Indians Celebrate Mother’s Day with 5-4 Victory over Bisons

There was still a slight chill in the air as Indianapolis Indians pitcher Jeremy Powell threw the first pitch to the visiting Buffalo Bisons at Victory Field yesterday afternoon.

But the sun was shining bright and the smell of sunscreen filled the outfield lawn as the more than 6500 Circle City residents in attendance celebrated Mother’s Day with a 5-4 Indians victory.

The game got underway and was engaging from the get-go as Powell pitched himself out of a two-out bases loaded jam in the top of the first inning by inducing a slow roller from Buffalo second basemen Russ Adams to the Tribe’s shortstop Argenis Diaz to keep the visitors off the board.

Continuing their trend of scoring early, Indianapolis leadoff hitter and center fielder Jose Tabata reached first on an error by Bison’s shortstop Ruben Tejada. Tabata then scored on a double to center field from Indians second basemen Neil Walker. Although they threatened to add to their first inning lead with Walker on third and only one out, the hometown Hoosiers couldn’t drive him home, and settled for the one run.

The lead seesawed back-and-forth between the two teams as they traded two run innings in the third and fourth. First, Bisons third basemen Mike Hessman reached on a throwing error by his hot corner counterpart, Indians Pedro Alvarez. Hessman then moved to second on a bloop single by left fielder Chris Carter, and advanced to third on a force out at second that left men on the corners for the visitors. Those corners were quickly cleaned up Buffalo catcher Josh Thole as he hit a triple down the left field line that fell just beyond the reach of diving Indians outfielder Brandon Moss. Buffalo was on the scoreboard and leading 2-1.

Video highlights of the Indianapolis Indians 5-4 win over the Buffalo Bisons at Victory Field May 9, 2010. The Indians wore pink jerseys on Mother’s Day in support of breast cancer awareness and to raise money for the Susan B. Komen Race for the CUre Foundation.

That is how the scoring stood until the home half of the fourth inning when the Indy Indians plated two runs of their own after right fielder Brandon Jones singled to center and Moss doubled to right field to put men on second and third with no outs. Tribe catcher Eric Kratz dropped a single into center field which brought home the Brandons–Jones & Moss–and staked the Indians to a 3-2 lead.

The two teams traded a run in the fifth to change the score to 4-3. For Buffalo, Thole singled home Hessman in the top of the inning, while Tribe first basemen Brian Myrow sent a single run souvenir over the right field fence, it is his third home run of the season.

In the bottom of the seventh, Neil Walker added his second RBI of the day by lifting a solo home run just over the left field wall and into the lap of a fan in the first row. The home run was his fifth of the season and lifted his batting average to .330 for the year.

Walker’s blast proved to be that extra insurance the Indians needed to win Sunday’s game. In the top of the ninth, with Tribe closer Jean Machi on the mound, Chris Carter tattooed a ball over the fence in right-center to draw the Buffalos within one run. “Macho Man” Machi let things get interesting as two Bison players were left stranded on first and second before he picked up a slow roller, and out ran Buffalo center fielder Jason Pridie for the force out at first base. Game over, Indians win, thanks for coming out.

Powell (6.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO) allowed one earned run on 10 hits in six innings of work to earn his third victory of the season, he is now 3-3 on the season. Tribe  relievers Justin Thomas (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 SO) and Wil Ledezma (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO) each threw a scoreless inning to set the stage for Machi (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO), who earned his fourth save of the season. Bisons R.A. Dickey (6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 H) was handed his his second loss of the season after allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings of work.

The Indians stay at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis for another four-game set, this time against the Rochester Red Wings.  The action kicks off on Monday, May 10 at 7:00 p.m. RHP Daniel McCutchen is expected to go for Indianapolis, while LHP Glen Perkins is the probable starter for Rochester.

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.

*Image courtesy of John Gray*

Extra Game Notes

  • Sunday’s game marked the first time all season that Buffalo pitcher R.A. Dickey did not complete at least eight innings of work this season.
  • With the win, the Indianapolis Indians won the four-game series against Buffalo 3-1. The Indians improve to a record of 16-14 while the Bisons now stand at 17-13.
  • Yesterday’s win moves the Tribe back into second place in the International League West Division where they sit 3.5 games behind the Columbus Clippers.
  • The Indianapolis Indians sported pink jerseys and pink bats to show the Indianapolis sports baseball franchises support for breast cancer awareness. The jerseys and bats were auctioned off during the game and all profits will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation.