The Indians had only one hit over the first two innings, a double by Hague with one out in the top of the 2nd. The Tribe responded to the Bats’ run in the bottom of the 2nd with a rally in the top of the 3rd. With two outs, Wimberly lined a single into left field. Mercer sent Wimberly to third base with another liner into left. LF John Bowker doubled into center, driving in both Wimberly and Mercer, to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.
C Dusty Brown had the only Tribe hit over the next two innings, when he singled in the 4th on a grounder that took a weird hop and bounced over Bats’ 3B Mike Constanzo’s shoulder. Brown was erased when RF Anthony Norman tapped back to the mound to start a double play.
The double-o-rama really got going in the 6th inning, with three consecutive singles. Mercer led off with a single dropped into left field. Then Bowker doubled, moving Mercer to third. 3B Pedro Alvarez doubled, driving in both Mercer and Bowker, and Hague doubled, plating Alvarez. That gave the Tribe some welcome insurance, for a 5-1 score.
Lincoln picked up a hit to lead off the 7th inning. He was left on base, but it raised his average to .278 (3-for-11). Three more doubles contributed to three more runs for the Tribe in the 8th. Alvarez led off with his second double, and Hague was hit by a pitch. Norman lined a double into right field, scoring Alvarez and putting Hague on third. Both Hague and Norman scored when CF Gorkys Hernandez doubled into left field. That increased the score to 8-1. The Tribe added two more runs in the top of the 9th. Mercer greeted the new Bats’ reliever with (what else?) a double. Mercer advanced to third on Bowker’s ground out, and scored on Alvarez’s sacrifice fly. Hague followed with the Tribe’s 10th double, on a grounder that slid into left field. Brown took a long fly ball into the left-center alley, which was close to being a homer, but instead it bounced on the track and over the wall for double #11, which scored Hague, to bring the score to 10-1.
Lincoln’s night was over after 7 innings. He had thrown an efficient 92 pitches (65 strikes). Mike Crotta relieved Lincoln to begin the 8th. He pitched a scoreless inning, allowing a two-out single to pinch-hitter Kristopher Negron. Donnie Veal pitched a scoreless 9th. He loaded the bases with a walk to Janish, a single by LF Yonder Alonso, and a hit batter (Hermida). But Veal took a deep breath and struck out 1B Danny Dorn, then got Valaika to fly out, ending the game.
The series with the Bats will continue back in Indianapolis, with games on Saturday and Sunday. After that, the Indians will take a break for the All-Star Game. The AAA All-Star Game, featuring our Tribe All-Star Matt Hague, will be played on Wednesday July 13th in Salt Lake City.
I’ll be on a break this week too, beginning tomorrow. Some changes coming….. stay tuned.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Eleven doubles — Corey Wimberly was the only member of the Indians’ line-up who did not hit a double tonight. Jordy Mercer, Dusty Brown, Anthony Norman, and Gorkys Hernandez each had a double; John Bowker and Pedro Alvarez each had 2 doubles; and Matt Hague led the way with 3 triples. Hague went 3-for-4, and his average stands at .324.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Eleven strikeouts — 8 by starter Brad Lincoln, one by Mike Crotta, and 2 by Donnie Veal. One of those strikeouts was key for Veal when he worked out of the bases-loaded jam in the 9th.
(photo by Nancy)