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The Pittsburgh Pirates called up right-handed pitcher Daulton Jefferies prior to Monday's game. With the bullpen depleted after two bullpen games over the last week, Jefferies joined Dennis Santana as the middle relief options available for...
As I mentioned in last week's recap, we're entering the time of the season where the most consistent performers should start getting moved up. That has already started taking place, with Braxton Ashcraft making his Triple-A...

Bowker’s Clutch RBI Gives Indians Extra-Inning Win

Indianapolis Indians  4,  Toledo Mud Hens  3
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IMG_4287After 5 scoreless innings with a tie score, the Indians pushed across a run in the top of the 12th, then held on for the win over the Mud Hens at Fifth-Third Field in Toledo, Ohio.    

With two outs in the top of the 12th, 2B/3B Brian Friday worked a walk.  LF John Bowker (photo) lashed a double into the right-center field alley, over the head of Toledo RF Ben Guez, and off the wall.  Friday was off and running with the pitch, and he rounded third and headed for the plate as Guez chased down the ball.  He crossed the plate well ahead of the throw, scoring the go-ahead run for the Indians.  

The Mud Hens jumped right on Tribe starter Justin Wilson in the bottom of the 1st inning.  Lead-off batter DH Will Rhymes with a single, and LF Timo Perez doubled, putting runners on the corners.  Rhymes scored on an RBI single into right field by rehabbing 2B Carlos Guillen, and Perez came in on an RBI single by 1B Ryan Strieby, for a 2-0 lead.  Strieby stole second base and 3B Danny Worth walked.  Wilson got out of the inning when he struck out RF Scott Thorman, and C Kris Watts fired down to third base, throwing out Strieby trying to steal third.  SS Cale Iorg added a run in the 2nd inning on a solo homer, giving the Mud Hens a 3-0 lead.  

Wilson went on to pitch 4 more innings, scattering 3 more singles (by Rhymes, Iorg, and Strieby) and two walks (Guillen and Strieby), but he did not allow another run.  He threw 91 pitches, with 52 strikes.  

Tribe Run Down Bison Again; Hughes’ AAA Debut

Indianapolis Indians 12,  Buffalo Bison  6
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IMG_5565The Indians and the Bison held a hit-fest at Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, NY tonight, with the two teams combining for 30 hits (16 for the Indians and 14 for the Bison).  The Tribe made the better use of their hits, though, and with three 3-run innings, the Tribe came out on top.  SS Chase d'Arnaud went 4-for-5 with a homer and 5 RBI, and RF Miles Durham went 3-for-4 with an RBI.  Rudy Owens (photo) earned his 6th win of the season, with 3 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks.  

The Tribe got onto the scoreboard first, with 3 runs in the top of the 2nd innning.  With one out, C Eric Fryer walked, then after a second out, Owens also walked.  That brought up d'Arnaud, who rocketed a rising line drive over the right-center field wall to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.

Owens got through the first inning allowing only a double by 1B Valentino Pascucci.  He gave the Bison back a run in the 2nd inning.  A single by 3B Zach Lutz, a walk to LF Jason Botts, and a single by C Mike Nickeas loaded the bases.  CF Jesus Feliciano brought in Lutz with a sacrifice fly, to cut the Indians' lead to 3-1.  A sacrifice bunt by Buffalo starter Mark Cohoon was fielded by Owens, but the throw to first pulled 2B Brian Friday, who was covering, off the bag.  Cohoon was credited with a sacrifice, and Owens was charged with an error.  But with the bases loaded again, Owens got 2B Michael Fisher to fly out to left field.  LF Alex Presley made the catch, then fired the ball in to the plate, where Fryer made the catch and held on to tag out Botts as he tried to tag up and score.  The outfield assist saved at least one run, and possibly more, if the inning had continued.  Durham also made an outfield assist in the 3rd inning.  SS Luis Hernandez walked, then Pascucci lined into right field.  Hernandez tried to go from first to third on the play, but Durham fired in to third base, where 3B Matt Hague mad the tag out.  

Presley’s Pinch-Hit Triple Sparks 7th Inning Rally

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"With the first pick in the 2011 draft, the Pirates take UCLA's RHP Gerrit Cole"









Indianapolis Indians  6,  Syracuse Chiefs  4
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A 7th-inning rally featuring a pinch-hit triple by Alex Presley gave the Indians the win over the Syracuse Chiefs at Victory Field tonight.   Reliever Justin Thomas earned his 4th win, and closer Tim Wood earned his lucky 13th Save.  2B Brian Friday went 3-for-4 and all three hits were doubles, while SS Chase d'Arnaud and C Eric Fryer had 2 hits each.  

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In three of the past four games, the Indians had surrendered at least one run in the top of the 1st inning.  Tonight, starter Brian Burres (photo) broke that tradition, even though the Chiefs threatened in the top of the 1st.  2B Matt Antonelli opened the game with a double over the head of Tribe 1B Miles Durham and down the right field line into the corner.  Antonelli had to stay at second while Burres struck out CF Corey Brown and got RF Jesus Valdez to bounce into a ground out at second.  Burres walked 1B Chris Marrero, then C Jesus Flores ripped a line drive into right field.  It looked like both runners were going to have plenty of time to come around to score, but RF Andrew Lambo had other thoughts.  He raced toward the line and made a diving catch as the line drive sank, to end the inning for Burres and the Tribe.  

Tom Milone made the start for Syracuse and before he could get himself settled in on the mound, d'Arnaud rifled Milone's first pitch into the right center gap, all the way to the wall, and raced around to third base as the Chiefs' outfielders chased it down.  Brian Friday quickly followed the lead-off triple with a double down the left field line, ending up the Indians' bullpen bench.  That drove in d'Arnaud for a 1-0 lead.  

Lincoln Leads The Tribe With His Arm And His Bat

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Ready to cheer for the Tribe








Indianapolis Indians  3,  Syracuse Chiefs  1
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IMG_5950Indians starter Brad Lincoln (photo) earned his 5th win tonight, beating the Chiefs with both his pitching and his bat at Victory Field tonight.  He allowed just one run in his 7 innings of work on 6 hits, with 2 strikeouts.

The game began with both Lincoln and Syracuse starter JD Martin zipping right along on the mound.  Lincoln retired the first 9 batters he faced.  Seven of those outs were ground balls, and only one ball got out of the infield.  Martin retired the first 8 batters he faced -- and before we knew it, the game was already in the bottom of the 3rd.

The Indians' first hit of the game came in the bottom of the 3rd with two outs -- a triple by Lincoln.  The ball shot down the right field line and bounced around in the bullpen, and by the time the Chiefs' RF Jesus Valdez got to the ball, Lincoln was cruising into third base.  He didn't slide, despite manager Dean Treanor's motioning down, down.  


2B Shelby Ford
 followed Lincoln's triple with a long blast over the right field wall at the 362' sign, landing on the sidewalk behind the grass berm, for a 2-run home run.  It was Ford's second homer in four games with the Tribe this season.


IMG_59553B Andy Marte (photo, being congratulated by manager Dean Treanor)  made it a 3-0 lead in the next inning, when he also homered.  Marte's bomb out-blasted Ford's -- this one went past the left field berm, past the side walk, and over the grass behind the sidewalk, landing just inside the fence at the edge of Maryland Street.   

Lincoln came to the plate again in the bottom of the 5th, and again with two outs.  He hit his second extra-base hit of the game, a double off the left field wall.  Lincoln sailed into second base easily as the Syracuse outfielders scrambled after the ball.  That time, though, he was left stranded.  

Lincoln returned to the mound after racing around the bases in the bottom of the 3rd.  He gave up a single to 2B Matt Antonelli to lead off the 4th inning.  The next batter, Valdez lined softly right to 1B Matt Hague, who was standing just a few feet from first base to hold Antonelli on.  With the count full on Valdez, Antonelli took off for second base with the pitch.  It was not hard for Hague to turn and tag Valdez on the chest as he tried to return to the bag, for an unassisted double play.  A fly out ended that inning.  

Burres Shines But Tribe Shut Out

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Starter Brian Burres threw 7 shutout innings, but got a no-decision.  











Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  1,  Indianapolis Indians  0
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A pitching duel did not end up in the Indians favor today, as the S/W-B Yankees took a one-game lead in this 4-game series at Victory Field.  Tribe starter Brian Burres pitched an outstanding game, going 7 shutout innings, but left the game without any runs on the scoreboard, so he was not involved in the decision.  Yankees' starter DJ Mitchell also pitched 7 scoreless innings, but earned the win.  The game was scoreless until the starters were relieved in the 8th inning.  

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Burres scattered 3 hits and 2 walks over his 7 innings, while striking out 5 Yankees.  He began his afternoon's work by retiring the first 6 batters he faced.  He gave up doubles to 2B Kevin Russo to lead off the 3rd, and to SS Ramiro Pena in the 6th, but left both of them on base.  Pena also singled in the 4th, dropping a liner into right-center field just out of the reach of CF Gorkys Hernandez.  Burres picked Pena off first, then 1B Matt Hague threw to SS Brian Friday, who tagged out Pena as he tried to steal second base (photo).   Burres walked 1B Jorge Vazquez in the 4th, but after Pena had been erased, and he walked LF Dan Brewer in the 5th.  Both of those runners were left on base, too.  Burres needed 98 pitches, with 58 hits, to get through his 7 innings.   

Ford, Bowker, and Watson Lead Come-From-Behind Win

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Shelby Ford gets the force out at second base, as Brian Friday backs him up.








Indianapolis Indians  8,  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  5
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The Indianapolis Indians engineered another come-from-behind win tonight, to defeat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Victory Field.  2B Shelby Ford (photo), who last played for the Indians in 2009, celebrated his return to AAA with 3 hits and started two big Tribe rallies.  LF John Bowker also contributed 3 hits and 3 RBI.  Reliever Tony Watson celebrated his 26th birthday with two scoreless innings of work, including 5 strikeouts.  

When starters Sean Gallager and Adam Warren squared off last week, Warren dominated the Indians and held the Tribe batters to just 3 hits in 8 innings.  Today, Gallagher and the Tribe turned the tables on Warren.

The Yankees began the game by taking advantage of an error in the top of the 1st.  With one out, Gallagher walked SS Ramiro Pena, then gave up a single up the middle to DH Jesus Montero.  1B Jorge Vazquez tapped a fast bouncer back to the mound, which Gallagher easily fielded.  He whirled and fired to Ford covering second base (photo above), for the force out on Montero.  Ford's relay on to first base, though, was airmailed and landed in the visitor's dugout.  Vazquez was awarded second base, and Pena, who had reached third base, was sent on home, for the Yankees' first run of the game.  The run would have been unearned, but while pitching to CF Justin Maxwell, Gallagher threw a wild pitch.  If the throwing error had not been made, Pena would have been on third base, and would have scored on the wild pitch, which changed to run from "unearned" to "earned".  Maxwell popped out to Ford to end the inning.  

Marte Slams The Tribe To A Win

Indianapolis Indians  6,  Pawtucket Red Sox  3
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3B Andy Marte (photo) IMG_5597blasted a grand slam in the top of the 9th to boost the Indians to a win over the Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.   

Brian Burres made the start for the Indians, though he did not figure into the decision tonight.  After retiring the PawSox in order in the 1st inning, Burres gave up a double to LF Daniel Nava with one out in the 2nd.  A walk to C Luis Expositio followed.  1B Matt Hague dropped a foul pop that should have been an out, giving 2B Brent Dlugach a second chance.  Dlugach took advantage of the opportunity, ripping a double on a line into left field, driving in Nava.  Exposito advanced to third base.  SS Jose Iglasias lined a single up the middle, and Exposito also scored.  Dlugach rounded third and headed for the plate, but was tagged out at the plate  when CF Gorkys Hernandez's throw to C Dusty Brown was on target and on time.  

Boston Red Sox' Bobby Jenks, with Pawtucket on a rehab assignment, pitched the first inning for the PawSox.  He threw 14 pitches (8 strikes) for a scoreless inning, though LF Alex Presley singled off Jenks, with a liner into center field.  

When Jenks finished his inning, he was relieved by the regularly scheduled starter, Matt Fox.  The first two Indians who faced Fox reached base -- Hague singled into left field, and Marte worked a walk.  Fox got out of the jam by striking out DH Jason Jaramillo, getting Brown to fly out, then doubling Hague off second base. 

Ten Singles Take Indians To The Win

Indianapolis Indians  4,  Pawtucket Red Sox  3
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IMG_5480The Indianapolis Indians posted 10 hits, all singles, to beat a former Indian on the mound for the Red Sox, at McCoy Field in Pawtucket, Rhode Island tonight.  Brandon Duckworth, who pitched for the Tribe in 2006 and earned an 8-3 record and a 2.42 ERA in 12 starts, could not get through the 5th inning tonight, as his former team handed him his 3rd loss of the season.  Indians' starter Rudy Owens (photo) earned his 4th win, going 6 innings and allowing 3 runs on 5 hits.

Both starters pitched three scoreless innings to being their outings.  Owens retired the side in order in the 1st inning, then gave up lone singles, to LF Daniel Nava in the 2nd, and CF Che-Hsuan Lin in the 3rd.  Duckworth also retired the Indians in order in the 1st inning.  1B Matt Hague singled through the hole and into right field in the 2nd inning.  In the top of the 3rd, with two outs, 2B Josh Harrison 
walked, and CF Gorkys Hernandez singled up the middle, moving Harrison to second base.  The two runners both stole the next base, to give the Indians two runners in scoring position, but a ground out by LF Alex Presley ended the inning.  


Both teams scored one run in the 4th inning, and for both, the run was driven in by a sacrifice fly.  RF John Bowker led off the Tribe's top of the 4th with a walk.  Hague smacked his second single of the game, and DH Jason Jaramillo was hit on the chest below his arm to load the bases with one out.  C Dusty Brown, who had spent parts of the last 5 seasons playing for the PawSox, drove in the first Indians' run with a sacrifice fly.  In the bottom of the frame, Owens walked DH Hector Luna to begin the inning.  Luna advanced to second base on a ground out, then moved to third on a single by LF Daniel Nava, who slipped a grounder into center field, just past the diving reach of SS Brian Friday.  2B Tony Thomas brought in Luna with his sacrifice fly.  

Tribe Bullpen Quiets Yankees

Indianapolis Indians  5,  Scranton /Wilkes-Barre Yankees  3
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IMG_5741The Indians' bullpen shut down the Yankees' bats in the second half of the game, as the Tribe took the first game of this 4-game series at PNC Field in Moosic, PA.  Starter Brian Burres earned his second win of the season, while RF John Bowker and C Jason Jaramillo contributed 2 RBI each.  

The Indians got right down to business in the top of the 1st, opening the game with back-to-back line drive singles into left field by SS Chase d'Arnaud and 2B Josh Harrison.  After a strikeout by LF Alex Presley, Bowker loaded the bases with a line drive single to right field.  1B Matt Hague (photo) made it four line drive singles (to left again), and his single drove in both d'Arnaud and Harrison to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

The Yankees came right back with two runs off Tribe starter Brian Burres in the bottom of the 1st.  Burres got a ground out, then gave up a single to SS Romiro Pena, followed by a 2-run homer to C Jesus Montero.  LF Justin Maxwell struck out, then 1B Brandon Laird singled, and Burres walked 2B Kevin Russo.  A grounder to short by RF Dan Brewer forced Russo out at second base, to get Burres and the Indians out of the inning, with the score tied 2-2.
 
Burres settled in after that first inning.  Relying on his breaking ball and changeup, Burres retired the next 8 S/W-B batters in a row, before allowing a single in the 4th inning.  Brewer lifted a fly ball into right field, and advanced to second base on a fielding error by Bowker in right.  The error was made meaningless with a fly out to end the inning.  

Tribe Win The Series In The Pink

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Andy Marte (right) celebrates with Rudy Owens and Dusty Brown after his 2-run homer.  













Indianapolis Indians  3,  Buffalo Bison  2
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For the third year in a row, the Indianapolis Indians found that the pink breast cancer awareness jerseys brought them luck.  They beat the Buffalo Bison at Victory Field tonight, to win the 4-game series 3 games to 1.  Rudy Owens pitched 7 innings, allowing only one run on 7 hits for his third win of the season.  Former Pirate DJ Carrasco took the loss for the Bison.

IMG_5752This was Owens' (photo) first win in 5 weeks, and only the second game in which he pitched 7 innings (the other was on April 11th).  He did not walk any batters.  He had two strikeouts -- both on Carrasco, who also struck out Owens twice.  

Owens took advantage of three double plays in the first four innings.  His first two innings were twins.  The southpaw gave up a single (to 3B Luis Figueroa in the 1st and to 1B Valentino Pascucci in the 2nd), then got an out (pop up and fly out), then erased the base runner and ended the inning with a double play.  In the 1st, CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis bounced into a standard 4-6-3 (2B Josh Harrison to SS Chase d'Arnaud to 1B Matt Hague) double play.  In the 2nd, LF Jesus Feliciano grounded to first, where Hague stepped on first, then threw to second base where d'Arnaud tagged out Feliciano for the reverse force double play.  

Owens retired the Bison in order in the 3rd, but got into some trouble in the 4th.  Former Indy Indian Luis Figueroa zapped a grounder just inside the third base line and down into the left field corner, where LF John Bowker had to chase it down, as Figueroa raced to third base with a triple.  2B Michael Fisher lined a single up the middle, scoring Figueroa.  Then Owens returned to the first/second- inning form.  He got Nieuwenhuis to fly out, and got Pascucci to ground into an around the horn double play, started by 3B Andy Marte.

Seven Scoreless Innings For Lincoln, With Plenty Of Run Support

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Chase d'Arnaud (19) is congratulated after his 2-run homer.











Indianapolis Indians  6,  Buffalo Bisons  1
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IMG_5652Brad Lincoln (photo) won his fourth game in a row with his best performance of the season, pitching 7 scoreless innings to lead the Indians over the Buffalo Bison at Victory Field this afternoon.  This was Lincoln's 8th start overall for the Indians, and the only scoreless start so far.  He went 7 innings for the second time in a row, and struck out 7 batters for the third time this season.  Lincoln allowed only 4 hits, which was the fewest he's allowed since his first start -- and that start lasted only 4.2 innings.  

Lincoln scattered those 4 hits, plus one walk, so that the Bison had only one inning in which two runners reached base.  He retired the first 7 Bison in order, including 3 strikeouts in the first two innings.  Former Indy Indian (2008) C Raul Chavez had the first hit for Buffalo, with a grounder up the middle in the 3rd inning.  The next batter, Buffalo starter Casey Fossum tried to drop down a sacrifice bunt, but the bunt went up instead of down, and 3B Josh Harrison was able to charge in and catch the tiny pop.  Harrison then fired over to first base, where a temporarily confused Chavez had frozen in his tracks several feet away from the bag.  Chavez was easily doubled off the bag for the inning- ending double play.

Lincoln allowed a single to lead-off batter LF Jesus Feliciano in the 4th, then struck out the next two batters and ended the inning with a ground out.  He worked around an infield hits by 3B Michael Fisher in the 5th and by 1B Valentino Pascucci in the 7th.  The 6th was the only inning that Lincoln allowed two Bison hitters to reach base.  With one out, he walked Feliciano.  SS Luis Hernandez grounded to 2B Chase d'Arnaud for what could have been a double play.  D'Arnaud's flip to SS Pedro Ciriaco erased Feliciano at second, but Feliciano's slide made Ciriaco jump out of the way to avoid being taken down, and Ciriaco could not make the throw to first.  That didn't seem to bother Lincoln, though, as he got CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis to tap back to the mound and tagged Nieuwenhuis out himself to end the inning.  

Indians Win Third In A Row

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Two critters on the field appreciated the weather tonight  (look above the umpire's head).







Indianapolis Indians  4,  Columbus Clippers  2
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The Indianapolis Indians won their third game in a row for the first time in the 2011 season as they beat the Clippers at Victory Field tonight.  Tonight's win was also the second in a row at home and the second in a row over the Clippers (the first win in the string was against the Durham Bulls in Durham).  It was also the third night in a row that the Indians allowed their losing opponent to rally and score in the last inning of the game, making things a little more excited than they ought to be.   

IMG_5533The weather was fit only for ducks (!), raining on and off the whole game, with the heaviest rain in the middle innings.  The game was not delayed or halted at any point, though.  

Garrett Olson (photo) made the start for the Indians.  He has been pitching in relief so far this season, and though he made a start in a "bullpen" game for the second game of a double header on April 25th, this was his first start since being officially moved to the starting rotation.  The Indians had stated that Olson would be on a pitch count of about 60, but he had thrown only 26 pitches (14 strikes) when he was lifted after 2 innings.  No word from the clubhouse as to why he left at that point.  Olson struck out the first two batters of the game, then ended the first inning with a fly out (14 pitches).  After a pop out to begin the top of the 2nd, Olson walked Columbus RF Jerad Head, but got 2B Jason Kipnis to bounce to first base, where 1B Matt Hague took one step to touch the first base bag for the out on Kipnis, then fired to second base, where SS Chase d'Arnaud tagged out Head for the reverse-force double play.  

D'Arnaud got the Indians going with a double down to the left field corner and off the wall to open the bottom of the 1st.  2B Pedro Ciriaco grounded through the hole and into left field for a single, moving d'Arnaud to third base.  CF Alex Presley grounded to second base, where Kipnis got the force out on Ciriaco and then threw to first for the double play.  D'Arnaud still scored from third on the play, but Presley did not get credit for an RBI.  The Indians didn't care about that, though -- they had a 1-0 lead.

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