• Marte leads Tribe past Braves

    July 17, 2012 No comments

    Right fielder Starling Marte finished just a single short of the cycle on Monday night, his three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning leading the Indianapolis Indians to a 7-5 win over the Gwinnett Braves at Victory Field.

    With one out in the home half of the fifth and Indianapolis down 4-3, CF Jose Tabata was hit by a pitch and advanced to second base on a single by SS Chase d’Arnaud, setting the stage for Marte’s heroics. Marte launched a fastball beyond the fence in straightaway center field for his 11th of the season that gave the Indians a 6-4 lead they would not relinquish.

    In his first start since tossing a scoreless inning in the Triple-A all-star game, LHP Rudy Owens picked up his eighth win of the season thanks in part to Marte’s longball. Owens was also helped out of a sixth-inning; one-out-two-on jam when RHP Chris Leroux recorded a strikeout and induced a groundout, stranding two Gwinnett bases runners. With closer Tim Wood having thrown in back-to-back games and three times in the past four days, RHP Evan Meek tossed the ninth inning to earn his first save of the season.

    RHP Randall Delgado made his first Triple-A start of the season taking the loss while allowing two Indianapolis home runs. Delgado had made 16 major league starts for the Atlanta Braves this season, going 4-9 with a 4.52 ERA. He was optioned to Gwinnett when Atlanta purchased the contract of RHP Ben Sheets from Double-A Mississippi; Sheets on Sunday pitched in the major leagues for the first time in nearly two years, picking up the win over the New York Mets.

    Gwinnett scored a run in the top of the seventh when LF Jose Constanza raced home on a wild pitch, cutting the Indianapolis lead to one run, but the Indians scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning as 3B Yamaico Navarro scored on a deep sac fly by 2B Anderson Hernandez, giving the game its final 7-5 tally.

    The Indians (60-36) and Braves (44-53) play game two of their four-game series tonight, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. LHP Jeff Locke (7-5, 2.95) is expected to get the nod for the Indians, while the Braves will likely counter with LHP Eric Junge (5-8, 4.76).

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