Charlotte Knights 6, Indianapolis Indians 1
Fourteen hits by the Charlotte Knights far overshadowed the four hits the Indians managed, as the Knights defeated the Indians tonight at Knights’ Stadium in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC. The Knights’ pitchers struck out a total of 11 Tribe batters, and walked only one.
Daniel Cabrera suffered the loss for the Indians. He surrendered 5 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks over just 4 innings. Cabrera threw 83 pitches (51 strikes) in those 4 innings. The right-hander worked into and out of a jam in the 1st inning. CF Greg Golson led off with a single, and after a bunt pop up, 1B Dan Johnson also singled. Cabrera bore down and got a fly out and a ground out to end the threat.
Cabrera got into trouble again in the 2nd. RF Jim Gallagher started off with a single, and 2B Drew Garcia lined a double into left field, driving in Gallagher from first base. A sacrifice bunt moved Garcia to third base, and another single by Golson brought in Garcia. Golson stole second base, and then scored on 3B Tyler Kuhn. Kuhn rounded first, but was caught in a run-down between first and second bases, making the third out of the inning. Knights ahead, 3-0.
Charlotte again put two runners on base in the 3rd inning, on a walk and a single, and again Cabrera got out of the inning without a run scoring. Then trouble returned in the 4th. SS Ray Olmedo opened the inning with a single — the fourth straight inning in which the Charlotte lead-off batter singled. Olmedo stole second, then back-to-back doubles scored both Olmedo and Golson. Cabrera intentionally walked Johnson, then finished the inning with a pop out and a strikeout, as the Knights were up to 5 runs.
The Indians scored their only run of the game in the 3rd inning, after going down in order for the first two frames. RF Brandon Boggs led off the top of the 3rd with a single lined into center field. 2B Anderson Hernandez beat out the throw to first on a bunt, for an infield single. 3B Brian Friday moved both runners up one base with his sacrifice bunt, then SS Chase d’Arnaud worked a walk to load the bases with only one out. LF Gorkys Hernandez picked up the RBI with his grounder to third. It should have been a double play, and d’Arnaud was out at second base, but the speedster Hernandez beat the throw on to first, allowing Boggs to score.
The Tribe collected only two more hits after the 3rd inning. Friday singled in the 5th, and moved to second base on a wild pitch, but got no further. Gorkys Hernandez raced out an infield single to lead off the 6th inning, and he also got no further than second base. The Indians went down in order in the final three innings, including 2 perfect innings by former Indian Donnie Veal, who struck out 4 of the 6 batters he faced.
Kris Johnson relieved Daniel Cabrera to begin the 5th inning, trailing by a score of 5-1. Johnson was the Indians’ most effective pitcher of the night. He allowed only a walk in the 5th inning, and then erased that runner with a double play, and retired the side in the 6th.
Evan Meek took the mound to begin the 7th. Meek gave up two singles, but got two ground outs to keep the Knights from scoring again. Chris Leroux, still on his rehab assignment, came on for the bottom of the 8th inning. This was not his best rehab outing. With one out, Leroux gave up a single to LF Justin Greene, a walk to Golson, and a single to Kuhn, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly by Johnson drove in Green with the Knight’s final run.
The Indians and Knights are now tied at one game each in this 4-game series. The Tribe will play those two more games in Charlotte, then move on to Gwinnett for another 4-game series.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Gorkys Hernandez, who had the RBI for the Indians, collected an infield single in the 6th inning, racing to first to beat the throw from third base.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: The double play in the 5th inning, when the Knights’ had their lead-off batter reach base safely for the fifth straight inning. This time it was a walk, not a single, by Jim Gallagher. Kris Johnson then got Drew Garcia to bounce into a double play, SS Chase d’Arnaud to 2B Anderson Hernandez to 1B Jeff Clement, eliminating Gallagher.
The Columbus Clippers lost both ends of their double-header today, so even with their lost, the Indians gained a half-game over the Clippers in the International League Western Division standings. The Indians are now 8.5 games ahead of the second-place Clippers. The Toledo Mud Hens are 9.5 games behind the Indians, and the Louisville Bats are 19 games behind.