Yankees’ Bernie Castro receives the throw to second as Indianapolis’ Andrew McCutchen is out on a steal attempt at PNC Field on Moosic Thursday night.S. John Wilkin/The Times Leader
MOOSIC — Dan Giese continues to be the biggest story of the season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
The reliever-turned-starter produced another strong performance, scattering six hits and one run in seven innings, as the Yankees posted a 5-1 victory over Indianapolis on Thursday night at PNC Field.
The veteran right-hander was on top of his game from the outset. He struck out five and issued just one walk. The Indians got their only run in the third inning when Adam Boeve hit a one-out double, and later scored on a single by Nyjer Morgan.
“I felt pretty good because I faced those guys last week,” said Giese. “I didn’t really do anything different in my approach—I left it up to them to figure things out.”
Giese, who made his major league debut last year with San Francisco, said he’s enjoying the transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation.
“When you have five days between starts, it gives you better preparation,” said Giese (4-2). “When you’re in the bullpen, it’s tough day-in and day-out.”
Giese, who spent parts of three seasons with the Red Barons, said making it to the big leagues in 2007 has served as a confidence builder.
“If something goes wrong, now I know I can get back on track. Plus, I know now that I can get people out at the big league level.”
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley was almost lost for words to describe the zone Giese is currently in.
“He’s just been solid, solid, solid,” said Miley. “For him to keep going out there and do the things he’s doing is amazing.”
The Yankees wasted no time putting Giese in a comfort zone. They took a 3-0 lead on Jason Lane’s three-run home run in the first inning—a line shot that cleared the 371-foot marker in left-center field off Ty Taubenheim.
“I was looking for a pitch that I could drive to the outfield,” said Lane, who leads the Yankees with nine home runs and 30 RBI. “He threw me a fastball in the middle of the plate.”
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre managed only three hits, but was in control throughout the game, thanks to its pitching.
“The way Giese was pitching we felt confident,” Lane said. “The bullpen came in and did a great job.”
David Robertson and Chris Britton each pitched one shutout inning to close out the Indians.
The Yankees (31-17) extended their lead to 5-1 on Cody Ransom’s two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth.
“We haven’t had a lot of timely hits lately, but it was nice to jump ahead 3-0 on Jason’s home run in the first inning,” Ransom said.
“Lane’s home run was big, especially with the way Giese has been pitching. Jason has been solid all year.”
Lane has hit much better at PNC Field than he has on the road. He has hit eight home runs and has 26 RBI in his home ballpark.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who’s regarded as Pittsburgh’s top prospect, paced Indianapolis with three hits—including his 12th double of the season.
Morgan added two hits for the Indians.
NEXT GAME: 7 p.m. today vs. Indianapolis
PITCHERS: Yankees’ Kei Igawa (LHP, 3-4, 3.74 ERA) vs. the Indians’ Jon Van Benschoten (RHP, 5-0, 2.17 ERA).
RADIO: THE GAME: 1280-AM, 1340-AM, 1400-AM, 1590-AM. With Mike Vander Wood.
ON DECK: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s home set against Indianapolis continues through Sunday. The Yankees open a four-game road trip at Pawtucket on Memorial Day.
“We haven’t had a lot of timely hits lately, but it was nice to jump ahead 3-0 on Jason (Lane’s) home run in the first inning.”