Tribe And Braves Take Duel To The 9th
Brian Friday makes a play on a grounder:
The Tribe pitchers’ no-hitter ended in the 7th inning. With two outs, Gomez grounded through the hole into left field for the Braves’ first hit of the game. Moments later, LF Stefan Gartrell bounced to third base, where 3B Chase d’Arnaud made the throw to 2B Corey Wimberly (photo below) to force out Gomez at second.
While the Indians’ pitchers were holding the Braves to just one hit in 7 innings, the Tribe batters were not faring much better. And even worse, when the Indians did put runners on base, those runners were being picked off. Braves; starter Julio Teheran put the Indians down in order for the first two innings. CF Gorkys Hernandez led off the bottom of the 3rd with the first hit of the game. He powered a double just inside the right field line and down to the corner for a double. But Hernandez was taken in (as was most of the stadium) with an old trick — the hidden ball trick, pulled off with style by veteran Julio Lugo. C JC Boscan made a pick-off throw to second base, but the throw was high, and Lugo had to leap to make a catch to keep the ball from going into the outfield. Hernandez was diving back to the bag, so he didn’t actually see whether or not the ball went into the outfield. And he didn’t realize that Lugo was hiding the ball in his glove, while behaving as if the ball had gone into the outfield. Lugo was patient, and after a moment, Hernandez took a step off the bag, and Lugo tagged him out.
The Tribe went down in order in the 4th and 5th, then with one out in the 6th, Wimberly lined a single into right field.
Teheran made several pick-off throws over to first base, and Wimberly kept diving back. Teheran was persistent, though, and finally he made a faster throw, and Wimberly was picked off.
Friday also singled, with one out in the top of the 7th, on a soft liner into right field. He was the only Tribe base runner who was left on base in the game. But he was left on base, as two fly outs ended the inning.
Michael Dubee (photo) came on to pitch the 8th inning for the Indians. He retired the Braves in order in the 8th, but began the top of the 9th by giving up a single to pinch-hitter Jose Constanza on a grounder up the middle. CF Wilkin Ramirez dropped down a bunt, moving Constanza to second base, then Dubee walked Lugo on four pitches. Dubee was replaced by Cesar Valdez, but Valdez surrendered an RBI double to Jeff Fiorentino, who had come into the game for Heyward. Fiorentino bounced a ball off the first base bag, over the head of Hague, and into right field. With runners on second and third, Valdez intentionally walked Gomez to load the bases. Then Gartrell lifted a long fly ball to the deepest part of the left-center field alley. That emptied the bases, giving the Braves a 4-0 lead. Gartrell rounded second and headed for third, but the throw in from LF John Bowker, relayed by Friday at short, also came in to third, where d’Arnaud tagged Gartrell out. A grounder to first ended the inning, but the damage was done.
C Eric Fryer walked in the 8th inning, but he was picked off first base on a lightning throw from his Braves counterpart, JC Boscan, after Hernandez struck out. Wimberly opened the bottom of the 9th with a line drive just out of reach of the leaping Braves’ 2B Ed Lucas. Pinch-hitter Miles Durham struck out, swinging at a pitch in the dirt. The Tribe’s hopes ended when d’Arnaud bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, erasing Wimberly and ending the game.
The Indians have a scheduled day off on Wednesday, then head out onto the road for an 8-game trip. They will play 4 games in Rochester against the Red Wings, then 4 games against the Iron Pigs in Lehigh Valley.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Gorkys Hernandez’s double down the right field line was the only extra-base hit of the game. It was also the only time the Indians had a runner past first base. Unfortunately, the old hidden ball trick ruined the Indians’ chances.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Alex Presley’s running catch at the warning track on Dan Nelson’s fly ball in the 5th inning (photo).
Wimberly takes a lead off first base…………… watching from the dugout
Garrett Olson on the mound…… and at the plate (he struck out looking in his one plate appearance)
Get a look at Alex Presley while you can, because he might not be here much longer…… more dugout watching
(photos by Nancy)