Pawtucket Red Sox 4, Indianapolis Indians 2
Starling Marte may have just played his last game as an Indianap0lis Indian, at least for a while, and it would have been nice to send him off with a win. Unfortunately 3 Indian’s errors and an excellent start by former Indy Indian Nelson Figueroa, prevented that from happening. Marte went 1-for-4 in the game, with an RBI double in the 6th.
Pawtucket Red Sox starter Figueroa faced only one batter over the minimum in the first 4 innings. He walked 2B Anderson Hernandez to begin the bottom of the 1st, but erased him with a 5-4-3 double play. DH Matt Hague singled in the 2nd inning. When 1B Jeff Clement drove a liner into left-center field, Hague was off and running, and rounded second base — but had to retrace his steps when the line drive was caught. Remembering a play a few days ago, Hague was very careful to touch second base on his way back to first, but the throw in from the outfield was faster than Hague was, and the play turned into a 7-6-3 double play, with the shortstop making the relay throw. SS Chase d’Arnaud singled into left field in the 3rd and was left on base, then Figueroa retired the Tribe in order in the 4th.
Meanwhile, Tribe starter Rick VandenHurk was slowly leaking runs to the PawSox, one at a time over the first four innings. The top of the 1st began with a double by CF Ryan Kalish. Kalish’s grounder just inside the first base line looked like it would be an easy play for Clement, who was playing behind first base. But the ball hit the bag and took a huge looping hop up into the air and over Clement, continuing down the right field line. By the time RF Jeff Larish could get to it, Kalish was rolling into second base. Kalish stole third base, and scored on SS Jose Iglesias’ line drive single.
The 2nd inning got off to a disappointing start, when LF Scott Podsednik reached first safely on an error by 2B Anderson Hernandez, who appeared to have trouble getting the ball out of his glove. VandenHurk hit C Mike Rivera with a pitch, putting two runners on. 2B Nate Spears dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position, but VandenHurk’s throw to first base went way wide. Podsednik raced around from second base to score (an unearned run), with Rivera stopping at third, and Spears reaching second on the error.
With one out in the 3rd, the PawSox got to VandenHurk again. 3B Andy LaRoche doubled into left field, and moved up to third base when RF JC Linares singled through the hole into left field. A sacrifice fly by Podsednik drove in LaRoche with Pawtucket’s third run. Spears made it 4-0 when he led off the 4th with a solo home run over the right field wall.
VandenHurk had a better time of it in the next two innings. He gave up back-to-back singles to Linares and Podsednik in the 5th, but two strikeouts and a fly out left both on base. He walked Kalish to open the 6th. Igleias grounded to third, where 3B Yamaico Navarro scooped it up and threw to second for the force out. Iglesias was fast enough down the first base line to reach first base ahead of the relay throw from Hernandez. VandenHurk took care of that by getting 1B Lars Anderson to bounce to short, where SS Chase d’Arnaud made the play, took one step to reach second base and threw on to first for the double play. VandenHurk finished his afternoon with 6 innings of work, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, and with 8 strike outs. He threw 101 pitches (62 strikes).
The Indians got onto the scoreboard in the 6th inning. Anderson Hernandez started the rally with a single through the hole and into left field. CF Jose Tabata followed with a single up the middle, moving Hernandez to second base. Starling Marte drove in Hernandez from second with a double lined down the left field line and into the corner. Nelson Figueroa was relieved by Alex Wilson, who began by getting Hague to ground to short. SS Iglesias chose to make the play at third, forcing out Marte at third, while Tabata scored. Clement walked, but neither he nor Hague got any further, as a fly out and a strike out ended the inning. The Indians had cut Pawtucket’s lead in half, 4-2.
The newest Indian, pitcher Logan Kensing took over for VandenHurk to begin the top of the 7th. He got the first two outs, then gave up back-to-back singles to Linares and Podsednik (the second time those two batters had back-to-back hits in the game). Kensing left them both on base by ending the inning with a fly out. He also worked around what was ruled a fielding error by Hernandez in the 8th. Iglesias hit a pop up to the space behind second base. Hernandez, going back, signalled that he had the ball, but at the same time, Tabata and Larish were racing in, and Larish was also calling for the ball. The ball hit Hernandez’s glove just as Larish collided with him. Larish, Hernandez, and the ball all dropped to the ground. Tabata was able to pick up the ball (but not his teammates, who got up by themselves) and throw it in, as Iglesias reached second base. Kensing shook his head, then ended the inning with a strikeout.
Jose Diaz pitched the 9th inning for the Indians. He got two outs, then hit Linares in the arm with a pitch. Diaz ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Indians were not able to score again after the 6th. Alex Wilson gave up a single to d’Arnaud in the 7th, and d’Arnaud stole second base, but was stranded there. Two more relievers pitched an inning each for the PawSox. Clayton Mortensen retired the Indians in order in the 8th. Jose De La Torre took the 9th and gave up a single to Navarro. A force out and two strikeouts ended that inning.
Chase d’Arnaud was the only Tribe batter to have more than one hit — he singled twice. Five other batters had one hit each, for a total of 7. VandenHurk was charged with the loss, his 3rd of the year. He has lost 3 of his last 4 starts.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Starling Marte’s double in the 6th inning, which drove in Anderson Hernandez with the Indians’ first run. Marte’s double was the only extra-base hit for the Tribe tonight.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the 2nd inning, after two errors had allowed a run to score. Kalish ripped a line drive to the right side of the field. 2B Anderson Hernandez lunged, and made the catch of the line drive. If that ball had gotten past Hernandez, at least one, and maybe two more runs would have scored.
As Starling Marte was called up to make his major league debut, Evan Meek was sent back to the Indians.
Pitcher Duke Welker was placed on the DL, due to a strained forearm. Jo-Jo Reyes was activated off of the DL.