Hernandez Gives Indians The Walk-Off Win
Indianapolis Indians 5, Rochester Red Wings 4
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Indianapolis Indians’ CF Gorkys Hernandez was the hero for the second night in a row, as he drove in 3B Pedro Alvarez from second base with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th at Victory Field tonight. Hernandez was busy for the entire game — he went 3-for-4 and was hit by a pitch, and he drove in 4 of the Indians’ 5 runs.
Not everyone at the game was cheering just for the Indians tonight. Red Wings’ starter Kyle Gibson, the Twins’ first round draft pick in 2009, is from nearby Greenfield, and he had his own personal cheering section in attendance. Gibson got off to a solid start in the bottom of the 1st. He gave up a one-out double into the left field corner to Tribe 2B Jordy Mercer, but ended the inning with a double play, when LF John Bowker lined to 2B Toby Gardenhire (yes, that name will be familiar) and Mercer was easily doubled off second.
The Indians jumped all over Gibson in the 2nd inning, and took advantage of the Red Wings’ mental errors. 1B Matt Hague led off with a bloop single into center field. Pedro Alvarez worked the count full before taking a walk. DH Andy Marte lifted a high fly ball into short center field. Three Rochester fielders came together, looked at one another to see who would call for it — then all watched as the ball fell to the ground in between them. CF Brandon Roberts recovered first, snatching up the ball and firing to second base, where he had the easy force out on Alvarez, but the Indians were left with runners on the corners and one out. C Jason Jaramillo drove in Hague from third when he grounded to 2B Gardenhire. It should have been a relatively easy inning-ending double play for the Wings, but after SS Matt Tolbert took the throw from Gardenhire to force out Marte at second, he dropped the ball on the transfer from his glove to his throwing hand. Jaramillo was safe at first, and the run scored. RF Miles Durham moved Jaramillo to third base with a line drive into the left field corner for a double. Hernandez followed with another double down the left field line, which ended up in the Indians’ bullpen under the bench. That drove in both Jaramillo and Durham, and gave the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Garrett Olson made his 11th start of the season for the Indians. He buzzed through the first five innings, allowing only 2 hits. He gave up a lead-off single to Roberts to begin the game, but got Tolbert to ground into a force out at second, then picked Tolbert off first base and caught him stealing. A strikeout ended the 1st inning. 1B Jeff Bailey singled to begin the 2nd inning, but Olson erased him with a double play. Olson went on to retire the next 10 batters in order.
Olson’s momentum was halted in the 6th. RF Brian Dinkleman lifted a long fly ball to right field, which RF Durham followed to the warning track, then at the last second had the ball bounce out of his glove. By the time he retrieved the ball and got it back to the infield, Dinkelman was standing on third base — a three-base error. Olson walked Gardenhire on 4 pitches, then struck out C Danny Lehmann. Roberts doubled down the left field line, driving in Dinkelman and moving Gardenhire to third. Tolbert’s sacrifice fly plated Gardenhire, and the Red Wings had cut the Indians’ lead to 3-2.
The Indians got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 6th. Gibson had worked around walks in the 3rd and 4th innings, and around Durham’s second double of the game in the 4th. He walked Ciriaco to begin the bottom of the 5th and gave up a single to Mercer. Bowker’s grounder to first moved both runners into scoring position, but Hague bounced into a fielder’s choice, with Wings’ 3B Chase Lambin throwing out Ciriaco at the plate. Marte led off the bottom of the 6th with a walk, then moved to second base on Jaramillo’s line drive single into right field. Gibson was relieved at that point, responsible for two runners on base. Kyle Waldrop came on for the Wings. Durham greeted Waldrop with a sacrifice bunt back to the mound, pushing both Marte and Jaramillo into scoring position. Hernandez grounded down the third base line, with the ball bouncing right along the chalk line, sometimes just inside and sometimes just outside. It bounced over the third base bag and then trickled into short left field, as Marte scrambled home from third, and Hernandez was safe at first, because the Rochester fielders kept hoping the ball would bounce foul and stay there. The rally was cut short, though, when Ciriaco grounded into a double play.
The Red Wings tied the game in the top of the 7th. Steven Jackson relieved Olson to finish the 6th inning, then remained in the game to pitch the 7th. After striking out the first batter of the inning, he got into trouble with three consecutive hits by the Red Wings and a throwing error by 2B Mercer. Lambin grounded just past Mercer into center field for a single, and Dinkleman doubled into the right-center field gap, plating Lambin. The throw in from the outfield was cut off by Mercer, but Mercer’s relay throw was wild, allowing Dinkleman to advance to third base. Gardenhire lined a single into left field, and Dinkleman came in with the tying run, 4-4.
The score remained tied for the next two innings. Danny Moskos took over for Jackson and pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings, with a strikeout in each. The Tribe loaded the bases in the bottom of the 8th, on a double into the right field corner by Alvarez, and intentional walk to Jaramillo, who was replaced by pinch-runner Corey Wimberly, and Hernandez being hit by a pitch. But with two outs, all three were left stranded when Ciriaco struck out. The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the 9th, and the game headed into extra innings.
Moskos continued his impressive outing in the top of the 10th. He walked Dinkleman, then retired the next three batters in order, with the help of Alvarez, who made a spectacular catch of a line drive behind the third base bag.
Alvarez stepped up again in the bottom of the 10th, leading off with a grounder up the middle for a single. Marte dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Alvarez to second base. Dusty Brown, who had come on to catch after Jaramillo was removed for a pinch-runner, was intentionally walked, in hopes of inducing a double play. Durham struck out for the second out of the inning. That brought up Hernandez, who slipped a single into right field, sending Alvarez racing around third and heading home. The throw in from right field came to the Red Wings’ catcher about 6 feet up the first base line, and Alvarez crossed the plate standing up with the winning run.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Gorkys Hernandez, with two singles and a double, plus 4 RBI — including his clutch RBI single in the bottom of the 10th for the win.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: Pedro Alvarez has been making some very slick plays at third, but two stood out tonight. One was the stop of the smash line drive in the top of the 10th, with Alvarez going to his right behind the third base bag. The other came in the 4th inning, when Alvarez ranged to his left to snag a sharp grounder off the bat of Matt Tolbert. He made the snatch, then whirled counterclockwise to put himself into optimal throwing position, and fired over to first base for the out.
Prior to the game, there was a brief presentation and introduction of some Negro League players, to coincide with the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference being held in Indianapolis this week. After the ceremony, Josh Harrison and Corey Wimberly visited with Negro League representatives Cliff Robinson, Al Spearman, and Johnny Wilson.
Pedro Ciriaco makes the force out at second in the top of the 1st, but he was disrupted by Brandon Roberts’ slide, so that his throw to first was not in time. Ciriaco hurt his left lower leg on the play, but after being examined by the training staff, he said he was ok and was able to stay in the game.
Jordy Mercer comes in behind Ciriaco, who has dropped to the ground after the throw.