• VandenHurk pitches and bats Tribe to victory over Braves

    June 19, 2012 No comments

    Right-handed starter Rick VandenHurk did a little bit of everything for Indianapolis on Monday night, picking up his fifth win on the mound and driving in and scoring his first runs in nearly two years as the Indians beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-4 at Coolray Field.

    The Tribe went ahead for good in the top of the second, batting around en route to scoring three runs. RF Brandon Boggs led off the frame with a double before scoring on a throwing error on 3B Anderson Hernandez’s infield single that allowed Hernandez to advance to second. At the time, Boggs’ run tied the game at 2-2.

    Because both Indianapolis and Gwinnett are affiliated with National League teams the designated hitter is not being used in the series, so VandenHurk came up to bat with no outs and a runner on second. The pitcher promptly dumped a single into left field scoring Hernandez to put the Indians ahead 3-2. VandenHurk later scored on CF Starling Marte’s RBI single to center.

    On the mound, VandenHurk improved to 5-0 with the Indians, tossing 7.0 innings and striking out five.

    Indianapolis had jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Marte to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.

    Gwinnett took a quick 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first when RF Felix Pie drove in a pair of runs. After the Tribe’s three-run second, Ernesto Mejia hit his 13th homer of the season to lead off the bottom of the third and cut the Indianapolis advantage to 4-3, but Gwinnett was unable to tie the score or take a lead for the remainder of the contest.

    The Indians added the eventual game-winning run in a weird top half of the fourth when Chase d’Arnaud scored on a flyout to deep center field off the bat of Marte.

    Tribe RHP Bryan Morris pitched a perfect eighth before allowing a walk and a single in the ninth, but 2B Yamaico Navarro made a diving stop on a two-out grounder and threw to first to end the game, giving Morris his fifth save of the season. For Gwinnett, Lugo took the loss, his second of the season.

    With the Columbus Clippers loss to the Charlotte Knights, the Tribe now owns an 8.5-game lead in the International League’s West Division. Indianapolis (41-29) and Gwinnett (37-35 ) will continue their four-game series with a 7:05 p.m. start time on Tuesday. LHP Jeff Locke (5-3, 3.27) is expected to take the mound for the Indians. Gwinnett has yet to name a probable starter for tonight’s contest.

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