The best way to get over the last one is to move on to the next one. And that is exactly what the Indianapolis Indians did Wednesday afternoon at Victory Field as they beat the Rochester Red Wings 5-2 . After a disappointing extra-innings loss on Tuesday night where Indianapolis squandered several scoring opportunities which in all likelihood would have lead to a win, the Tribe looked to their big guns to lead the way for Wednesday’s matinee.
After a rain soaked morning gave way to a day full of sunshine in downtown Indianapolis, Indians starter Brad Lincoln (8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO) was at the top of his game as he pitched eight solid innings, including four innings of no-hit ball to open the game.
It is always good when you can get your ace going on the mound, and when you can get production from your big bat like the Tribe did today, you’re going to be awfully hard to beat. Indy‘s super-slugging third basemen Pedro Alvarez rested his leather today and let his bat do all the talking from the DH position as he went 2-for-4 with a double, a two-run home run, three RBI and scored two runs as well.
The Tribe showed they put last night’s letdown behind them as they jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the home-half of the first when second basemen Neil Walker doubled to center, and later scored as first basemen Brian Myrow tripled to right field. While the Hoosier hardballers only tallied once in the first, they wouldn’t need much more the way Lincoln was pitching.
The heart of the Indians batting order was at it again in the bottom of the fourth when Brian Myrow walked, and scored on Alvarez’ double off the left center field wall. It was great to see Pedro hit the deep double, but it was even better to see him go opposite field with his power.
Pedro spoke of his opposite field hit after the game saying, “It’s always good (to hit to the opposite field). I’m just trying to put a good swing on the ball and swing at pitches that I can try to drive. I think I did a good job with that today.” Alvarez advanced to third on a ground out by right fielder Brandon Moss and scored on a single by the Tribes left fielder Kevin Melillo.
That closed the book on Red Wings starter Matt Fox (3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) who, up until getting tomahawked by the Indy Indians, was 3-0 with 1.50 ERA on the season.
Rochester busted up Lincoln’s early bid for a no-no in the fifth and even put a run on the board after right fielder Dustin Martin doubled and came home on a single from DH Jacque Jones.
With the score 3-1, Alvarez delighted Indianapolis sports fans everywhere by banging a ball not only over the fence on Victory Field, but over the fence around Victory Field as well. The ball went so far that two teenage fans that went to track it down first had to get OK’ed by security to leave the park and be allowed to re-enter. It looked like a WWE cage match as the two souvenir-seekers wrestled each other on the outside of the wrought iron fence. The blast from Pedro was good for two runs and staked the Tribe to a 5-1 lead.
Alvarex broke down the at bat by saying, “He threw me a good pitch the pitch before and I fouled it off. I tried to make the adjustment and put a good swing on the ball. I was really just trying to see the ball well and slow myself down a little bit and put good contact on the ball.”
Rochester added one more run of no importance in the top of the seventh, but with the way Lincoln was pitching there was little doubt of the final outcome. Wil Ledezma (1.0 IP, 1 SO) sealed the victory, and may have taken over as the Tribe’s closer outright, with a perfect ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
With the win, Lincoln moves to 4-1 on the season, which is good enough for the team’s most wins by a starting pitcher so far this year. Meanwhile, Alvarez now leads the team with 8 home runs and 32 RBI, which are good for second and third respectively among International League leaders.
The two teams had so much fun Wednesday,–at least the Indians did–they decided to do it all again tomorrow to close out the four-game series at The Vic. Tomorrow’s game is is a special 11:00 a.m. start and is the second of three Baseball in Education games the Indy Indians host in partnership with the Indianapolis Public School system.
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 10:40 a.m.
EXTRA GAME NOTES
- Left Fielder Kevin Melillo’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning is his first ever run batted in as a member of the Indianapolis Indians. Melillo has seen little action so far this year, but has started each of the Tribes last two games.
- With Wednesday’s win the Indians are now 18-15 on the season and have won 13 out of their last 18 games. The Indians still find themselves 3.5 games behind International League West Division leading Columbus and 0.5 games ahead of Toledo.