(Photo: Harrison reached base three times in the game)
All the time at the plate and running the bases might have taken a toll on Wilson, though. After 5 strong innings of work, Wilson ran into trouble in the 6th. LF Dave Sappelt lined the first pitch of the inning over the right field fence for a solo home run. A pop out gave Wilson the first out, but that was followed by a 1B Yonder Alonso’s single through the hole into left field. 3B Todd Frazier brought in Alonso with the second home run of the inning, blasted over the left field wall, and the Bats had a 4-1 lead. Mesoraco doubled down the left field line and into the corner, but after that hit, Wilson got two infield grounders to end the inning.
The Indians got one run back in the 7th, which began with a strange play. RF Andrew Lambo grounded to short, but SS Cozart airmailed the ball to first base, and Lambo was safe at first. But when 2B Valaika chased down the ball and tossed it back to 1B Alonso, Alonso tagged Lambo, who was standing just past the first base bag along the line. Much to his (and most of the people in the stadium) first base umpire Brad Myers called Lambo out. The ruling was that Lambo had not just run through first base, but had made the turn and headed for second base ( I didn’t see that happen at all). That meant that he was then required to stay on the base, and since he wasn’t, he was out with the tag. Lambo did not agree with that call, and he stood and argued with Myers, until Myers walked away. As he was walking back to the dugout, Lambo tried pleading his case with home plate umpire Chad Whitson, who just pointed Lambo toward the dugout.
Manager Dean Treanor hustled over to first base and also had some words with Myer, and they also spent some time just glaring at one another (photo). Of course it didn’t help, and Lambo was still out.
When play resumed, Harrison grounded to deep short, where Cozart was able to stop the ball, but not pick it up and throw, and Harrison had a single. Ciriaco sacrifice bunted Harrison to second base. C Dusty Brown lifted a ball into the left-center gap for a double, driving in Harrison. Reineke left the game at that point, with Daniel Ray Herrera coming on in relief. Herrera got pinch-hitter Matt Hague to ground out, ending the 7th. Herrera also retired the Indians in order in the 8th.
The Indians had one last try in the 9th, when Lambo drove a double down the right field line and into the corner. But a line out and a pop out ended the game without Lambo leaving second base.
Justin Wilson left the game after the 6th inning. He allowed 4 runs, all earned, on 6 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts. Half of the hits were home runs. He made 87 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Dan Meyer came on to pitch the 7th inning. He gave up a single to Reineke, but retired the other three batters he faced, including a strikeout. Cesar Valdez took the 8th inning. He surrendered a single to Alonso, but SS Chase d’Arnaud doubled Alonso off first base when he caught a line drive off the bat of Mesoraco, then fired to first for the double play.
(Photo: Chase d’Arnaud, who beat out a grounder to short for a single in the 6th)
Tim Wood began the top of the 9th on the mound for the Indians. He gave up a lead-off single up the middle to Valaika. A wild pitch moved Valaika to second base. Wood got a ground out, then struck out Negron — but threw a wild pitch on strike three. Dusty Brown chased down the ball, which had dribbled to behind the home plate area. With the ball in his hand, Brown looked at first base, where he would have had plenty of time to throw out Negron. But then he turned and threw to third base, hoping to cut down Valaika, who was moving from second base. His throw bounced in the dirt, and both Valaika and Negron were safe on the corners.
The righty Wood was relieved in favor of the southpaw Tony Watson, to face pinch-hitter (lefty) Jeremy Hermida. Hermida bounced to second base, where Ciriaco charged to just in front of the base path to make the catch. There would have been plenty of time to throw to d’Arnaud covering the second base bag and then on to first for an inning-ending double play, but that’s not what Ciriaco did. Instead, he threw to the plate in an attempt to put the tag on the lead runner Valaika. But the throw was not in time, and Valaika scored the Bats’ 5th run. Watson got two fly outs to end the inning. The run was earned, since the mistakes were mental errors and not physical errors.
The Indians and the Bats are scheduled to face off again on Friday night — but be warned that a big storm is forecast for central Indiana, with the worst of the thunderstorms due to arrive around dinner time.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Justin Wilson’s (photo) double off the left field wall in the 5th inning, to drive in the Indians’ first run.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the 5th inning, Chris Valaika led off with a long fly ball into center field. At first, it looked like the ball was going to sail over the wall, but the wind was blowing from right field to left field, and that was helping CF Corey Wimberly as he raced back. He made the running catch two steps from the center field wall, for the out, and tonight (unlike last night) he did not slam into the wall after making the play.
Justin Wilson stands happily on second base, then asks for his hoodie
Wilson on the mound
Alex Presley went 0-for-4, ending his 7-game hitting streak.
Pitcher Joe Beimel was removed from the Indians’ active roster, making space for C Jason Jaramillo. Beimel was placed onto the State College roster (a paper move, of course), in anticipation of being called up to the Pirates. Beimel will have to be added to the Pirates’ 40-man roster, which will require more shuffling.
(photos by Nancy)