Tribe Reaches .500 With Hague’s Walk-Off Hit

IMG_6018Burres gave up a single and a walk in the 5th and retired the side in the 6th, and didn’t have any serious trouble until the 7th inning.  By then, his pitch count was getting high, too.  With one out, Burres hit 3B Shawn Bowman (or maybe just Bowman’s jersey) with a pitch.  C JC Boscan grounded to second, where Friday began what should have been a double play.  Friday made a nice toss to SS Chase d’Arnaud, who made a solid turn and throw to 1B John Bowker.  But the play was close at first, and Boscan was ruled safe.  Burres worked a full count on pinch-hitter Dan Nelson, but walked him, then did the same on Constanza, and that brought manager Dean Treanor out of the dugout.  Burres had thrown 107 pitches, 63 for strikes), and left the game with the bases loaded and two outs.

Michael Dubee (photo), who just arrived from Altoona this afternoon, came on in relief of Burres.  Dubee ended the inning with a fly out, as RF Miles Durham made an over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track.  

Meanwhile, the Indians’ batters were not having much more luck against Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande, who faced only two batters over the minimum in his 6 innings of work.  In the top of the 1st, Brian Friday walked with one out.  LF Alex Presley grounded to second, for what could have been a double play — if it hadn’t been for Friday successfully disrupting SS Lugo with his slide into second base.  Lugo could not get off a throw to first, and Presley was safe on the fielder’s choice.  A strikeout by Bowker ended that inning, with Presley still on first.  

Hague (left in photo, with d’Arnaud) led off the 2nd inning with an infield single, when he bounced a ball off the left side of the mound.  The ball trickled a short distance on the grass behind the mound, but it was far enough away from Flande that it took precious seconds for him to get to it.  By then, Hague was already crossing the bag at first, and Flande nearly threw the ball past his 1B Gomez.  But Hague was erased when Fryer bounced into a 5-4-3 double play.  

The Braves halted another Indians’ rally in the 4th with another double play.  With one out, Presley walked on four pitches.  Bowker looped a short liner into left field, and at first, it looked like the ball was going to fall in, in front of LF Ramirez, so Presley started heading for second base.  Then Ramirez put on a burst of speed, and everyone believed he was going to get to the ball after all.  Presley turned around to race back to first — only to halt when he suddenly heard everyone scream.  Ramirez had missed the catch, and then overran the ball.  Presley had to reverse again and sprint for second base, as Ramirez tracked down the ball and threw it in to second.  Presley made it to second just ahead of the throw, and Bowker was safe at first, extending his hitting streak to 7 games.  But, Flande got Hague to bounce into a double play, removing Bowker, to end the inning.  

IMG_6016(Photo:  Brian Friday and John Bowker)

The Indians had lead-off hits in two more innings.  Presley lined into left field to open the 7th, and he was clearly thinking “double” as he left the batters’ box.  The throw in from Ramirez was off-target, and Presley was easily in with the double, for the Indians’ only extra-base hit of the night.  Fryer led off the 8th with a hit that bounced over the pitcher and into center field for a single  Both Presley and Fryer were left stranded, though, as reliever Cory Gearrin retired the next three batters in each inning.  

Dubee came back out to pitch the top of the 8th for the Tribe.  He struck out the first two batters he faced, then gave up a walk, and got a ground out to end the frame, keeping the game scoreless.  Cesar Valdez pitched the top of the 9th.  That inning began with a grounder by Bowman to third, but Bowman just barely beat out the throw from Hague to Bowker at first.  Valdez tried to pick Bowman off first base, but his throw was wide and Bowman advanced to second base on the error.  But, as Bowman reached second, he seemed to be moving as if his leg or hip was injured.  He did not call for the trainer, though, just remained at second base.  The next batter, Boscan, dropped down a bunt.  Fryer leapt out from behind the plate, snatched up the ball, and fired to Hague at third — who was surprised to see Bowman still quite far away from third, and not moving very quickly at all.  Hague easily tagged Bowman out, and Bowman limped back to his dugout.  Pinch-hitter Wilkin Castillo grounded to second, where Friday made the scoop, whirled, and threw a perfect toss to d’Arnaud covering, to force out Boscan.  D’Arnaud threw on to first, but for the second time in the inning, the batter was ruled safe at first on a very close play.  It turned out to not matter, though, as Valdez got Constanza to ground right to Hague at first to end the inning.

IMG_5141The Indians went into the bottom of the 9th with the game still scoreless, with each team having only 4 hits, and with the managers probably wondering who they were going to be able to have pitch in relief.  The Braves were especially concerned, since they had used almost all of their relievers in a 14-inning game against Toledo yesterday.  Friday led off the bottom of the 9th with a grounder that went off reliever Anthony Varvaro’s glove and caromed over to third base, where Castillo (who had remained in the game after pinch-hitting) made a quick scoop and throw to first for the first out.  Then Presley lined a single into center field for his second hit of the game.  Bowker followed with a grounder through the right side of the infield, and the speedy Presley advanced to third base.  Finally, Matt Hague became the hero of the night with another grounder past the second baseman and into right field, allowing Presley to score from third, for the walk-off win.  Hague (photo) was mobbed by his teammates, and also given the obligatory shaving-cream-in-the-face during the post-game interview.  

The win gives the Indians a 32-32 record, putting them at the .500 mark for the first time this season.  

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:  Matt Hague’s walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th — perfect clutch hitting to bring in Alex Presley from third base and give the Indians the win.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:  In the top of the 1st, Gorkys Hernandez made the running catch of Mauro Gomez’s sinking line drive, which kept the Braves from scoring.  Hernandez also made a long run into the left-center field gap to make a catch of Ed Lucas’ fly ball in the 4th.

Michael Dubee was promoted from Altoona today.  Dubee pitched in one game for the Indians in 2010 — on the road in Pawtucket.  A roster spot on the Indians became open today when Shelby Ford was placed on the DL with an elbow injury.  Ford was coaching first base for a couple of innings tonight, and he had his right elbow bandaged.

Go Tribe!

(Photos by Nancy)

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

Curve Game Suspended With 10-Run Lead; Marauders And Power Need Extras

Next Story »

Game 63 Recap: McDonald Notches Fourth Win

Latest Analysis

  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    6 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    1 day ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    4 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    5 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    6 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    2 weeks ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles