INDIANAPOLIS (IndyIndians.com) - Left-handed starter Justin Wilson put together his best outing in three starts, working out of a couple of jams on Tuesday night to throw five scoreless innings as the Indians provided three runs of support and the Indianapolis bullpen staved off the Red Sox to pull out a 3-1 win at Victory Field.
Wilson, who had lasted just 3.0 and 4.0 innings respectively in his past two starts, gave up a lone single in each of the first two innings before running into some trouble in the third. Pawtucket 2B Jon Hee led off the frame with a single and CF Ryan Kalish followed with a walk to put two on with none out, but Wilson recorded two strikeouts and induced groundout to end the inning.
Wilson (5.0+ IP. 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) then tossed a perfect fourth inning before pitching out of another jam in the fifth. After LF Alex Hassan and Hee drew back-to-back walks to put two on with no outs, Wilson induced a groundball forceout and a 4-6-3 double play -- started on a smooth field-and-throw by 2B Anderson Hernandez -- to end the threat and the inning.
Following Wilson, RHP Daniel McCutchen (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) ate up some much-needed innings for a depleted Indians bullpen that had tossed nine innings the night before. Wilson faced two batters in the top of the sixth, allowing singles to both, but McCutchen stranded both runners and tossed a perfect seventh inning before allowing a lone run in his third inning of relief. It was McCutchen's longest outing of the season since also throwing 3.0 innings out of the bullpen on May 4 in Norfolk.
The Red Sox finally scratched out a run in the top of the eighth inning when RF J.C. Linares hit a two-out infield single to drive in C Ryan Lavarnway. Hernandez was able to get to the bouncer up the middle but 1B Lars Anderson was able to slide into second base just ahead of Hernandez's flip on an attempted forceout and Pawtucket cut the Tribe lead to 3-1, but were unable to score again in the contest.
With regular closer Tim Wood having thrown in three straight games, LHP Doug Slaten (1.0 IP) was called upon to close out the game and delivered, earning his ninth save of the season. Slaten has allowed just one earned run this season -- all the way back on April 7 -- and has a 0.28 ERA.
Indianapolis scored its trifecta of runs in the bottom of the second inning. 1B Matt Hague and DH Jeff Clement each singled and 3B Yamaico Navarro walked to loaded the bases with none out before RF Brandon Boggs drew a four-pitch walk to send Hague plateward with the game's first run.
C Tony Sanchez then drove in Clement with a sacrifice fly and Hernandez drove in Navarro with a fielders choice. Pawtucket SS Jose Iglesias fielded the ball and stepped on second to force out Boggs, but his throw to first came up short and turned a would-be inning-ending double play into the Tribe's third run.
News broke during the game that the Pittsburgh Pirates had traded Indians LHP Rudy Owens, along with fellow prospects LHP Colton Cain and OF Robbie Grossman, to the Houston Astros for major league LHP Wandy Rodriguez and cash considerations.
The Indians (65-40) and Red Sox (58-47) will face off in an afternoon matinee on Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Indianapolis is expected to send RHP Rick VandenHurk (9-2, 3.66 ERA) to the mound while Pawtucket will likely counter with RHP Nelson Figueroa, who has no record with the Red Sox but went 7-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 17 appearances (nine starts) this season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
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