With the Indians clinging to their 3-2 lead, neither team could push a run across in the 6th or 7th innings. �Neil Walker walked again in the 6th and proceeded to steal his 7th base of the season (in 7 tries), but was left on second base. �3B Pedro Alvarez walked in the 7th, but when he started his steal attempt a little too early, he was thrown out easily. �Alvarez had one hit in 4 official at-bats.
Justin Thomas came on to pitch the 6th inning for the Indians. �Thomas struck out two batters in that inning, including PawSox DH Tug Hulett (remember him from Team USA in last fall’s world tournament?), who argued with plate umpire Craig Barron until he got ejected. �Brian Friday dropped a pop up in the 7th inning for an error, but Thomas worked around it to keep the PawSox from scoring.
Friday made up for the error in the top of the 8th with a double down the left field line. �Argenis Diaz was hit by a pitch, then Jose Tabata smashed a ball into right field. �RF Bubba Bell had a poor route toward the ball, then dropped it, and when he finally threw it in to the infield, the ball bounced on the mound and rolled to the plate. �All that gave Friday plenty of time to score from second base.
In the top of the 9th, the Indians broke out with 3 more runs. �Pearce again got things started with a walk, and Moss added a single. �Friday smacked his second double of the game into left field, scoring Pearce. �Diaz hit his second 2-RBI single, bringing both Moss and Friday home, and the Indians had a 7-2 lead.
Justin Thomas continued to keep Pawtucket from scoring again. �He retired the side in the 8th, then gave up a walk and a single in the 9th. �A grounder force out and a fly out ended the game and earned Thomas his first save of the season. �The win was Powell’s first in 4 “spot” starts this season.
The win gives the Indians a 9-10 record. �They are in third place in the International League Western division, 2.5 games behind the Columbus Clippers and the Toledo Mud Hens, who are tied for first place with a 12-8 record. �Tomorrow’s game in Pawtucket is another early-bird game, beginning at 12:05 pm.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: �Two 2-RBI singles by Argenis Diaz, leading the team with 4 RBI.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: �Pitching was the defense in this game. �Justin Thomas pitched 4 scoreless innings, with just one hit, for a save. �Jeremy Powell toughed out a swollen and taped ankle to pitch 5 strong innings.
Jeff Karstens, who was called up to the Pirates today, made the start in Milwaukee and pitched 6.2 solid innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits.