RENO, NV — Apologies to our readers, but a flight to Reno, Nevada, hotel accomdataions and a rental car just weren’t in the ISR budget yet this year. So this one was covered via MLB Network (and our friends at AT&T U-Verse).
Did you know that the Indianapolis Indians sent three players to the Triple-A All-Star Game last night?
Catcher Tony Sanchez, left-handed ace Kris Johnson and right-handed closer Vic Black will represented the Tribe at the Midsummer Classic, which took place at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nevada.Catcher
Tony Sanchez stole the show, earning the IL’s Top Star award by blasting a three-run home run in the top of the second inning that helped lead the International League over the Pacific Coast League 4-3. In the victory, Tribe starter Kris Johnson also tossed a scoreless third, while closer Vic Black struck out one in a dominating ninth inning relief appearance.
With this homerun, Sanchez became the first Indians’ batter to earn the Top Star Award at the Triple-A All-Star game since fellow backstop Erik Kratz took home the honor in 2009.
“It’s been a long road for me. I have had a lot of adversity and for me to come here and do that off an arm like that, I can’t help but be proud.” Sanchez said after the game.
The home run for Sanchez, which proved to be the difference in the contest, was the first longball hit by any batter at the Triple-A All-Star game since current Indians’ 1B/OF Russ Canzler launched a game-winning three-run blast in the 2011 contest. Amazingly that homer by Canzler scored current Tribe 1B Matt Hague, who drew a walk prior to the connection by Canzler.
While Sanchez proved to be the game’s offensive star, both Tribe hurlers that made the trip to Reno also turned in stellar performances.
Fresh off a stretch of four straight 7.0 inning starts, Indians ace Kris Johnson did what he has all season, including three ground ball outs in a scoreless third frame. With a familiar face behind the plate, in Sanchez, Johnson needed only 14 pitches to get through the inning.
In one of the more buzzed about performances of the night, Tribe closer Vic Black used a litany of 98 mph fastballs to record two outs including a strikeout of Fresno OF Roger Kieschnick to lead-off the ninth. Though he did not earn the save, Black’s relief outing proved to be one of the more dominating efforts of the evening.
With the International League’s victory they will now have home field advantage at the 2013 Triple-A championship game against the PCL on Tuesday, September 17 at Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Following the All-Star break the Indians will now take to the road for an eight-game road trip beginning with four games in Gwinnett, the first of which will be held on Thursday, July 18 at 6:05 p.m. at Coolray Field.
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