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Tag: Charlie Morton

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Bubba Chandler left his start early on Friday, after dealing with control problems. Chandler walked his first two batters, then issued three more walks with two outs. Following the third walk, he was removed from the game...

Morton Looks Good, As Does Owens

Pirates  3,  Astros  1
Starter Charlie Morton continued to show the Pirates' management that he belongs in the starting rotation with a 6-inning shutout performance today in Kissimmee, Florida.  Morton scattered 4 hits over his 6 innings and did not walk a batter.  He struck out 5 Astros.  C Humberto Quintero had two of those hits -- a single in the 3rd, when he reached as far as third base before being stranded, and a two-out single in the 5th.  Astros' starter Jordan Lyles followed that second single with a line drive into left field, and Quintero raced around the bases.  Pirates' LF Josh Fields got the ball back into the infield quickly, and Quintero was caught in a run-down and tagged out by C Ryan Doumit.  Evan Meek and Chris Leroux each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Neither gave up a hit, but both worked around base runners who got on due to fielding errors.   SS Benji Gonzalez had a tough afternoon, with a fielding error in the 7th, back-to-back fielding errors in the 8th, then another fielding error in the 9th that lead to an unearned run.  With Mike Crotta on the mound in the 9th, the error, a single, and a walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly drove in the Astros' only run.  Crotta has not allowed an earned run in his previous 6 appearances (8.1 innings).  

SS Ronny Cedeno provided the Pirates with their first 2 runs, on a 2nd-inning home run that followed Josh Fields' double.  Ryan Doumit picked up the RBI in the 3rd inning with a triple into left field, driving in 1B Andy Marte, who had singled.  Steve Pearce, who started at third base today, singled twice in the game.  CF Pedro Ciriaco, 2B Corey Wimberly, RF Cole White, 1B Garrett Atkins, and pinch-hitter Josh Rodriguez also got into the game.  

More roster moves are expected on Monday, as the Pirates head into the final full week of spring training.

Pirates’ Pitchers Rule

Pirates  4,  Blue Jays  1
Pitchers were the story for the Pirates this afternoon in Dunedin, Florida.  Five Pirates' pitchers combined to hold the Blue Jays to 4 hits this afternoon in Dunedin, Florida.  Charlie Morton made his second strong start in the Grapefruit League.  He gave up one run in the top of the 1st, courtesy of two former Pirates:  CF Rajai Davis led off with a double, legged out when LF Matt Diaz was a little slow in picking up (the Pirates should have anticipated Davis' speed).   3B Jose Bautista drove the run in with a single slipped through into left field.   Morton ended the inning by inducing a double play, then he retired the side in both the 2nd and 3rd innings.  That included a nice barehanded snatch of a bunt attempt, and a whirl to throw the batter out at first.  Brad Lincoln buzzed through the next three innings, retiring all 9 batters he faced.  Morton and Lincoln each struck out one batter, and neither gave up a walk.  Tyler Yates and Jeff Locke each took an inning, and neither gave up a hit, though Yates walked one.  Cesar Valdez gave up the other two Jays' hits in the 9th inning.  After a strikeout, he surrendered two singles, and with a wild pitch, that gave him runners on the corners.  But he picked the runner off first, then ended the game with a strikeout.

The Pirates' hitters were having some trouble with Blue Jays' starter Brett Cecil.  Cecil struck out 5 of the first 6 Pirates' batters, and allowed only one hit, a double by C Jason Jaramillo, in the 3rd inning.  Jaramillo doubled again to lead off the 6th inning.  CF Andrew McCutchen followed with a walk, then a ground out put both runners into scoring position.  3B Pedro Alvarez drove in both with a standing triple into the right field corner, to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.  They added a run in the 7th, when 2B Brian Friday doubled into left field with two outs, then scored on C Dusty Brown's single.  Another two-out rally provided the Pirates' fourth run in the top of the 9th.  SS Pedro Ciriaco lined a singled into right field, then stole second base.  3B Josh Rodriguez slipped a single into left field, and Ciriaco came around to score.  Rodriguez also stole second base, and Brown was hit by a pitch, but the rally ended when CF Corey Wimberly popped out.  
 
Also getting into the game:  Jeremy Farrell pinch-hit (ground out) in the 8th inning;  his father, John Farrell, is the new manager of the Blue Jays.  1B Josh Fields, LF Alex Presley, RF Gorkys Hernandez, and 3B Andy Marte also played.

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.

Cedeno and Milledge Homer, Morton Pitches 6 Scoreless

Winter league action with the Pirates' players and friends on Wednesday...

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Tigres de Aragua� 6,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 1) -- SS Ronny Cedeno's 3-run homer in the 4th inning put the game away for Los Tigres.� Aragua scored one run in each of the first three innings.� A single, a sacrifice bunt by Cedeno, and an RBI single by DH Hector Gimenez plated the run in the 1st inning.� A walk, a single by CF Jorge Cortes, and an RBI ground out brought in the run in the 2nd.� Gimenez also drove in the run in the 3rd with another RBI single.� LF/RF Lastings Milledge was hitless in this game, as was Margarita's 3B Andy LaRoche. Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits.

Tigres de Aragua� 2,� Bravos de Margarita� 0� (Game 2)� -- RF Lastings Milledge blasted a solo homer over the left field wall in the top of the 1st, and that was all the scoring Los Tigres needed.� Milledge added another RBI in the 7th inning with a single to give Aragua some insurance, and he also walked in the 3rd inning.� Los Tigres needed only 5 hits in the game, with 1B Hector Gimenez getting one of those.� CF Jorge Cortes walked in three trips to the plate, but SS Cedeno and C Raul Chavez were both hitless.� 3B Andy LaRoche singled to lead off the 2nd inning for Margarita, but did not score.

Aguilas de Zulia� 5,� Navegantes del Magallanes� 1� -- DH Mike Ryan scored Magallanes' only run, which came in the 6th inning, when he singled, then scored on an RBI double.� Ryan also singled in the 1st inning.� Zulia scored one run in both the 1st and 2nd innings, then 2 more in the 6th, and one in the 7th.� Corey Hamman took the mound in relief in the 7th, with two outs and a runner on 2nd base.� He gave up an RBI single to the only batter he faced, though the run was charged to the previous pitcher.

Roster Moves and Winter Leagues: Rough Night For Morton And Hamman

A few roster moves by the Pirates today:

Several players have been removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to AAA Indianapolis:� LHP Justin Thomas, RHP Sean Gallagher, RHP Steven Jackson, 1B Jeff Clement, and OF Brandon Moss.

Of these, Thomas, Jackson, and Moss are now all free to declare themselves minor league free agents.� Clement does not have enough service time to get to be a free agent, so he's "stuck" on the Indianapolis roster.� He's had knee surgery, and hopes to be ready by spring training.� Gallagher does have the service time, but the Pirates are probably negotiating with him to try to keep him.

LHP Wil Ledezma has signed a one-year contract with the Pirates for 2011.

RHP Jose Ascanio and 1B Steve Pearce (who has also had knee issues) are officially off the DL and back on the 40-man roster.� RHP Ross Ohlendorf also falls into this category.

On to Wednesday's winter league action, with Pirates' players and friends:

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Senadores de San Juan� 4,� Gigantes de Carolina� 3� -- San Juan rallied from a 3-1 deficit to score one run in the 5th and 2 runs in the 6th for the win.� Los Gigantes scored one run in the 4th on a double and a single.� They added 2 runs in the 5th, on two singles, an error, a walk, and a sacrifice fly.� Benji Gonzalez made a pinch-hitting appearance for Los Gigantes in the 8th inning, but flied out.� He remained in the game at third base for the final inning.

Criollos de Caguas� 4,� Indios de Mayaguez� 0� -- 3B Ramon Vazquez and SS Luis Figueroa each had one hit for Los Criollos in their win.� Vazquez's single in the 5th drove in one of Los Criollos' runs.� They also scored 2 runs in the 4th on two singles and two errors, and another run in the 6th on two singles and a sacrifice fly.

5-Run Inning Lifts Clippers Over Tribe

Columbus Clippers� 10,� Indianapolis Indians� 5 ..�� (box)

IMG_4254The Indianapolis Indians posted 13 hits this evening at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio, with every member of the batting order but one collecting at least one hit.� But the Clippers posted 14 hits, and added a 5-run 7th inning, to sail past the Indians for the win.� The Louisville Bats also won today, beating the Toledo Mud Hens 8-0, so the Bats remain 1.5 games ahead of Columbus in the International League Western Division, with one week left in the season.

Indians' starter Mike Crotta (photo) struggled in each inning he pitched, and after 4+ innings, he had already thrown 90 pitches (56 strikes).� He had two runners on base in the 1st inning, but got out of that jam without a run scoring.� With one out, CF Ezequiel Carrera reached base on a throwing error by SS Pedro Ciriaco. Carrera stole second base, and after 2B Cord Phelps walked, both Carrera and Phelps pulled off a double steal to put both into scoring position.� Crotta bore down and struck out 1B Wes Hodges, then ended the inning when DH Jordan Brown flied out.

That was Crotta's only scoreless inning.� He gave up one run in each of the next three innings and was responsible for 2 runs in the 5th.� 3B Jared Goedert led off the 2nd inning with a single, and he also stole second base.� SS Drew Sutton walked, then LF Matt McBride reached on a tapper back to the mound that Crotta could not handle.� Goedert scored from second base on the play, to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead.

The Indians had gone down in order in the first two innings, but they came right back with 3 runs in the top of the 3rd.� With one out, Pedro Ciriaco doubled into left field.� 2B Brian Friday worked a walk, then LF Kevin Melillo loaded the bases with a line drive up the middle for a single.� 3B Akinori Iwamura lifted a long fly ball into left field, which Columbus LF McBride had to keep chasing back and back.. but he caught it on the warning track for a sacrifice fly, as it let Ciriaco score from third base to tie the score.� CF Alex Presley grounded through the right side of the infield for an RBI single that brought in both Friday and Melillo.� DH Brandon Moss lined another single into right field, but a fly out ended the inning.� The Indians had taken what would be their only lead of the game, 3-1.

Four Tribe Pitchers Combine For Shutout

Indianapolis Indians� 8,� Columbus Clippers� 0 ..��� (box)

IMG_4157Four Indianapolis Indians pitchers combined to shut out the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.� They held the Clippers to a total of 4 hits and 2 walks.� CF Alex Presley supported them with 3 hits, and both 1B Doug Bernier (photo) and RF Brandon Moss contributed 3 RBI.

The Indians got things started in the top of the 1st with a one-out single by 3B Akinori Iwamura, and after the second out, RF Brandon Moss launched his 21st home run of the season, bringing in Iwamura for a 2-0 lead.� They added 2 more runs in the 2nd.� With one out, SS Pedro Ciriaco smacked a grounder towards third base.� The ball glanced off the glove of Columbus 3B Argenis Reyes and past him down the left field line, and Ciriaco cruised into second base with a double.� After a strikeout by C Jason Jaramillo, 2B Brian Friday lifted another double into center field, and Ciriaco came around to score from second base.� Doug Bernier followed with a line drive single into left field, and Friday also scored.� Bernier stole second base, but was left there when a ground out ended the inning.� The Indians were up, 4-0.

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IMG_3940Charlie Morton was originally listed as the starting pitcher tonight, but he was recalled by the Pirates so that he can made the start for them tomorrow.� Dana Eveland (photo) made the spot start in Morton's place.� Eveland had to work around one runner on base in each of the first three innings.� 2B Drew Sutton lined a single into left field in the bottom of the 1st, but Eveland got 1B Wes Hodges to bounce into an around the horn double play, Iwamura to Friday to Bernier.� DH Jared Goedert walked with two outs in the 2nd, but Eveland struck out former Indy Indian Luke Carlin to end the inning.� Clippers' SS Josh Rodriguez reached base on a fielding error by Brian Friday to begin the 3rd inning, but Eveland induced three grounders, again keeping the Clippers scoreless.

Bullpen Falters As Indians Lose Late

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Alex Presley is back to the bag safely









Louisville Bats� 6,� Indianapolis Indians� 3 ..���� (box)

IMG_4467It was a tough night for the Indians' bullpen, as they stumbled in the last two innings, giving the win to the Louisville Bats at Victory Field.� The Indians wasted an excellent starting effort by Charlie Morton (photo), who pitched 6 shutout innings and allowed only 4 hits.� The Indians posted 5 hits, while the Bats out-hit them with 13 knocks.

Morton got some help from his defense, but he cruised along in this start.� He faced only the minimum over the first three innings, and only one batter over the minimum in the first five innings.� He began each of the first three innings with a strikeout, and struck out one more batter after that.

The second batter in the top of the 1st, SS Chris Valaika, slipped a single up through the middle of the infield, where 2B Brian Friday would have been if the Indians' defense was not in a shift position.� The next batter, 1B Yonder Alonso, also grounded up the middle, right over the second base bag.� SS Pedro Ciriaco made a diving stop, and as he hit the ground stretched out prone behind second base, the ball fell out of his glove,� Ciriaco scrambled to pick it up, then still on the ground, flipped the ball back and lateral to Friday covering second base.� Friday was at the bag, and he made an outstanding turn, and fired the ball to 1B John Bowker, just in time to beat Alonso to the first base bag.

Morton retired the side in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a lead-off single to CF Dave Sappelt in the 4th -- the ball glanced off 3B Mitch Jones' glove and into left field.� But again the infield stepped up.� Valaika grounded to third base, where Jones started an around-the-horn (5-4-3) double play to erase Sappelt.� Alonso almost put the Bats onto the scoreboard with a long fly ball to left field.� The ball hit the top of the left field wall, missing a home run by inches, then bounced into left field for a double.� Morton did not erase Alonso from the base path, but instead struck out the next batter, RF Wladimir Balentien, to end the inning.

IMG_4480The Bats also went down in order in the 5th, and that inning ended with an odd play.� 2B Wilkin Castillo bunted a 1-1 pitch to right in front of the plate, but as he was moving out of the batters' box, he came in contact with the ball, so was called out.� C Jason Jaramillo, as the closest fielder, gets credit for the put-out in that situation.

The only time Charlie Morton had two base runners on base at the same time was in the 6th inning.� With one out, Bats' pitcher Chad Reineke dribbled a little grounder (not a bunt) along the third base line, just fair.� By the time Morton and Jaramillo got over to it, Morton picked up the ball, but he had no play at first, and Reineke was on with an infield hit.� Sappelt followed with a grounder to short, and it looked like Morton was going to have yet another base runner erased with a double play.� Pedro Ciriaco made the scoop, but he got excited and his throw to second missed Brian Friday entirely, and sailed into right field.� Reineke advanced to third and Sappelt to second on the error.� With the Indians leading 2-0 at that point, those two runners in scoring position represented the tying runs, and the go-ahead run was at the plate.� Pitching coach Dean Treanor came out for a little chat with Morton (photo).� Then Morton got Valaika to ground softly to third base, and the runners had to hold up.� Another grounder by Alonso to short ended the inning for Morton, and without a run scoring.

Jaramillo’s Blast Seals It For The Tribe

IMG_4310

Manager Frank Kremblas congratulates Pedro Ciriaco on his triple

Indianapolis Indians� 5,� Syracuse Chiefs� 2 (box)

IMG_4311C Jason Jaramillo's booming home run in the bottom of the 8th inning capped off the win for the Indianapolis Indians over the Syracuse Chiefs in the opening game of a 4-game series at Victory Field tonight.� Tribe starter Charlie Morton pitched 6 solid innings and earned his 4th win with the team, while reliever Jean Machi earned his 17th save of the season.

The Indians started with their first four batters reaching base safely in the bottom of the 1st.� SS Pedro Ciriaco (photo) led off with a tremendous standing triple into the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center field.� 3B Doug Bernier reached base on a fielder's choice that was really a fielder's confusion.� He grounded right to former Indy Indian Brian Bixler, who seemed to be expecting Ciriaco to be heading for home.� But Ciriaco made a feint, danced a bit, then headed back to the bag, as Bixler's arm was cocked to make the throw.� With Ciriaco back at the bag, Bixler turned for the throw to first, but by then, Bernier was only a few steps from first base, and Bixler didn't have a play their either.� (photos below)

CF Alex Presley did bring in Ciriaco, when he grounded through the hole and into right field.� RF Brandon Moss looped a single over the head of the Chiefs' second baseman, loading the bases.� Bernier briefly considered heading for home, but manager Frank Kremblas held him at third, since the ball was not deep into right field and there were still no outs.� It was a good decision, since moments later, Syracuse starter Matt Chico bounced a ball into the dirt, which squirted back to the backstop, allowing Bernier to score easily.� Presley moved up to third base and Moss moved to second on the wild pitch.� 1B Mitch Jones lifted a fly ball to right field, for the first out of the inning, but it sacrificed home Presley from third base with the third run of the inning.� A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning, and the Indians had a 3-0 lead.

IMG_4312

IMG_4313

Photos:� Bixler can't decide where to throw it.

Tides Sink Indians With Two 8th-Inning Homers

Norfolk Tides� 11,� Indianapolis Indians� 6 (box)

IMG_4067Norfolk's two home runs in the bottom of the 8th inning gave the Tides the win this evening at Harbor Park in Norfolk.� The two homers, which accounted for 5 runs, were charged to reliever Daniel Moskos, who suffered his 4th loss with the Indians.� Newcomer Travis Chick made his Indians' debut, and it was also troublesome, as he was charged with a Blown Save.

The 8th inning began with the score tied at 6-6, and Daniel Moskos (photo) taking the mound for the Indians.� Moskos gave up a lead-off single through the hole into left field to 2B Pack Figueroa, then struck out CF Matt Angle.� Former Indy Indian RF Jeff Salazar gave the Tides the lead with a 2-run homer over the right-center field wall.� Moskos got a fly out, then gave up a double to SS Robert Andino, who stole third base, and a walk to 3B Scott Moore.� That set up LF Nolan Reimold, who smacked a 3-run homer over the right field wall.� The Indians could not come back in their last chance in the top of the 9th, going down in order, and the Tides had taken the first two games of this four-game series.

The Indians were the first to get onto the scoreboard.� They had only one baserunner over the first two innings, and that was RF Mitch Jones, who reached on a fielding error by SS Robert Andino, but was left on base.� The 3rd inning began with the first three Tribe batters reaching base safely.� C Luke Carlin lined a single up the middle.� SS Brian Friday walked on 5 pitches, then 3B Doug Bernier loaded the bases by beating out a bunt for a single.� 2B Brian Bixler lifted a fly ball to center field, but it was too short for Carlin to tag up and score.� CF Alex Presley grounded to the second baseman, and Bernier was forced out at second base, but Carlin scored on the play.� That left the Indians with runners on the corners.� Tides' pitcher Zach Britton picked Alex Presley off first, but it didn't turn out to be the boon the Tides were hoping it would be.� Britton threw to 1B Michael Aubrey, who threw on to SS Andino, but Andino's relay throw went wild, letting Presley reach third base and letting Friday score.� DH Brandon Moss came to the plate next, and blasted his second home run in two days, and his third of the week, to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.

Morton Does Better, Earns 3rd Win

Indianapolis Indians� 8,� Syracuse Chiefs� 5 (box)

IMG_4081

CF Alex Presley and RF Brandon Moss led the offense, as they posted 13 hits to give starter Charlie Morton plenty of run support.� Morton (photo) pitched a solid start and earned his 3rd win at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY tonight.

Morton's night started out a little shaky, as he gave up a run in each of the first two innings.� He began the bottom of the 1st by walking LF Boomer Whiting.� A throwing error by 1B Jonathan Van Every put Whiting on second base, and a ground out moved Whiting to third.� Whiting scored on 1B Jason Botts' double lined into center field.� In the next inning, 3B Pete Orr led off with a double.� The first out of the inning came on an unusual play.� RF Leonard Davis tried to drop down a bunt, but he was on the move, and had already stepped out of the batters' box when his bat hit the ball, so he was called out.� Orr was thrown out trying to steal third base, which became important for the Indians, because former Indian C Carlos Maldonado homered next -- without Orr on base, it was just a solo home run.

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IMG_4167The Indians had put a runner on base in each of the first two innings.� 2B Brian Friday led off the game with a double and C Luke Carlin walked in the 2nd inning.� But it was Charlie Morton himself who got the rally started in the 3rd inning.� Morton led off the inning with his first hit of the season, a little blooper over the head of the Chiefs' first baseman.� After two outs, CF Alex Presley worked a walk.� That brought up the hot-hitting RF Brandon Moss, who continued his heat with a 2-run double.� It was Moss' 16th hit with runners in scoring position and two outs this season, and it tied the score.

The Tribe batted around in the 4th inning, scoring 4 runs to take a 6-2 lead.� Jonathan Van Every began the inning with a blast over the right-center field wall to give the Indians the lead.� Luke Carlin and SS Argenis Diaz followed with back-to-back singles.� That brought up Charlie Morton in a good bunting situation.� But Morton's bunt got to Chiefs' pitcher Shairon Martis too quickly, and Martis was able to whirl and throw to third, forcing out the lead runner Carlin.� Brian Friday walked, loading the bases with one out.� 3B Akinori Iwamura was also walked (neither intentional), which forced in Diaz with the second run of the inning.� That chased Martis from the game, but Alex Presley greeted the new reliever with an RBI single into left field, bringing in Morton.� Brandon Moss bounced a grounder to first base, which allowed Friday to score, and the Indians were ahead 6-2.� Another ground out ended the inning.

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.

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