IMG_3398(Photo: �Daniel McCutchen’s bunt)

The only other inning in which McCutchen had any trouble was the 4th. �After a strikeout by Freeman, 3B Joe Thurston took McCutchen’s first pitch over the right field wall, over the grass berm, all the way to the sidewalk behind the berm for a solo homer. �Brandon Hicks followed the homer with a ground rule double that bounced on the warning track in right center field and over the fence onto the grass berm. �A pop out and a fly out ended the inning. �Braves 2, Indians 1.

The Indians tied the score again in the bottom of the frame. �3B Pedro Alvarez led off with a grounder that streaked along the right field line, just inches on the fair side, down into the corner. �Alvarez went into second base with a standing double. �Luke Carlin again worked the count full, fouled off another pitch, and took ball four for a walk. �Brandon Moss bounced right to 2B Bolivar, who whirled to throw to second base to begin a double play. �But Bolivar did not set himself well, and his throw to second sailed over the head of SS Hicks covering, and into left field. �Alvarez raced around third and headed for home, scoring easily. �Carlin reached third base, and Moss reached second. �The Braves elected to intentionally walk Brian Friday so that they could pitch to Daniel McCutchen. �The strategy worked — with the bases loaded, Resop struck out McCutchen, then struck out Jose Tabata who chased an outside pitch for strike three. �Three Indians’ runners were stranded, but the score was tied again at 2-2.

IMG_3400There were donuts for three innings, as McCutchen faced the minimum number of batters over the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. �Resop gave up a four-pitch (but not intentional) walk to Alvarez int he 5th, but left him on base. �Braves’ relievers Cory Gearrin and Jeff Lyman each pitched one inning and retired the Indians in order. �Steven Jackson pitched the top of the 8th for the Indians, working around a single.

Brandon Moss’ broke the tie in the bottom of the 8th. �With one out, Braves’ reliever Mariano Gomez walked Pedro Alvarez, then got RF Brandon Jones to tap back to the mound for the second out. �The Braves again decided on an intentional walk, this time opting to give Luke Carlin a free pass so that they could take advantage of a lefty-lefty match-up with Gomez facing Moss. �That was a mistake. �First, a wild pitch moved the runners up one base, to second and third bases. �Then Moss drove a long fly ball over the head of CF Jordan Schafer to the warning track in center field, and both Alvarez and Carlin came around to score. �The Braves tried the intentional walk for the third time, passing Brian Friday to face the pitcher Steven Jackson, who was hitting for himself (photo). �The strategy worked this time, though, as Jackson struck out to end the inning — but with the Indians on top, 4-2.

All that was left was to keep the Braves from scoring in the top of the 9th. �Jackson came back out to begin the inning, and he started with a bunt ground out by Freeman. �Joe Thurston was hit by a pitch, and Hicks collected his fourth hit of the game (he went 4-for-4) with a grounder through the hole and into left field, moving Thurston to second base. �That was all for Jackson.

Jean Machi came in from the bullpen to relieve Jackson. �It took Machi only 2 pitches to get Sammons to bounce right back to the mound, where Machi started a 1-6-3 (Machi to Friday to Myrow) double play to end the game.

The win puts the Indians back at the .500 mark, with a 23-23 record. �They split the 4-game series with Gwinnett, and finished this 8-game home stand with a 3-5 record. �The Tribe has a scheduled day off on Wednesday, then they leave for a road trip on Thursday. �They will play 4 games in Charlotte, NC against the Knights and 4 games against the Braves again, in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

IMG_3396Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �The double by Brandon Moss, of course, which drove in the go-ahead run plus one more for insurance in the 8th inning.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �In the top of the 7th, with Brandon Hicks on first base after his third hit of the game, Clint Sammons bunted two pitches foul, then took a ball. �He tapped a soft bunt back towards the mound, and Daniel McCutchen leapt on it, whirled and fired to SS Brian Friday covering second base, forcing out Hicks. �Friday relayed to first base, where 2B Kevin Melillo (photo) had raced over to cover, since 1B Brian Myrow had also charged in on the bunt. �The throw to first was in time to get Sammons for the double play.

NOTES:

Neil Walker was called up to the Pirates today, taking the roster spot that was opened up when Steve Pearce was placed on the Disabled List (right ankle sprain). �Walker went 1-for-4 with a double up the right field line and into the corner to drive in the first Pirates’ run. �The Pirates won 2-1 over Cincinnati.

Go Tribe!

(Photos by Nancy)

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