Tag: Daniel McCutchen

Tribe Come Within Inches Again

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Pitching coach Tom Filer, catcher Wyatt Toregas, and pitcher Justin Wilson









Columbus Clippers  8,  Indianapolis Indians  7
(box score)

For the third night in a row, the Indians were down by one run in the bottom of the last inning with at least one runner on base -- and couldn't capitalize.  In addition, it was Pedro Ciriaco who was the last man to bat in each game.  That's not to place the blame for the losses on Ciriaco -- other players had also had opportunities to drive in runs and were not able too.  It's just an odd coincidence that Ciriaco ended the three games with a grounder into a double play, a ground out, and tonight a pop out.  

IMG_5009Like in the first two games, the Clippers were first onto the scoreboard.  Indians' starter Justin Wilson (photo) retired the first 8 batters he faced, including 5 strikeouts, with 4 of those in a row.  He struck out the side in the 2nd inning, then struck out the first batter of the 3rd inning.  Like the first two games, this game featured a diving catch of a low line drive by the Indians' shortstop.  In the first two games, that shortstop was Ciriaco; tonight it was Chase d'Arnaud, who recorded the second out in the 3rd inning.  The Clipper's ninth batter, RF Jerad Head, then rocketed Wilson's 2-1 pitch over the wall in right-center field for a solo homer.  Wilson then walked the next batter, CF Ezequiel Carrera, who promptly stole second base on the first pitch to the SS Cord Phelps.  Phelps slipped a grounder up the middle, just out of reach of d'Arnaud, and Carrera came around to score from second.  A walk to 3B Lonnie Chisenhall prompted a visit by pitching coach Tom Filer (photo above).  After catching his breath, Wilson got a fly out to end the inning.
 
Wilson also had to work around base runners in the 4th inning.  After another strikeout, Wilson gave up an infield single to 1B Jordan Brown.  Brown grounded back to the mound, and the ball tipped off Wilson's glove and over towards short.  SS d'Arnaud had to change his direction, but he got to the ball and made a rushed throw to first.  The throw pulled 1B Matt Hague off base, though it appeared that Brown might have beat the ball to the bag anyway.  DH Wes Hodges also tapped back to the mound, where Wilson whirled and threw to second, forcing out Brown.  But 2B Brian Friday's throw on to first went wide, and Hodges was safe.  C Paul Phillip walked, but then Head grounded to short, and the inning ended on the force out at second base.  

2011 Prospect Watching: Owens, Morris, Locke, and More

Reaching the upper levels of the Pirates' minor league pitchers....

Rudy Owens  --  L/L,  6' 3",  215 lb
The Pirates selected Owens in the 28th round of the 2006 draft.  After so-so seasons with the GCL Pirates and State College, Owens suddenly had the light bulb go on for him at West Virginia in 2009.  He made 19 starts for the Power, and earned a 10-1 record.  In 100.1 innings, he allowed 19 earned runs and 71 hits, with 15 walks (1.3 walks/ 9 innings) and 91 strikeouts (8.1 K/ 9 innings).  Owens was promoted to A+ Lynchburg, where he made 6 more starts, though they were short starts as the Pirates were concerned about his total innings for the season.  He allowed more hits and runs in his 23.1 innings there, but still walked only 2 and struck out 22.  He was named the Pirates' Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2009.  Owens returned to Altoona for the 2010, and had another great season, again earning the award for Minor League Pitcher of the Year.  He began the season with a 3.57 ERA in April, allowing 9 earned runs and 22 hits in 22.2 innings, with a 2-0 record.  He dropped that ERA to 2.75 for May, with 11 earned runs on 23 hits in 36 innings, and a 3-2 record.  He gave up 5 runs and 4 runs in two games in one week, but also pitched 6 shutout innings in two other starts.  In June, Owens did even better, with 7 runs in 30 innings (2.10 ERA), but July was a tougher month, with another 5-run start, and a 3.49 ERA.  He stepped it back up in August, allowing just 3 runs on 20 hits in 33 innings (0.81 ERA).  That gave him a 2.46 ERA and 12-6 record for the season, with 150 innings, 41 earned runs, and 124 hits.  He also walked 23 (1.4 walks/ 9 innings) and struck out 132 (7.9 K/ ( innings.)  When the Curve got into the playoffs, Owens made one very un-Owens-like start in the first playoff series, but struggled, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks in 1.2 innings.  He pitched better in his start in the second series, against Trenton, and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings.  Owens also was named to the Eastern League All-Star team, and pitched one inning in the All-Star Game, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs.  Owens has a fastball in the low 90's, with good command, as well as a changeup and curve.  He should be ready for AAA to begin 2011, though the Pirates have indicated that they might hold him in AA for a little while, since they want more "major league ready" pitchers in Indianapolis.  The 23-year-old should still be pitching in Indy by later in the season, and has a chance at being called up to Pittsburgh by the end of the season.  


Jeff Locke  --  L/L,   6' 2",  180 lb
The Pirates obtained Locke from the Braves in the trade that sent Nate McLouth to Atlanta in 2009.  He'd had a shaky start to that season, and did only a little better after he came to A+ Lynchburg, where he earned a 4-4 record and 4.08 ERA in 17 starts.  His walk rate improved, but his strikeout rate dropped.  Locke began the 2010 season back in A+ at Bradenton, but started pulling it together.  In 17 starts for the Marauders, he earned a 9-3 record and a 3.54 ERA.  He began the season with a 2-1 record and a 2.89 ERA in April, with 6 runs and 14 hits in 18.2 innings, including one game in which he struck out 10 batters in 5 innings.  He went 5-2 in May and June, though his ERA rose to 3.81 for those two months, with an 8 strikeout game and two 7 strikeout games in June.  Overall, Locke struck out 83 batters in Bradenton (8.7 K/ 9 innings), while walking just 14 (1.5 walks/ 9 innings).  He was named to the Florida State League's All-Star team, and pitched a perfect inning in the All-Star Game.  Locke was promoted to AA Altoona in mid-July, and made another 10 starts there.  Two of the starts were rough, allowing 6 runs in 5 innings and 7 runs in 5 innings, but the rest were solid, and he finished the regular season with a 3-2 record and a 3.59 ERA for the Curve, allowing 23 runs on 57 hits in 57.2 innings.  He walked 12 batters (1.9 walks/ 9 innings) and struck out another 56 batters (8.7 K/ 9 innings).
Locke also pitched for the Curve in their playoff run.  In the first round, he gave up one earned run on 4 hits in 4.2 innings, but got a no-decision.  He won his game in the championship round, with on run on 6 hits in 7 innings, and struck out 8 Trenton batters.  Locke was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster last fall.  His control has improved as he continues to work on mechanics.  At 23 years of age, Locke should be ready for AAA in 2011, but like Owens, may be held back in Altoona for awhile, depending on what goes on with the Pirates' "major league ready" pitchers.  He also has a chance of being promoted as far as Pittsburgh by the end of the season.

More Reassignments And Another Loss


Rays  9,  Pirates  5
The Pirates out-hit the Rays 10-9 this afternoon in Port Charlotte, Florida, but the Rays made the most of their opportunities and took the win.  The Pirates got busy in the top of the 1st, when Pedro Ciriaco, in center field again, opened the game with a single, then stole base.  He moved to third on a fly out, then scored on C Ryan Doumit's double into right field.  RF Matt Diaz started the top of the 2nd with a single, and advanced to third base on a throwing error.  He scored on a wild pitch.  1B Andy Marte doubled, was bunted over to third base, and scored on starting pitcher Charlie Morton's soft looper single into left field, giving the Pirates a 3-0 lead.  
The lead did not last long.  Morton got out of the first inning with a double play, but began the bottom of the 2nd by loading the bases on a double, a bunt, and a hi batter.  A 2-RBI double and a sacrifice fly brought in 3 runs for the Rays to tie the game.  The Pirates took the lead again in the 4th.  Marte led off with a single into right field, and 2B Corey Wimberly reached on a fielding error.  Morton bunted them up one base each, then both scored on SS Josh Rodriguez's line drive single into right.  
Morton sailed through the bottom half of the 3rd and 4th innings, but loaded the bases again in the 5th, on a walk and two singles.  Then he got wild and forced in one run with a hit batter, and a second run with a walk, and the game was again tied, at 5-5.  Morton got out of the inning with two fly outs, and a force out at the plate on a little dribbler that did not leave the home plate area.  
Joel Hanrahan took over on the mound for the 6th inning.  He retired the first two batters he faced, then walked the next two.  A wild pitch moved the two runners up to second and third base, then an RBI single brought in both runners, giving the Rays a 7-5 lead.  Jose Veras pitched a perfect 7th inning, with one strikeout.  The Rays scored 2 more runs off Chris Resop in the 8th inning.  A double, and a bunt back to the mound that turned into a single, put two runners on base.  A sacrifice fly drove in one run, and a triple plated the second.  

2B Gift Ngoepe led off the top of the 9th with a walk, then SS Jordy Mercer singled through to left field, but both were left on base.  LF Evan Chambers, 3B Andy Vasquez, RF Robby Grossman, and 1B Matt Hague also got into the game. 


The Indy Indians were scheduled to play the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees this afternoon in Bradenton.  No word as yet -- results from the minor league camp can be hit or miss.


The Pirates pared down their camp roster by four more this morning.  Pitcher Daniel McCutchen was optioned to AAA Indianapolis, where he could either be a starter or pitch in long relief.  Relievers Tyler Yates and Sean Gallagher were also reassigned to minor league camp, and are both expected to go to the Indy Indians' bullpen.  C Wyatt Toregas and INF Josh Fields were also reassigned to minor league camp.  

Pitcher Fernando Nieve, who was reassigned to the minor league camp on Monday and released on Tuesday, was not unemployed for long.  On Thursday, he signed a minor league contract with the Astros.  


Six-Run Inning Stops Pirates, But Indians Get A Win

Orioles  13,  Pirates  3
Indianapolis area native C Jake Fox beat up on the Pirates' pitching this afternoon in Bradenton, with two booming home runs and 4 RBI.  The first homer capped a 6-run 3rd inning, when Pirates' starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up four singles and a double before the homer.  Fox struck again in the 7th -- Scott Olsen gave up a double to DH Matt Wieters, followed by Fox's second homer.  Olsen surrendered a single and a walk after the homer, and he was relieved by Mike Dubee.  Dubee struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single, before ending the inning with a fly out.  The Orioles added 3 runs in the 8th off Joe Beimel.  A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, then a single and two ground outs drove in the runs.  Former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled for the Orioles in the top of the 9th, and scored on an RBI triple off reliever Sean Gallagher.  Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 hits.  

While the Orioles were busy posting 20 hits, the Pirates managed 8.  Two of those were by 3B Pedro Alvarez, who also had the Pirates' only extra base hit, a double in the 7th, which was ruled a ground-rule double.  That made a difference, because 2B Neil Walker had opened the inning with a walk.  He raced around and crossed the plate on Alvarez's double, but then was called back to third base when the umpires ruled it a ground-rule.  Walker was left standing on third base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

The Pirates did score one run in the 2nd inning.  1B Lyle Overbay began the rally with a single lined into right field.  RF Matt Diaz grounded to short, forcing Overbay out at second, but Orioles' shortstop (and another former Indy Indian) JJ Hardy made a throwing error on his relay to first, allowing Diaz to reach second base.  Diaz advanced to second on a fly out, and scored on C Jason Jaramillo's RBI single.  LF Jose Tabata led off the 5th inning with a walk, and moved to second base on Walker's ground out.  CF Andrew McCutchen plated Tabata with a single up the middle.  Overbay reached base on a catcher's interference call, then Diaz brought in McCutchen with a line drive single into right field.  

Also getting into the game:  LF John Bowker, 3B Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly in center field, RF Miles Durham, RF Steve Pearce, 2B Josh Harrison, pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, 1B Garrett Atkins, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez.  Durham entered the game to play right field in the top of the 8th.  In the top of the 9th, he crashed into the wall trying to catch the ball that turned out to be a triple.  Durham was down for a few moments, but was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power.  Pearce took over for Durham in right field, then singled in the bottom of the inning.  Josh Rodriguez also singled in the 8th inning, and Josh Harrison worked a walk in the 9th.  

Pirates Shut Out By Jays

Blue Jays  5,  Pirates  0
 
The Pirates were held to just 4 hits in this afternoon's game against the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field.  3B Pedro Alvarez had two of the hits --  a two-out single up the middle in the 1st inning, and a single on a pop up in the 6th.  The single in the 1st moved CF Andrew McCutchen, who had walked, to third base, and the single in the 6th followed a line drive double by 2B Pedro Ciriaco and moved Ciriaco to third base.  Both times, however, the innings ended without the Pirates being able to get the run in.  The only other hit in the game was by 2B Brian Friday, who led off the top of the 9th by beating out a grounder to third.  After a strikeout, 1B Andy Marte walked, putting two runners on base.  But pinch-hitter Gift Ngoepe struck out and C Jason Jaramillo grounded out to end the game.  

James McDonald made the start and was responsible for 4 of the Jays' runs.  He gave up a double, two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly for 2 runs in the top of the 1st.  He retired the side in order in the 2nd, but got into trouble again in the 3rd.  A double and a throwing error by SS Corey Wimberly gave the Jays a run in the 3rd.  With two outs and a runner on second base, McDonald had reached his pitch limit (about 50 pitches), and he was relieved by Justin Thomas.  Thomas gave up an RBI single and a walk, then ended the inning with a strikeout.  Chris Resop surrendered the remaining Toronto run in the 5th.  Back-to-back doubles by former Pirate Jose Bautista (who went 3-for-3) and Travis Snyder brought in that run.  Resop struck out the next two batters, and ended the inning with a ground out.  Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, and Jeff Locke each pitched one scoreless inning for the Pirates.  McCutchen gave up two hits and Locke gave up one.  Wilson walked one batter and struck out the other three he faced.  

Also in the game:  SS Chase d'Arnaud, LF Gorkys Hernandez, CF Alex Presley, RF Andrew Lambo, 3B Garrett Atkins

Pirates Shut Out Yankees

Pirates  2,  Yankees  0

Six Pirate pitchers combined to shut out the Yankees at McKechnie Field this afternoon.  James McDonald and Aaron Thompson each pitched 2 scoreless innings, and each allowed 2 hits.  That was all the hits the Yankees could get.  Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 innings, retiring 6 batters in order, including 2 strikeouts.  Chris Resop, Ramon Aguero, and Daniel Moskos  all contributed one scoreless and hitless inning, and Moskos earned the save.  

The Pirates posted just 6 hits.  Two of those belonged to C Chris Snyder.  He singled to lead off the 3rd inning, but was caught trying to steal second base, then singled again to begin the 6th, and was replaced by pinch runner Jeremy Farrell.  2B Josh Rodriguez bunted Farrell to second base, and SS Pedro Ciriaco drove in the first run of the game with an RB double into left field.  The Pirates scored again in the 7th, when DH Garrett Jones opened the frame with a walk.  1B Steve Pearce bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall, moving Jones to third base.  3B Josh Fields brought in Jones with a sacrifice fly.  

CF Alex Presley walked, singled, and was hit by a pitch in the game.  LF John Bowker also singled.  Also getting in the game:  CF Gorkys Hernandez, LF Miles Durham, RF Andrew Lambo, 1B Garrett Atkins, RF Matt Diaz, C Wyatt Toregas, 2B Brian Friday, and SS Corey Wimberly.  Doug Bernier, who played for the Indy Indians in 2010, got into the game for the Yankees.   




Other notes:
The Pirates have signed 3B Christian Colonel to a minor league contract.  Colonel was the Rockies' 5th round draft pick in 2003.  He has played all around the field, he has spent more time in the infield, and most of those at third base.  More about Colonel to come in the next few days.
Former Pirate farmhand C James Skelton (Bradenton 2010) signed with the Brewers.  



 

Pirates Fall To Rays, But Morton Looks Good

Rays  9,  Pirates  5  

The Pirates opened the official Grapefruit League season with a loss to the Rays.  The Pirates were held to just 6 hits.  All but two were singles and all but one were by the established major leaguers.  1B Garrett Atkins smacked a ground rule double for an RBI in the top of the 9th, and C Dusty Brown singled moments later.  LF Jose Tabata, 2B Neil Walker, 1B Lyle Overbay, and C Chris Snyder had the other hits.  LF Alex Presley walked twice in two trips to the plate; the second walk came in the top of the 9th, with two outs and a runner on second base, and the Pirates management watching carefully to see how he'd handle the situation.

Charlie Morton pitched the first two innings for the Pirates.  He had the lead-off batter reach base in both innings, on a walk and a single, but both times he got out of the innings courtesy of a double play.  Brad Lincoln worked around 2 singles to keep the Rays from scoring in the 3rd, but gave up a solo home run to Evan Longoria in the 4th.  Overall, an encouraging outing for Morton, and not too bad for Lincoln.  Chris Resop also gave up a solo home run in the 5th, which tied the score at 2-2.  After Daniel Moskos pitched a scoreless inning, Daniel McCutchen got into trouble in the 7th.  A double and two walks loaded the bases, and another double cleared them, giving the Rays a 5-2 lead.   Justin Thomas also struggled in his inning, the 8th, though the 4 runs that came in were all unearned, after a fielding error by 3B Josh Fields.  Tom Boleska, up from minor league camp, finished the inning, giving up a single before getting the final out. 

Other minor leaguers getting some playing time:  2B Josh Rodriguez, CF Gorkys Hernandez, SS Pedro Ciriaco.

Trading Deadline Roller Coaster

A host of roster moves today, in view of the Pirates' activity at the trading deadline, which will affect the Indianapolis Indians.

SS Argenis Diaz and 1B Jeff Clement have been promoted from the Indians to the Pirates.� They will take the roster spots vacated when INF Bobby Crosby and OF Ryan Church were traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Pirates acquired ss Pedro Ciriaco from the Diamondbacks.� He is a 24-year-old Dominican native who has been with AAA Reno this season.� In 87 games, Ciriaco is hitting .259 with 15 doubles, 7 triples, 6 homers, and 51 RBI.� He's also stolen 14 bases.� That overall batting average doesn't tell the whole story, though.� He started the season slowly, hitting just .184 in April (when he got into only 9 games) and .222 in May.� He turned it around in June, when he hit.296 and July, hitting .293.� Ciriaco also played in the Futures game earlier this month.� Last season with AA Mobile, Ciriaco hit .296 with 54 RBI and 38 stolen bases, and was named to both the mid- and post- season Southern League All-Star Teams.� He is also a very strong defensive shortstop with a good arm.� He is expected to join the Indians.

The addition of C Chris Snyder (the main player coming to the Pirates in the trade with Ciriaco) might make you wonder what will become of C Erik Kratz, especially when Ryan Doumit comes off the disabled list (he's had yet another concussion).� The Pirates (for now) are saying that Snyder and Kratz will be the team catchers, and that Doumit will be playing some first base and some outfield.� Of course, Clement will be playing some first base too...�� This also suggests that Jason Jaramillo will be returning to the Indians.

As expected, RHP Daniel McCutchen was recalled to the Pirates to make the start on Saturday and remain in the rotation.� For now, reliever Steven Jackson is still with the Pirates, and reliever Justin Thomas might be called up for a few days since it's not entirely clear when all the new pitchers will be joining the Pirates.

The Pirates traded reliever Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers for RHP James McDonald, who will be joining the Pirates, and OF Andrew Lambo, who will be joining the Altoona Curve.� Lambo is a California native who will turn 22 in a couple of weeks.� He was drafted by the Dodgers in the 4th round of the 2007 draft and spent all of 2009 at AA Chattanooga, where he hit .256 with 39 doubles, 11 homers, and 61 RBI.� He had played in 47 games for Chattanooga this season, and hit .271 with 11 doubles, 4 homers, and 25 RBI, but he has missed a big chunk of the season because he tested positive for banned substances (not PED's) and was suspended for 50 games.� The Pirates seem to feel this was a one-time mistake, and not likely to be repeated.� Since returning at the end of June, Lambo has hit .219 with 2 homers and 12 RBI.

The Pirates traded reliever Javier Lopez to the Giants for 1B/OF John Bowker and RHP Joe Martinez, and both of them are expected to be assigned to Indianapolis.� Bowker is a 27-year-old California native, who has split this season between the Giants and AAA Fresno.� In 51 games with Fresno, He has a .310 average, with 12 doubles, 14 homers, and 36 RBI; with the Giants, in 41 games, he has hit .207 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, and 8 RBI.

Joe Martinez,� a righty pitcher from New Jersey, has made 4 appearances (one start) with the Giants this season, totalling 11 innings.� He's allowed 15 hits and 6 runs (4.91 ERA) with 6 walks and 3 strikeouts.� The 27-year-old has spent most of the season with AAA Fresno, where he has made 13 starts and one relief appearance, earning a 5-3 record and a 3.32 ERA.� In 81.1 innings, Martinez has allowed 78 hits and 30 earned runs, 26 walks, and struck out 65.� His ERA has dropped a little over the course of the season -- 3.60 in April, 3.29 in May, 3.00 in July.

Their heads must be spinning....

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.

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