Wins ninth for Herd, Marte goes homerless
By TIM BONTEMPS
News Sports Reporter
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After weeks of speculation, Jeremy Sowers is finally a member of the Cleveland Indians.
On a day with several transactions involving the Bisons, the left-hander made his last start for the Herd in an 8-2 win over the Indianapolis Indians in front of 7,363 at Dunn Tire Park on Tuesday night. Sowers pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out four.
"We told him here right after the game that he's going to the big leagues," Bisons manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's well deserved. This team is going to miss Jeremy, but it's time for some other guys to step up and take advantage of their opportunity."
Sowers allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning, then shut out the Indians on one hit in the next four innings to pick up the win, improving his record to 9-1.
Sowers suspected that something was up after being pulled from the game after five innings and throwing only 80 pitches. Lately he's thrown nearly 100 per outing.
"I'm glad that I have the opportunity to pitch at the next level," Sowers said.
In order to make Sowers a more complete pitcher, Lovullo and pitching coach Greg Hibbard have been working with the young left-hander on controlling runners on the basepaths.
"He's had to work on controlling the running game, and as soon as we ironed that out and gave him a couple more weapons to control it, he was well on his way," Lovullo said. "The idea is to have him go to the big leagues and never return. He is going to be a special big leaguer for a long, long time."
After having his name thrown around as a possible call-up on talk radio stations in Cleveland as well as in the newspapers, Sowers was glad to finally get the call to the parent club.
"It's something you work to," he said. "It's everybody's goal here to get that opportunity. Fortunately, I've pitched well and I'm getting a great opportunity, so I'm just going to try to do my best."
For many players, making it to the big leagues after slightly more than 40 professional starts could lead to an oversized ego. However, Sowers knows that he needs to stay focused in order to succeed at the next level.
"That's what this game is all about, because the minute you get cocky it will knock you right back on the ground, and there's always a challenge awaiting," he said. "I just hope I can rise to the occasion."
Sowers will be joining two of his former teammates from the Bisons who were also moved up to Cleveland on Tuesday. The Indians purchased the contract of utility man Joe Inglett, as well as recalling right-handed reliever Edward Mujica.
To make room for the two players, disappointing starting pitcher Jason Johnson, who is 3-8 with a 5.96 ERA on the season for the Indians, was designated for assignment, and pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who was recalled by Cleveland June 13, was sent back to Buffalo.
Kelly Shoppach, Ben Francisco and Ryan Garko each hit solo home runs for the Bisons. However, Andy Marte did not. He was 1 for 4 with a single and a run scored. That ended his streak of consecutive games with a home run at five, leaving him tied for the club record with Bisons Hall of Famer Ollie Carnegie (1938), Carlos Garcia (1992) and Bill Selby (1998).
Shoppach's home run to lead off the second inning began the first of two three-run innings for the Herd. Jason Cooper added an RBI double and Jason Alfaro chipped in an RBI single later in the inning.
Cooper also had an RBI single as part of a three-run fourth, and added another single in the sixth inning for his second three-hit game of the season.