Bowker’s Clutch RBI Gives Indians Extra-Inning Win
Three Indians were struck out in the top of the 1st — not a particularly auspicious start to the game. Four batters reached over the next three innings: 3B Andy Marte was hit by a pitch in the 2nd, and Friday was hit in the 3rd. DH Anthony Norman singled in the 3rd, and 1B Matt Hague (photo) singled in the 4th. None of them came around to score. Friday put the Tribe onto the scoreboard in the 5th, when he followed Norman’s infield single with a long fly ball for a 2-run homer over the left-center field wall. That cut the Mud Hens’ lead to 3-2.
Hague singled again to lead off the 6th with a liner into right field. SS Jordy Mercer doubled off the wall in the left-center field alley, moving Hague to third. Marte grounded to third, as Hague took off for the plate. Toledo 3B Worth immediately threw to the plate to go for the out on Hague, but Hague halted and headed back to third, with C Max St. Pierre chasing him. Mercer, thinking that Hague was going to be tagged out in a run-down, advanced to third. Mercer reached third base at the same time as Hague did, ducking into the base just ahead of a tag by St. Pierre. Pierre tagged them both with the ball, but with Hague getting back to the base safely, it became his, so Mercer was called out. That left the Indians with runners on the corners. RF Miles Durham also grounded to third, but Worth only had time for one out. He forced out Marte at second, while Hague scored the tying run.
The Tribe went down in order in the 7th and 8th innings. Marte walked to lead off the 9th, and was replaced by pinch-runner Corey Wimberly. Wimberly stole second base, with such a good jump that C St. Pierre did not even attempt a throw to second. A ground out and two strikeouts ended that inning without Wimberly able to get around to score.
Mike Crotta relieved Wilson for the 7th inning. He allowed a single to Rhymes, who then moved to second base when Guillen bounced a grounder off Mercer’s chest. The carom bounced right to Friday, who picked up the ball bare-handed and fired over to first, for the out on Guillen. Rhymes stole third base and Strieby walked to give Toledo runners on the corners, but a grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring. Steven Jackson pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th. In the 9th, with two outs, Perez beat out an infield single to second, then stole second base. With the winning run in scoring position, Jackson struck out Guillen to end the inning and send the game into extras.
The top of the 10th began with a 4-pitch walk to Norman. Two outs later, Hague was intentionally walked, and a fly out ended the inning. The Indians were retired in order in the 11th. Jackson retired the Mud Hens in order in the 10th. Jared Hughes relieved Jackson and walked former Indy Indian Jeff Salazar to begin the 11th, then retired the next three batters in the inning.
That set up the top of the 12th, and Bowker’s RBI double, giving the Indians a 4-3 lead. Justin Thomas came on to pitch the bottom of the 12th — his league-leading 38th appearance of the season. Thomas retired three Mud Hens in order, including two strikeouts, to end the game and give the Indians their first extra-inning win of the season.
The Indians have one more game against the Mud Hens on Sunday (6 pm), then return to Victory Field for a 6:05 pm game on the Fourth of July.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: John Bowker’s double into the right-center field alley to drive in the winning run for the Indians.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the 3rd inning, with runners on first and second and two outs, former Indy Indian Jeff Salazar lined into right field. Miles Durham fielded the ball and made the long throw to Kris Watts at the plate, where Watts tagged out Carlos Guillen, who was trying to score from second base. It saved the run, and after that the Mud Hens did not score again in the game.
More roster moves today:
Pirates’ SS Ronny Cedeno was hit in the head as he slid into second base during the Pirates’ game today, and has been placed on the 7-day Concussion DL. The Pirates recalled Pedro Ciriaco to take Cedeno’s spot.
They also called up starter Brad Lincoln today, as expected, and had Lincoln make a start in the double-header. Reliever Tim Wood was optioned to Indianapolis to make room on the roster for Lincoln.
C Dusty Brown joined the Tribe in Toledo today, after having cleared waivers a few days ago.
(photos by Nancy)