More often than not, the Kinston Indians are the "forgotten" team among the Tribe's full-season…
Akron And Kinston Hang On For Playoff Wins
Right-hander Bubbie Buzachero (8-3, 2.72 ERA, four saves) was kicked off the team and placed on the resticted list after breaking the jaw of second baseman Eider Torres in a fight Sunday. Torres likely will be sidelined for however far Akron goes in the playoffs. Buzachero's career in the Indians organization is likely over. He was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays last winter in a trade for left-hander Brian Tallet and was the Aeros' key setup man this season. Akron called up catcher Max Ramirez from Lake County to take Buzachero's spot on the roster. Ramirez was acquired from Atlanta in July when the Indians traded closer Bob Wickman to the Braves. He hit .307 with the Captains. As for Game One action at Canal Park, Akron took a 9-1 lead, but yielded seven runs in the top of the ninth in a 12-10 win over the visiting Altoona Curve. In the Class Carolina League, Kinston led, 7-0, but also had to sweat it out before prevailing, 9-6, over the host Salem Avalanche. Class AA Akron (87-55) won the Southern Division of the Eastern League by 10 1/2 games and will play second-place Altoona in a best-of-five playoff series. Trenton and Portland are playing in the Northern Division series. The Aeros are seeking their third championship in four years. The Aeros took three of four from Portland to win it all last year and swept New Haven to win the title in 2003. EASTERN LEAGUE PLAYOFFS Southern Division Final, Best of Five Akron Aeros (87-55) vs. Altoona Curve (75-64) Game 1: Akron 12, Altoona 10 (Aeros lead series, 1-0) Adam Miller (15-5, 2.75 ERA in the regular season) worked seven strong innings for the Aeros. The right-hander struck out five without yielding a walk, giving up three runs and seven hits. He got plenty of offense as first baseman Ryan Mulhern and shortstop Ivan Ochoa each hit two-run homers and third baseman Pat Osborn went 3-for-3 with two RBI. Right-fielder Brad Snyder was 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI, center-fielder Trevor Crowe went 2-for-5 with two runs and DH Brian Barton had a hit and scored twice. But Crowe, Ochoa, Snyder and second baseman Brandon Pinckney all made errors, too, enabling Altoona to get back into the game. Matt Davis, who spent most of the season as Lake County's closer, gave up five runs in only 1 2/3 innings, though four of the runs were unearned. Reid Santos failed to get an out and allowed three runs and two hits before Jim Ed Warden came on to get the final out for the save. Game 2: Thursday at Akron 7:05 p.m. LHP Josh Shortslef (6-2, 4.45 ERA) vs.LHP Aaron Laffey (8-3, 3.53 ERA) Game 3: Friday at Altoona 7:05 p.m. RHP Sean Smith (10-5, 3.88 ERA) vs. RHP Landon Jacobsen (14-9, 3.21 ERA) If Necessary Game 4: Saturday at Altoona 7:05 p.m. RHP Jensen Lewis (1-2, 3.89 ERA) vs. RHP Wardell Starling (6-5, 2.80 ERA) Game 5: Sunday at Akron 7:05 p.m. Pitchers TBA Class A Kinston (38-31, 47-23) won the first half championship in the Southern Division of the Carolina League, then finished second by seven games to Salem in the second half. The Indians compiled the best overall record in the league at 85-54 and will play Salem in a best-of-three playoff series. Wilmington and Frederick are playing in the Northern Division series. Kinston lost in the finals in 2002, fell in the first round in 2003, won it all in 2004 and finished second a year ago and missed the playoffs. CAROLINA LEAGUE PLAYOFFS Southern Division Final, Best of Three Kinston Indians (85-54) vs. Salem Avalanche (76-61) Game 1: Kinston 9, at Salem 6 (Indians lead series, 1-0) Left-hander Chuck Lofgren (17-5, 2.32 ERA) in the regular season, pitched five scoreless innings and led 7-0 before yielding three runs (two earned) in the sixth. He gave up two hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings, striking out five. Randy Newsom worked 2 2/3 innings and also allowed three runs (two earned). Ryan Knippschild gave up a hit and got the first out in the ninth before Kyle Collins got a strikeout and the final two outs for the save. Center-fielder Nate Panther, MVP of Akron's playoff run in 2005, went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI while 2006 Carolina League MVP Jordan Brown in left field was 2-for-4 with two runs. Second baseman Argenis Reyes had two hits and three RBI, and catcher Javier Herrera went 1-for-5 with a run and two RBI. Game 2: Thursday at Kinston 7:00 p.m. RHP Rory Shortell (8-7, 3.23 ERA) vs. LHP Scott Lewis (3-3, 1.48 ERA) If Necessary Game 3: Friday at Kinston 7:00 p.m. RHP Felipe Paulino (9-7, 4.35 ERA) vs. RHP Joe Ness (9-6, 3.62 ERA) REGULAR SEASON Class A Mahoning Valley (37-35) was postponed by rain and still has two regular-season games remaining in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League, both at first-place Auburn. Class AAA Buffalo (73-68) finished tied for third place in the North Division of the International League, 10 1/2 games back. Class A Lake County (35-33, 29-41) finished in third place in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League in the second half after finishing seventh in the first half. Rookie League Burlington (34-33) finished in third place in the East Division of the Appalachian League. GCL Indians (21-29) finished in fourth place in the Gulf Coast League. DSL Indians (44-27) finished second in the Bocachica Division of the Dominican Summer League. They lost to the DSL Yankees, two games to one, in their playoff series, dropping the deciding game 6-5 in 10 innings.
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