After an eight game road trip, in which the Indianapolis Indians lost four straight to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees before taking three of four games from the Buffalo Bisons to finish 3-5, the Tribe returned home with a bunch of new faces in their dugout. No longer will the crowd at Victory Field in downtown Indy cheer for the supper-slugging third basemen Pedro Alvarez or base-stealing outfielder Jose Tabata now that both have been recalled by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately on Monday night the new look Indians had a face only a mother could love as they lost 2-0 the the visiting Durham Bulls, and managed just one hit all game.
Indianapolis wasted yet another great pitching performance from right-handed starter Daniel McCutchen (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) whose seven innings of six hit, two runs baseball was all in vain. This is the third start in a row for McCutchen were he pitched admirably yet received the loss due to a serious lack in run support from his fellow Tribesmen.
The Indians starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen threw 7 strong innings of work on Monday night but could get no run support and ended up on the wrong end of a 2-0 decision.
As for the opposing pitcher who stymied the Indy Indians, he is a middle-releiver making his first start of the season, and toeing the rubber for the first time in nine days. Brian Baker (5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) threw five innings of hitless ball before turning it over to relievers Mike Ekstrom and R.J. Swindle who followed with four scoreless innings of relief.
Durham broke the scoreless contest in the top of the fifth inning when the Bulls second basemen Joe Dillon lead off the inning with a double down the right field line. First basemen Chris Richard followed up the double with a single of his own, leaving Durham with men on the corners and no outs. Bulls catcher Alvin Colina hit a dribbler to Indians shortstop Argenis Diaz who started a 6-4-3 double play that scored Dillon and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Indianapolis sports fans will no longer watch Pedro Alvarez man third base and send baseballs flying over fences since he has been recalled to Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the top of the sixth inning the Bulls added one more insurance run with a quick, long strike off the bat of right fielder Matt Joyce that landed on the lawn behind the right field fence. It was the second run and more than Durham would need.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth inning that Indians center fielder Jonathan Van Every was able to slap a single through the infield for the only hit Indianapolis sports fans could cheer for.
Following McCutchen’s excellent outing, Tribe relievers Vinnie Chulk (1.0 IP, 1 H) and Wil Ledezma (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 SO) each escaped jams to keep the Indians within striking distance with two scoreless frames of relief. With the scoreless work from Chulk and Ledezma, the Indianapolis’ bullpen continues to post dominant numbers in the month of June as they have now turned in a 4-0 record and 1.19 ERA (9 ER in 68 IP).
Indianapolis continues its four-game series with Durham on Tuesday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. Right-hander Hayden Penn is expected to get the call for the Indians, while left-handed pitcher Heath Phillips is the probable starter for the Bulls. It will be a sort of homecoming for Phillips as he was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana.
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 6:40 p.m
EXTRA GAME NOTES
- With the loss the Indianapolis Indians fall to a mark of 38-33 on the season and still sit 3.0 games back of first place Columbus and 2.0 games behind second place Toledo in the International League West Division. The win pushes the Durham Bulls record to 42-28 which is good enough for the best mark in all of the IL.
- Infielder Jeff Clement was assigned to Indianapolis to make room for Jose Tabata after playing in 45 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2010 season.
- To patch up a now depleted infield, the Indianapolis Indians promoted second basemen Jim Negrych from Double-A Altoona and Negrych got off to a hot start with the Tribe batting .393 during the eight game road trip.