Owens Shaky As Indians Fall To Clippers
Columbus Clippers 10, Indianapolis Indians 6
The Indians’ last road trip before the All-Star break began with a loss to the Clippers at Huntington Field in Columbus, Ohio this evening. The Tribe posted 9 hits, including two triples and two doubles, and scored 4 runs in the 8th inning, but that was not enough to catch up to the Clippers, who scored in every inning but the 1st. CF Starling Marte and 2B Anderson Hernandez both tripled, and DH Brandon Boggs and LF Jeff Larish both doubled.
Like most of the Indians’ recent games, this one started with an early lead. With one out in the top of the 1st, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled up the middle. Starling Marte followed with his league-leading 12th triple of the season, driving the ball over CF Ezequiel Cabrera’s head and off the center field wall. That drove in d’Arnaud for a 1-0 lead. Marte was left on third base when a ground out and a strikeout ended the inning.
Tribe starter Rudy Owens had a rare shaky start, pitching only into the 4th inning. He got out of a small jam in the bottom of the 1st, when two Clippers’ batters reached base — 2B Cord Phelps walked and 1B Vinny Rottino singled. Two infield pop outs got Owens out of the inning, without a run scoring. The Clippers pounded Owens in the 2nd inning. 3B Jared Goedert began the rally with a single, and (deja vu) scored on LF Tim Fedroff’s triple, tying the score. Fedroff scored on former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin’s groundout. Carrera singled and stole base, and Phelps walked. Rottino plated both Carrera and Phelps with a double into right field. Tribe RF Jose Tabata made a near-perfect throw to the plate in an attempt to tag out Phelps at the plate, but Phelps beat the throw to the plate, and slid in safely. Columbus had taken a 4-1 lead.
And then the Clippers scored one run in each of their remaining six at-bats. In the 3rd, Fedroff gave the Clippers a 5-1 lead with a solo home run. In the 4th, Rottino tripled, as Tribe LF Jeff Larish crashed into the left field wall in an attempt to catch the fly ball. Rottino scored on DH Matt LaPorta’s RBI single. Owens was relieved after the single, having pitched 3.1 innings and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. He had thrown 101 pitches in that short time (65 strikes).
Daniel McCutchen took over for Owens, finishing the 4th, then pitching the 5th and 6th. He gave up an unearned run in the 5th inning. Fedroff walked to begin the inning, and Carlin lined a single into center field. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. McCutchen was temporarily rescued, when Carrera grounded to first, and Jeff Clement threw the ball back to the plate so that C Tony Sanchez could tag out the lead runner Fedroff at the plate. It was just a brief reprieve, though. Carrera stole second base, and when Sanchez made a wide throw to second base for an error, Carlin scored from third base. The Clippers scored their run in the 6th inning on a solo home run by RF Russ Canzier.
Jose Diaz pitched the 7th inning for the Indians. The Clippers scored in that inning on a pair of back-to-back doubles by Fedroff and Carlin. Tim Wood took the bottom of the 8th, allowing the final run on LaPorta’s triple and Goedert’s RBI double.
Meanwhile, Clippers’ starter Corey Kluber kept the Indians’ bats under control. After giving up the run in the top of the 1st, Kluber faced just one batter over the minimum for the next three innings. Anderson Hernandez walked to open the 3rd inning, and was left on base. The Indians scored one run in the 5th, as Larish led off with a double lined into center field. Sanchez’s RBI single brought Larish in. At that point, the score was 6-2.
Kluber struck out the side in the 6th inning, and struck out 2 of the 3 Tribe batters he faced in the 7th. Kluber came back out to begin the 8th, and was greeted by Anderson Hernandez’s triple. Hernandez lifted a fly ball into center field, but as Carrera attempted a sliding catch, the ball hit his glove, and rolled all the way to the wall, with Hernandez racing around the bases. Tabata grounded up the middle, just out of reach of 2B Phelps, and Hernandez scored easily from third. Kluber exited at that point, having thrown 7+ innings. Reliever Chris Ray took the mound for Kluber, and the Indians kept the rally going. D’Arnaud walked, then stole second base. 3B Matt Hague lined a single into center field, plating Tabata from third and d’Arnaud from second. DH Brandon Boggs, back in the line-up after an ankle sprain, ripped a double off the glove of Rottino as the ball zipped past first base and into the right field corner. Hague scored, giving the Indians 4 runs in the inning. The Indians had cut the Clippers’ lead to 9-6, though Columbus scored again in the bottom of the inning, for a final score of 10-6.
Owens took the loss, his 4th of the season. Each of the Indians’ batters but one (Clement) had at least one hit in the game, and Tabata had two singles.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Matt Hague’s 2-RBI single in the 8th inning, driving in Jose Tabata and Chase d’Arnaud.
Indians’ Defense: With the Clippers scoring in all but one inning, there weren’t any particularly outstanding plays.
The White Sox claimed pitcher Daniel Moskos off waivers from the Pirates. The White Sox have assigned him to AAA Charlotte, so we might see him again in early August when the Knights visit Victory Field.
Relievers Doug Slaten and Chris Leroux have both cleared waivers, and both have been assigned back to the Indians.