Bowker’s Homer Is A Bright Spot; Presley Up To Pirates
LF John Bowker again led the Tribe offense with a 3-hit night, including his second home run in 2 days. The only inning in which the Indians had more than one runner on base was the 1st. DH Corey Wimberly began the bottom of the 1st by ripping the first pitch he saw down the left field line, barely fair, and into the corner. Wimberly took off thinking three bases, and did not even slow down as he approached second base. He was helped out by some slowness by Sheely in left field, who seemed to expect Wimberly to stop at second base, and was surprised when he didn’t. Wimberly sailed into third base standing. Brian Friday grounded his first pitch to first base, and was safe on the fielder’s choice when Luna fired the ball back to the plate, where C Ryan Lavarnway tagged out Wimberly as he tried to score. Bowker singled, moving Friday to second base, and a fly out by 1B Matt Hague (photo) to third base. 2B Josh Harrison loaded the bases when he was hit on the hand with a pitch. That brought up 3B Andy Marte, who could not bring them in — he grounded to third to end the inning.
The Indians never had more than one runner on base at a time for the rest of the game. Their only run came in the 3rd inning, when Bowker slammed a home run over the right field wall, for his 5th homer of the season (photo below). There was only one inning when the Tribe went down in order (5th). RF Miles Durham walked to lead off the 2nd, but was erased in a double play. C Kris Watts slipped a single through into right field in the 4th, and was out at second on a force play. Hague picked up his second hit, a single lined into center field to begin the bottom of the 6th, and CF Gorkys Hernandez singled in the 7th, and both were left on base. Bowker’s third hit was a single to lead off the 8th, and he was also erased in a double play. RF Miles Durham bounced a chopper off the second base bag in the 9th, and the carom took the ball away from 2B Spears, leaving Durham on first with a single. He got no further, though, as a strikeout and a pop out ended the inning.
Wilson finished his evening having pitched 6 innings and allowed the 4 runs on just 4 hits and 2 walks. He also struck out 6 batters. Wilson threw 99 pitches, 52 for strikes. Cesar Valdez relieved Wilson to begin the 7th inning. He retired the PawSox in order in that inning, and would have done the same in the 8th if not for a fielding error by Hague. Spears grounded right up the first base line, and it was hard to be sure whether the ball was fair or foul. In fact, Hague might have thought it was foul by the way he moved to swipe with his glove. But he missed the ball, and by the time he got to it and made the toss to Valdez covering, Spears was safe on first. It didn’t matter, though, since Dlugach grounded out to end the inning. Rehabbing Donnie Veal pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th, with three ground outs.
Cesar Valdez and Donnie Veal
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: John Bowker’s 5th home run of the season and his second in two days, to give the Tribe their only run (photo).
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: Three outstanding plays by Josh Harrison at second base. #1 — Hector Luna led off the top of the 6th with a grounder that bounced deep behind second base. Harrison went to his right, snagging the ball behind second base, then was able to turn and make the throw to first base to make the out. #2 — With two out and Spears on first due to the error in the 8th, Brent Dlugach smacked a bouncer that headed up the middle. The ball bounced on the back of the mound and changed it’s angle enough so that Harrison, who had started moving to his right again, had to change directions and take steps to the left. He fell as he made the catch, then hopped up in time to fire the ball to first base and make the out to end the inning. #3 — Jose Iglesias led off the top of the 9th with a high chopper that came down on the infield grass between the mound and second base. Harrison charged in to make the grab, then threw across his body to first for the out.
Justin Wilson ………. Josh Harrison on deck
The Pawtucket players were having some fun with their teammate, who was coaching at first base early in the game. He was laughing because he figured out what was going on. I think they might have showed him on the video board. That’s a wad of bubble gum, complete with a bubble, in case you can’t tell.
(Photos by Nancy)