The 6th inning began with the Tribe down 2-0. Brian Friday cut that lead in half with his first home run of the season, a long and high fly ball over the left field wall. That got the Tribe going. LF John Bowker followed with a single through into left field. 1B Matt Hague’s ground out moved Bowker to second base, and 3B Andy Marte walked. Both Bowker and Marte scored when Durham took a fly ball off the center field wall for a triple to give the Indians the lead. Moments later, Hernadez hit another fly to left, which bounced off the warning track, and off an angled part of the left field wall, sending the ball out of the playing field, for a ground rule double. Durham scored from third, and the Tribe had a 4-2 lead.
Gallagher (photo) was relieved by Mike Crotta to begin the 6th inning. Gallagher had allowed the two runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 3 strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches, with 47 of them strikes. Crotta started his appearance on a tough note — he gave up a solo homer to 3B Tug Hulett. That was the only run he allowed in his two innings of work. He did give up a single to Antonelli in the 7th.
2B Pedro Ciriaco began another rally in in the 7th by beating out an infield single. Ciriaco stole second base, and Friday walked, and when Syracuse C had a passed ball, both runners moved into scoring position. Hague was intentionally walked to load the bases. That did not help the Chiefs much, though, since Marte lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Ciriaco. Durham singled into left, and Friday came around from second to score. Hague stopped at third base, as the throw came back to the infield, but Durham had rounded first base and was caught between bags. He tried to stall while in the run-down, but could not draw it out long enough– he was tagged out just before Hague crossed the plate. It turned out to not matter, as the Indians had increased their lead to 6-3.
Hernandez (photo) and Ciriaco both singled in the 8th inning, though neither scored. Friday gave the Tribe one more insurance run in the top of the 9th, slamming his second homer of the season. Hague and Durham both singled after the homer, but two strikeouts ended the inning without further scoring.
Jose Ascanio relieved Crotta for the 8th inning. He struck out the first two batters he faced, then gave up a double and a single. He was replaced by Justin Thomas, who got pinch-hitter Seth Bynum to pop out to Friday in foul territory. Thomas finished the game by retiring the side in order in the 9th, earning his second Save of the season.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Brian Friday’s first two homers of the season, which led off the 6th and the 9th innings.
(photos by Nancy)