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Indians lose in extras, 3-2

Indians lose in extras, 3-2
Luis Lugo (Photo: IPI)
June 22, 2012
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TEMPE - The Arizona League Indians fell to the Arizona League Angels in extras last night with a final of 3-2.  The Indians battled the Angels in their second game of the season, but despite seemingly frequent opportunities in the late going, the young guns could not capitalize on their opportunities.

It was a battle of lefties as the Indians’ Luis Lugo squared off against the Reds’ Zach LeBarron.  Indians’ centerfielder and Arizona’s very own Tyler Booth, a Central Arizona College product selected in the 13thround of this year’s draft, began his pro career in grand fashion with a line drive single on the first pitch to lead off the game.  The Indians would end up leaving the bases loaded in the first.

The 18-year old Lugo started on the bump and was sharp for 3.1 innings of work as he punched out six and walked only one.  Lugo, a big framed 18-year old out of Venezuela, had low 90’s stuff working and was eventually taken out in the middle of the third after reaching his pitch count.  Lugo’s lone run surrendered came in the second as the Angels would score following a Ryan Bolden double and a Joel Capote RBI single. 

The predominantly-teenage Tribe answered in the third inning as shortstop Dorssys Paulino drew a walk and third baseman Jorge Martinez singled, followed by an opposite field RBI double to from catcher Eric Haase to tie the game at 1-1.

Taiwanese import and dying for a nickname, Chia-Ching Lin, serving as the desingated hitter in the contest and put together some good at bats, namely in the fourth inning as he slammed a gapper to right field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He is one of two Taiwanese players on the AZL roster, along with pitcher Shao-Ching Chiang.  Lin would be left to dry at third as the top of the lineup failed to bring him in. Though he only had one hit on the night he had some good at bats working the count.

Jeffry Cleto relieved Lugo in the fourth and provided 2.2 very efficient innings, including a five pitch 4thinning.  His fastball was lively, topping out at 93 MPH.  Cleto is one of those pitchers that really looks like a pitcher; 6’3, 190, throwing on a true downward plane.   One scout mentioned, however, his stuff seemed very straight; very little lateral movement on his fastball.  Cleto possesses a rather herky-jerky delivery, but nevertheless, was quite effective in his debut on Thursday night.

Left handed pitcher Isaias Enarnacion struggled when he entered the game in the seventh inning, walking three yet fortunately only giving up one run.    The deceptive lefty reached 94 MPH and, from a purely pitching standpoint, resembled a tall version of Tony Sipp.  Encarnacion had trouble finishing his pitches and it resulted in the three walks and a surplus of hitter’s counts.

Alexis Paredes pitched 3.1 innings and was really quite impressive.  The 6’3 righty struck out three showing a good moving fastball and a tight biting curve.  Paredes throws three-quarters and definitely looks like he could move through the system as a bullpen type guy with many moving parts.  The 8th and 9th would be quiet ones for the Indians.

Extras began and the Tribe was set down in order.    In the 11th inning, the Indians had another shot to score after replacement shortstop Yhoxian Medina reached on an error with two outs, then stole second base. With a 3-1 count and the hot hitting Jorge Martinez batting, Medina was subsequently picked off second base to end the threat. 

In the 12th, Martinez led off the inning with a double, but was erased on the base paths as catcher Martin Cervenka bunted a little pop up right back to the pitcher.  It resulted in a double play and Australian catcher/first baseman Ryan Battaglia went down swinging to record the third out.  Battaglia has had a tough two days, striking out six times in his first ten at bats of the season.

In the bottom of the 12th inning, newly assigned Luis Morelwho recorded the last two outs in the 11thinning via strikeouts, continued his strikeout streak by whiffing the Angels’ Glenn Beltran, but fell into trouble after second baseman Juan Herrera made an error with one out.  Samir Mendez would follow with a base hit putting runners on first and second which would set up the game winner for the Angels’ James Sneed as roped a ball to right field that would plate Beltran.

As the Angels salvaged their first victory of the season, the Indians will continue to seek out their first win on Saturday as they host the AZL Brewers in Goodyear.

Notes:

Tyler Booth, the leadoff hitter and centerfielder, took an aggressive approach at the plate.  In each of his five at bats, he was swinging at the first pitch.  Conversely, shortstop and number three hitter Dorssys Paulino showed an advanced approach at the plate despite being the youngest player on the roster at age 17.  Paulino, a standout from the opener on Wednesday, went 0-for-3 but drew two walks and showed solid discipline and impressed several scouts in Tempe yesterday with both his plate approach and range at shortstop.

The offensive player of the game was third baseman Jorge Martinez, a 6’2, 19 year old out of the Dominican Republic who had three hits including two doubles and drew two walks.  Martinez, signed as an undrafted free agent in ’09, showed off a very strong arm at third base and very aggressive instincts at the hot corner.

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