw in from right field was off-target, and Bates was able to advance to second base on the error. �A strikeout and a fly out to short right field had the runners holding, but 3B Jorge Jimenez drove both of them in with a line drive into right field. �This time, Melillo's throw back in was on-target, and Jimenez was out as he tried to make it to second base, but the PawSox had taken a 2-1 lead.

Moss’ RBI’s Boost Burres For Win

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Frank and Pedro

Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �3 (box)

IMG_3534Brian Burres (photo)�finally got to play a game for the Tribe, in his third stint on the Indians' roster. �He earned the win at Victory Field tonight, with 5.1 solid innings of work. �He was aided by DH Brandon Moss, whose clutch double drove in three runs in the 5th, as the Indians posted 10 hits for 5 runs.

Burres had been on the Indians' Opening Day roster, but went back to the Pirates when Ross Ohlendorf had problems with back spasms just a few days into the Indians' season. �He was optioned back to the Indians on April 21st, but called back 4 days later, again without having made an appearance for the Tribe, when Chris Jakubauskas was hit by a batted ball. �With Dana Eveland joining the Pirates, Burress was sent down again... and this time has at least gotten one start in this time... in case the Pirates need him again.

Burres got off to a good start tonight. �He retired all three batters in the 1st inning, including striking out both former Indy Indian DH Brian Bixler, who had his way with the Tribe yesterday, and also C Carlos Santana, the top Cleveland Indians' prospect. �Burres gave up a two-out single to 3B Jared Goedert in the 2nd inning, but ended the inning my making the catch on a soft pop to just in front of the mound (photo below, as Burres examines the ball after making the catch).

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Brian Bixler was a problem for his former teammates again tonight. �When Burres faced him again in the third inning, after CF Michael Brantley single past the diving Tribe 2B Brian Friday, Bixler took a long high fly ball down the left field line. �The ball sailed just inside the foul pole, then hooked around the back of the pole, but it was fair when it counted -- a 2-run home run to give Columbus a 2-0 lead.

Burres worked out of a jam in the 5th. �After two outs, including a nice snatch of a sinking line drive by RF Kevin Melillo, Burres gave up a single to RF Chris Gimenez and a a walk to 2B Josh Rodriguez. �An easy grounder to short for a force out at second ended the inning without a run scoring.

The Indians went down in order in the 1st inning, then were unable to take advantage of runners on base in the next two innings. �3B Pedro Alvarez led off the 2nd with a single lined into center field. �Moments later, though, Alvarez was caught straying a little too far off first base, probably as he was trying to work out the timing of Clippers' starter Josh Tomlin's delivery. �There was a brief run-down, pitcher to 1B Wes Hodges to SS Anderson Hernandez, and Alvarez was out. �CF Jonathan Van Every walked in that inning, but he was left stranded. �In the 3rd, SS Doug Bernier drove a liner over the leaping Hodges and into right field for a single. �He moved to third base on Kevin Melillo's loopy single that just fell in, in short center field, but both runners were left on base.

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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