After a quick second inning, the Indians added another run in the 3rd. �Brandon Jones led off with a double, and two outs later, Steve Pearce walked. �Moss started his hitting at that point with a double into right field to plate Jones and give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Indians’ starter Donnie Veal got through the 1st inning much more easily than Gomez had, retiring the Clippers in order (on 14 pitches). �He gave up two 2-out singles in the 2nd inning, to DH Wes Hodges and to former teammate Brian Bixler. �A ground out ended the inning without the Clippers able to score. �Veal gave up a lead-off single in the 3rd and a walk in the 4th. �Another batter reached base in the 4th when a fly ball fell into and out of Brandon Moss’s glove in left field. �Veal got into more difficulty in the 5th, when the first three batters of the inning reached base safely. �SS Anderson Hernandez led off with a walk and stole second base. �CF Trevor Crowe doubled into right field, moving Hernandez to third base. �2B Jason Donald slapped a grounder up the middle, which Tribe SS Argenis Diaz was able to knock down. �Diaz had no play, though, and Hernandez scored, while Crowe moved to third base. �1B Russell Branyon bounced a grounder right at the second base bag, which 2B Brian Friday scooped up with one foot on the bag, then fired to first for a double play, as Crowe scored from third base. �Another ground out ended the inning, with the Indians’ lead cut to 3-2.
The Tribe threatened to extend their lead in the top of the 6th. �Moss lead off with a single lined into center field. �Luke Carlin tapped one back to the mound, which resulted in a force out of Moss at second base but Carlin safe at first. �Argenis Diaz singled �up the middle into center field. �Jose Tabata also singled up the middle, but Columbus SS Hernandez was able to make the stop deep behind second base. �Hernandez flipped the ball to Donald at second base in an attempt to force out Diaz, but his throw was wide to the third base side of the bag, and the bases were loaded. �Unfortunately, Brandon Jones struck out to end the inning, and the Indians remained ahead by just a slim lead.
Donnie Veal pitched a total of 5 innings and allowed just those 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, with one strikeout. �He threw 86 pitches, with 50 of them for strikes. �He was relieved by Anthony Claggett to begin the 6th inning. �Clagget retired the side in order in that inning, but was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up the tying run in the 7th inning. �RF Brian Horwitz doubled to start the inning, and Anderson Hernandez singled to drive in the tying run.
With Claggett still the pitcher of record, Brandon Moss took care of the problem. �He led off the top of the 8th with a huge blast off the right field scoreboard to give the Indians a 4-3 lead. �”I worked the count to 3-2, and I was just trying to get a good pitch…. �I was just trying to be quick with my hands and was able to get the barrel on the ball.”
That turned out to be the winning run, of course, and it meant that Claggett was credited with the win. �Jean Machi took the mound for the last two innings, and retired 6 of the 7 batters he faced, allowing only a walk in the 8th, to earn a Save. �The Indians threatened one last time in the top of the 9th, when Jose Tabata singled and Brian Myrow and Steve Pearce both walked to load the bases with two outs. �Moss’s fly out ended that threat.
The Indians now have a 2-games-to-1 lead over the Clippers in this 4-game series. �The series finale will be played on Sunday afternoon.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Brandon Moss’s solo home run off the scoreboard in right field for the winning run.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �In the bottom of the 4th, with two runners on base and no outs, Wes Hodges hit a fly ball to center field. �Jose Tabata ran back and made an over-the-shoulder catch, which sent the base runners scrambling back to their bases, and prevented at least one and maybe two runs from scoring.
Former Indian Brian Bixler was playing third base for the Clippers tonight. �He played two games at third for the Indians last year — his only games at third in his pro career.