Indianapolis Indians 8,
�� �Columbus Clippers 7
RF Brian Myrow’s (photo) line drive into center field in the bottom of the 9th gave the Indianapolis Indians a walk-off win over the Columbus Clippers at Victory Field tonight. �For the second time in the game, the Indians came roaring back after the Clippers thought they had a definitive lead. �With a 7-5 lead going into the bottom of the 9th and the bottom of the Indians’ coming to the plate, the Clippers must have felt fairly secure. �1B Hector Gimenez, DH Robinzon Diaz, and SS Argenis Diaz had combined to go 2-for-9 earlier in the game, with Gimenez eking out a bunt single in the 4th inning�
(the Clippers’ pitcher Mike Gosling hoped it would roll foul but it never did), and Robinzon Diaz lining a double down the left field line in the 7th. �But with their closer Greg Aquino on the mound, this bottom of the 9th inning was going to be quick. �Right?
Hector Gimenez led off with a single up the middle into center field. �Pinch hitter Jeff Salazar, (photo) just moved onto the Tribe roster, trickled the first pitch he saw right back to the mound, but Aquino’s throw to first base was low and it bounced away from 2B Jesus Marchan who was covering first base. �Argeniz Diaz dropped down an excellent sacrifice bunt, moving Gimenez to third and Salazar to second. �That brought up CF Jose Tabata, who has been hitting very well since joining the Tribe (.321). �The Clippers elected to intentionally walk Tabata, to set up the potential double play, even though the next batter was 2B Pedro Lopez, who has also been on fire at the plate (.344). �Lopez worked the count full, then grounded to shortstop, and the Clippers seemed to have gotten the double play they’d wished for. �SS Niuman Romero had to watch the ball come at him around Jeff Salazar, who was running from second to third in front of him. �
Romero made the scoop and the flip to second base — but his flip was low and Jose Tabata was sliding in (a clean slide), and 2B Jesus Merchan dropped the ball for the second error in the inning. �Instead of a game-ending double play, they had no more outs and Gimenez had scored. �Clippers 7, Indians 6, and still one out, and the bases still loaded. �
[Photo: Tabata takes a swing]
Enter Brian Myrow, who had singled once earlier in the game. �Myrow took the first pitch for a ball. �Then he lined the next pitch into center field, and the base runners were going on contact. �Jeff Salazar scored easily, and Jose Tabata rounded third and tore for the plate as the throw came in from center field. �The ball got to C Damaso Espino who was trying to block the plate, a slide by Tabata and his leg hooking around as Espino tried for a swipey tag — and home plate umpire Alan Boyd was signaling safe! �The Indians erupted and pounded on Brian Myrow. �
” I was just trying to get something up so I didn’t hit a ground ball”, said Myrow in the post-game interview. �”I don’t run very well, so they would have gotten a double play (if he’d hit a grounder) and won the game. �But I was able to lift the ball in the air and get a hit.”
The Indians and Clippers combined for 28 hits in the game, along with the 15 total runs. �Indians’ starter Daniel McCutchen (photo) pitched 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 10 hits and a walk, as the Clippers put at least one runner on base in every inning, and left 11 runners on base. �The Indians left 6 base runners on.
The Clippers took their first lead in the top of the 2nd inning. �Daniel McCutchen began the inning by walking DH Stephen Head. �Damasco Espino lined a double into left field, moving Head to third base. �Jesus Merchan followed with a single into left-center field, scoring Head with the first run of the game. �RF Mickey Hall bounced a ball back toward the mound, and McCutchen pounced�
on it and fired home, catching Damaso Espino in a run-down: �McCutchen to C Erik Kratz to 3B Neil Walker, and back to McCutchen, who applied the tag as Espino ran right into him. (photo sequence) McCutchen threw on to third base, where Kratz had run to cover. �Merchan slid in safely as the throw from McCutchen, which he had to avoid Espino to make, came in awkwardly to Kratz and bounced out of reach. �Hall also advanced to second base during the run down. �The respite was only temporary, though. �Niuman Romero blasted a 2-1 pitch to the Jackie Robinson (42) sign in the deepest part of Victory Field for a 2-run double, with Merchan and Hall both scoring. �McCutchen got CF Michael Brantley t
o fly out for the second ou
t of the inning, but�
LF Josh Barfield bounced a single off the left field foul line (chalk flying on the bounce) and into the corner, scoring Romero. �The inning ended when Jose Tabata ran back to the deep center field wall and made an over-the-shoulder catch at the wall of 1B Jordan Brown’s long fly ball.
The Indians tried to sneak a run across the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning. �Jose Tabata led off with a double into center field, and he moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Pedro Lopez. �Brian Myrow worked a walk. �Clippers’ starter Mike Gosling tried to pick Myrow off first base, and as soon as Gosling turned to make the throw to first, Tabata broke for the plate. �Unfortunately, the Clippers were not as surprised as Tabata and manager Frank Kremblas had hoped. �
1B Jordan Brown took the throw from Gosling and fired to the plate, beating Tabata by two or three steps. �An unusual risk to take in the first inning… but maybe it got the Tribe fired up.
Down 4-0 going into the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Indians made their first come back. �With two outs, Pedro Lopez lifted a light fly to short right field, which dropped in between the Clippers’ second baseman and right fielder for a single. �Brian Myrow followed with a line drive into left field. �Then LF Tagg Bozied crushed a very very long fly ball to the deepest part of left-center field, between Robinson’s (42) and the 418′ mark, about 425 feet total, for a 3-run home run. �It was Bozied’s 5th homer for the Indians. �Not to be outdone, two pitches later,�
Erik Kratz blasted a solo shot to straight away center field, 420 feet, for the Indians’ first back-to-back home runs since June 22nd. �(It was Garrett Jones and Kratz on that day.) �It was Kratz’s 10th home run of the season, but his first at Victory Field, and it tied the game at 4-4. �
[Photo: Erik Kratz is congratulated after his home run.]
The Indians managed only two hits over the next three innings: �Hector Gimenez’s bunt single in the 4th and a double to the base of the center field wall by Erik Kratz in the 6th. �Daniel McCutchen kept the Clippers scoreless over the middle innings too, but he had to work a lot harder. �He gave up two singles in the 3rd, one in the 4th, a double in the 5th plus a hit batter, and a double in the 6th. �By then he had thrown 108 pitches. �He left the game after the 6th, but since the score was tied, he was not going to figure into the decision. �
Juan Mateo (photo) came on in relief to begin the 7th inning, and that’s when the Clippers got their second lead. �Jordan Brown led off with a single lined into left-center field. �Tony Graffanino rolled a bunt slowly down the third base line, and by the time Neil Walker could get to it, it was too late to make the throw to first base. �Stephen Head put down another bunt for a sacrifice, moving the runners to second and third bases. �Damaso Espino singled, driving in both Brown and Graffanino to take the lead. �Jesus Merchan grounded deep behind second base, which Argenis Diaz was able to keep from going into center field. �But Diaz could not successfully make the flip to Pedro Lopez covering second base, and the ball got away from the middle infielders and trickled most of the way to first base, as Merchan was safe at first and Espino made it all the way to third. �Mickey Hall followed with a line drive into left field, and Espino was easily able to score from third base. �Finally, a grounder to second by Niuman Romero let Pedro Lopez begin an inning-ending 4-6-3 (Lopez to Argenis Diaz to Himenez) double play, but the Clippers had a 7-4 lead. �
[Photo: �Pedro Lopez makes the play]
Mateo came back out for the 8th inning. �Michael Brantley led off the inning with a line drive to the wall in the right-center field alley for a triple. �Mateo buckled down, getting Josh Barfield to pop up to Neil Walker at third. �The Indians tried a trick play on Jordan Brown, which didn’t really work. �After a coaching visit to the mound, and with a full count, Erik Kratz returned to the plate and held out his left hand to indicate an intentional ball for a walk. �As Mateo came to the plate, at the last second, Kratz hopped back down to take a “real” pitch. �Brown must have seen Kratz moving in time, though, because he was able to adjust and take a swing. �The swing resulted only in a sharp grounder to first, though, where Hector Gimenez made the unassisted put out for the second out of the inning. �A grounder to short ended the inning, leaving Brantley still standing on third base after his triple. �
The Indians scraped out one run in the bottom of the 7th. �Robinzon Diaz led off with a double down the left field line and into the corner. �He held at second base when Argenis Diaz bounced back to the pitcher Zach Jackson, who had relieved Mike Gosling, but a wild pitch allowed Robinzon Diaz to move to third base. �Jose Tabata brought him home with an RBI ground out. �The Indians had crept a bit closer, 7-5.
The Tribe went down in order in the bottom of the 8th. �Jean Machi allowed a lead-off double by Stephen Head and a walk to Mickey Hall in the 9th, but left both runners on base. �That made him the pitcher of record for the Indians in the bottom of the 9th, when the Clippers’ two errors and Brian Myrow’s walk-off single made Machi and the Indians winners. �It was Machi’s first win with the Indians. �
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Brian Myrow’s walk-off single in the 9th, which brought in the tying and winning runs. �
Honorable mention: �Back-to-back home runs by Tagg Bozied (photo) and Erik Kratz.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: �Two double plays : �#1– In the 7th inning, a grounder by Niuman Romero to Pedro Lopez at second base started the 4-6-3 double play that ended the inning and the Clipper’s rally. �#2 — In the 5th inning, with Tony Graffanino on second after a double and Stephen Head on first after being hit by a pitch, Damaso Espino laid down what he hoped would be a sacrifice bunt. �But Daniel McCutchen was very quick off the mound. �He scooped up the ball and threw to Neil Walker at third, who dragged his foot across the bag, forcing out Graffanino. �Then Walker fired a long relay throw to first base in time to get Espino for the unexpected double play.
[Photo sequence: �In the first inning, Jose Tabata tries to steal home......
..... but he's out at the plate.]
Jeff Salazar has officially cleared waivers and was activated onto the Indians’ roster today. �
Pitcher Jason Davis was placed on the Disabled List, clearing a roster spot for Salazar. �Davis strained his quad muscle last week. �
Now, I have to admit, when the dust has settled — it looked to me, and to the people sitting with me, that Tabata was out at the plate. �But, umpire Alan Boyd was right there, not way up in the stands, and he had the best view. �And, the Indians can use a break.
[Photos by EmilP and by Nancy Zinni -- MVN]