The Indianapolis Indians were back in action at Victory Field Thursday night, and not a moment too soon–my withdrawal symptoms were getting worse. The Tribe continued their recent crowd-pleasing trend of winning with a 9-2 W over the visiting Buffalo Bison. When the weather is this nice and the hometown Hoosiers are playing good ball, there is no better place to be than the ballpark across from White River State Park if your an Indianapolis sports fan.
The Indy Indians were back in the Circle City for the first time in 11 days after a 10-game road trip that saw the oldest sports franchise in Indianapolis flip a switch from playing OK to playing outstanding. While on the road, the Tribe racked up an impressive 7-3 record and came back home with a .500 record of 13-13.
As for the action last night, in the early going it seemed as though the crowd on hand was going to witness a low-scoring affair as each team managed just one run until the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Indians were first to tally in the home half of the opening frame when center fielder, and offensive spark plug, Jose Tabata walked then stole second and later scored on a two-out single by fellow outfielder Brandon Jones. The walk and run scored last night for Tabata marks the sixth straight game in which he has reached base safely and scored the game’s first run in the first inning.
The visiting Bison tied the contest in the fourth inning when left fielder Chris Carter lead off with a big home run that didn’t touch down until it bounced off the big medal light post in the right field lawn.
The fifth inning saw the Indians take a one run lead again, after Tabata doubled with one out and scored on a single by first basemen Neil Walker. In the home team’s half of the sixth inning, as the sun faded over downtown Indianapolis so too did the Bisons chances of winning this game. A deadly combination of well-timed hits and laughable fielding lead to a 7 run outburst by the Tribe that put the game away.
Doing his best Russell Crowe Gladiator impersonation of giving the crowd what they wanted to see was Indians third basemen, and long-ball expert, Pedro Alvarez who capped off the 7 runs with a three-run home run that improved his team-leading totals of home runs to 7 and RBIs to 25. Every Indians fan gets the feeling that each round-tripper Alvarez hits lands him that much closer to making his Major League debut.
While he wasn’t lights out last night, Indians starting pitcher Brad Lincoln (6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) gave six solid innings of work including getting himself out of a few sticky situations to keep the Bison at bay. With the win, Lincoln improves to 3-1 on the year and it was a nice bounce back from getting roughed up in previous start.
|Video of Indianapolis Indians starting pitcher Brad Lincoln striking out Buffalo Bisons Russ Adams in the first inning of last night’s game at Victory Field. Lincoln ended the night with 6 strike outs.|
On the business end of the Buffalo loss was Bobby Livingston (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) who didn’t pitch all that poorly, just ran into the emerging buzz saw that is the Indianapolis Indians.
The win improves our Indians record to 14-13 which still has them in third place in the International League’s West Division, but they are only half a game back from the second place Toledo Mud Hens, but three and a half games behind the division leading Columbus Clippers. The loss drops the visiting Buffalo Bisons–Triple -A affiliate of the New York Mets–to 16-11 on the season.
The two teams tango again tonight in the second game of a four game series starting at 7:15 p.m. LHP Donnie Veal is expected to toe the bump for the Tribe, while RHP Dillon Gee is the probable starter for Buffalo.
The game can be heard on Indianapolis radio station WXLW-950 AM , or watched live on Comcast and Bright House Networks digital channel 81 with Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley giving you the play-by-play. The pre-game show on WXLW-950 AM begins at 6:55 p.m.
Every Indians game is a must attend Indianapolis event and is one of the best things to do in Indy the whole family can enjoy. For ticket information, or a complete schedule of all Indians games, visit the team’s Web site today.
Extra Game Notes
The Tribes impressive 7-3 record over their last 10 games is tied for the best record over that stretch through out all of Triple-A baseball.
Tabata’s stolen base in the first inning gives him a league leading 13 on the season. The center fielder was en fuego at the plate last night–and really has been for much of the season–as he went 2-for-3 with a single, a double, 1 walk and 1 hit-by-pitch. Tabata is now holds the team led in batting average hitting at an impressive .349 clip.
Indians catcher Erik Kratz had himself a hek of a game hitting last night. The Tribe backstop went 3-for-4, 2 doubles, a single, 1 run and 1 RBI.
Indianapolis Indians announced that their April Player of the Month was awarded to 1B Steve Pierce. Pierce won’t be able to accept the award in person Friday night because he has been called up to Pittsburgh for the 24-man active roster.