Locke Pitches Well, McPherson Homers, But Indians Fall To Chiefs
Syracuse Chiefs 5, Indianapolis Indians 3
A 3-run homer by Syracuse’s RF Brett Carroll sank the Indianapolis Indians at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY this evening. The win by the Chiefs ties up the series between the Indians and the Chiefs at one game each with two games left to play.
Jeff Locke made his first start for the Indians since being optioned back from the Pirates. He had a rocky first inning back. The first batter, LF Eury Perez, worked a walk, but Locke picked him off first base. Three consecutive singles followed, by CF Corey Brown, 2B Jarrett Hoffpauir, and 1B Chris Marrero. Marrero’s hit was a laser back to the mound, where it hit off Locke’s foot and caromed over SS Chase d’Arnaud and into left field. That drove in Brown from second base with the first run of the game. 3B Carlos Rivero bounced to third, where Tribe 3B Matt Hague made the scoop, but bobbled the ball. When he got a handle on the ball and threw to second base, 2B Brock Holt was able to get the force out on Marrero, but did not have time to throw on to first — what could have been an inning ending double play instead became a fielder’s choice and allowed Hoffpauir to score. Chiefs up, 2-0.
The Indians answered with one run in the top of the 2nd. Hague began with a single through the hole and into left field. He advanced to second base on 1B Jeff Clement’s ground out. Hague scored on LF Brandon Boggs’ RBI single up the middle, cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 2-1. RF Dallas McPherson tied the score for the Tribe in the 4th inning, when he slammed a solo home run over the center field wall.
The Tribe took the lead in the next inning. Boggs began with a double into right field, then moved to third base on C Eric Fryer’s single. 2B Brock Holt drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly, and the Indians lead 3-2.
After his first inning, Locke settled down. He gave up only one more hit and no more walks over his remaining 5 innings of work. He retired the Chiefs in order for four straight innings. Perez was the only batter to get a hit from Locke, to lead off the bottom of the 6th. Brown, the next batter, struck out, and C Eric Fryer made it a strike-out-throw-out double play by throwing out Perez as he tried to steal second base. One more out ended the inning and Locke’s start. He had thrown 88 pitches (61 strikes), and he had struck out 5 Syracuse batters.
The Indians put runners on base in the 6th and 7th innings. CF Alex Presley led off the 6th with a single into right field. He stole second base, but got no further. Boggs worked a walk to open the 7th. Fryer dropped down a bunt, moving Boggs to second base and was safe at first himself. A grounder by Holt forced out Fryer at second, and pushed Boggs over to third. The runners were left on the corners, though, as a fly out ended the inning.
Jo-Jo Reyes, making his second appearance since coming off the DL, took over for Locke to begin the bottom of the 7th. He began by walking Marrero, then gave up a single to Rivero. Mark Teahen came in to pinch-run for Marrero, bu he was forced out at third on a ground out. That left Chiefs at first and second, for RF Brett Carroll. Carroll drove both runners in with a 3-run homer to left field. Logan Kensing, also just off the DL, relieved Reyes, and ended the inning with a fly out. Syracuse had the lead again, 5-3.
The Indians could not catch up after that. They tried in the 8th, when both Presley and McPherson both singled, but a fly out and a strike out left both on base. Kensing had a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 9th, and the Indians had another chance in the top of the 9th. Pinch-hitter Jose Morales and Holt both singled, but with two outs, Presley tapped one back to the mound, where the Syracuse pitcher threw to second for the game-ending force out.
The Indians totalled 11 hits, while the Chiefs were very efficient with their 6 hits. Brock Holt, Dallas McPherson, and Brandon Boggs each had two hits and each drove in a run. Alex Presley also had 2 hits, but no RBI.
The Columbus Clippers also lost today, so the Indians’ 10-game lead remains the same. The Clippers’ loss does drop the Indians’ magic number for clinching the division title to 6 games, with 15 games left in the season.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Dallas McPherson’s solo home run in the 4th inning to tie the score. It was his 13th home run of the season, but only the first home since he joined the Indians.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Shutting down the Chiefs on the base path. Or at least, shutting down Eury Perez. Jeff Locke picked off the speedy Perez and caught him stealing in the 1st inning (1-3-6). Then in the 6th, after Perez had singled, Eric Fryer threw Perez out as he tried to steal second base.
Jose Tabata was recalled to the Pirates today, and he even appeared in the Pirates’ afternoon game. He is taking the roster spot of Starling Marte, who went on the DL with an oblique issue. Logan Kensing came off the Indians’ DL to fill the roster spot Tabata vacated.
Chris (Christopher) Marrero, the Chiefs’ first baseman, is not the same player as Christian Marrero, who played in 5 games for the Indians a few weeks ago. Christian is now playing for the AA Altoona Curve.
Brock Holt has an 8-game hitting streak — and he’s only been with the Indians for 12 games. In these last 8 games, 6 of them, including today, have been multi-hit games. He’s hitting .485 over those 8 games.