• Tough weekend as Tribe loses 2 of 3

    April 18, 2011 No comments

    It’s been a rough opening week and a half for the Indianapolis Indians as they wrapped up play Sunday afternoon in Louisville. With a young squad and a loaded intra-divisional schedule to begin the season, Indianapolis ended play Sunday with a record of 2-9.

    The Indians will end a stretch of six straight games against the hottest team in the International League tonight when the Tribe takes on the Louisville Bats at Louisville Slugger Field. Louisville enters play tonight with a 9-2 record and a one game lead over the second place Columbus Clippers in the IL West Division.

    After two games against the Bats at Victory Field last week, the Tribe headed south to begin a four game series against the Bats Friday night where a squad of young Indianapolis batters faced a onetime National League rookie of the year and the owner of a World Series ring in Dontrelle Willis.

    Willis proved to be on his game as he pitched six innings of shutout baseball giving up only five hits while striking out six in Louisville’s 3-0 win over Indianapolis.

    The task would not get any easier for the Tribe Saturday as Indianapolis faced Reds fireballer Johnny Cueto who was pitching in a rehab assignment for Louisville. But Indianapolis would touch Cueto for two runs in the third inning on a Brian Friday two run single and the Tribe scored four more runs in the eighth off of reliever Joe Krebs capped off by an Andy Marte three run double. Indians starter Rudy Owens would pitch six and a third innings of three hit, one run baseball to record his second win of the season as Indianapolis cruised to a 7-1 victory.

    Indianapolis would face for the third day on in a row on Sunday a pitcher with substantial major league experience as Homer Bailey took the hill for a rehab assignment start. Bailey was sharp as he pitched five innings allowing no runs on only two hits. But tribe starter Brian Burres was equal to the task as he pitched seven dominant innings of shutout baseball giving up only four hits while striking out eight.

    Both teams were held scoreless until the home half of the eighth inning when the Bats roughed up Tribe relievers Dan Meyer, who started the inning in relief of Burres, and Daniel Moskos. Meyer walked two and hit a batter and Moskos gave up a Jeremy Hermida three run double and a Devin Mesoraco sacrifice fly as Louisville plated four runs to lead the Tribe 4-0 entering the top of the ninth.

    But the Tribe fought back as Alex Presley led off the inning with a walk and scored the first Indians run of the game on a Matt Hague triple to make it a 4-1 game. Hague would score on an Andrew Lambo RBI single and after a Josh Harrison single put runners at first and second with nobody out. Tribe catcher Dusty Brown continued his hot hitting by doubling to left field scoring Lambo and Harrison to tie the game at four and eventually send the game in to extra innings.

    It would stay quiet until the bottom of the thirteenth as Indianapolis relievers Justin Thomas and Cesar Valdez held Louisville in check. Tony Watson started the thirteenth for Indianapolis and after getting the first two Bats batters out Watson gave up a two out single to Bats second baseman Kris Negron which was followed by Louisville right fielder Brian Barton’s first home run of the season to give the Bats the walk-off 6-4 win.

    Indianapolis wraps up their first road trip of the season in Louisville tonight at 6:35 p.m. before beginning a four game series tomorrow in Toledo. RHP Sean Gallagher is expected to get the start for the Tribe, while RHP Scott Carroll is the probable starter for the Bats.

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