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Mike Crotta pitched three 1-2-3 innings — the 1st, the 4th, and the 6th. �He had some trouble which was not of his own making in the 2nd inning. �With his sinkerball working well, Crotta was getting his usual batch of ground ball outs. The 2nd inning began with a grounder to Pedro Alvarez at third for an out. �Aaron Bates also grounded to third, but this time Alvarez’s throw to Brian Myrow at first was low. �It bounced in the dirt several feet in front of Myrow, and the hop went skipping out of Myrow’s reach. �Bates was safe at first on the throwing error. �Ryan Kalish tried to drop down a bunt, but had it pop into the air instead, heading down the third base line. �Alvarez chased after it, but the ball dropped in just as he was getting to it, and it touched dirt just inches inside the foul line. �Alvarez was moving in the opposite direction from the bounce, so by the time he got the ball in his glove, it was too late to even make a throw to first base.

C Gustavo Molina was next. �He also grounded to third base, and this one was fielded cleanly by Pedro Alvarez. �He threw to second base, where 2B Brian Friday made the force out on Kalish. �Friday made a leap as Kalish slid in — the slide was clean, but it appeared that Kalish may have bumped Friday as he was in the air or coming down. �Friday could not get off the throw to first, and then he hit the ground and collapsed, clutching at his right ankle. �Argenis Diaz was the first to get to Friday, and he signaled for trainer Thomas Pribyl and manager Frank Kremblas to come out, as Friday stayed on the ground. �Friday eventually was able to sit up, then got to his feet, but he had to have help walking off the field. � No further word at this time as to how serious the ankle injury is.

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Doug Bernier took Friday’s place at second base and in the lineup. �With Jeff Clement not due to join the club until Friday, and Tabata gone, that left the Indians with only one non-pitcher still on the bench — Luke Carlin. �Luckily for the Tribe, no one else was injured and no other substitutions or pinch-hitters were needed in the game.

IMG_3574With two outs and runners on the corners, Crotta walked 3B Jorge Jimenez to load the bases. �He then escaped the inning unharmed by getting DH Tug Hulett to ground out to short.

Crotta got himself into trouble in his other two innings. �Holding on to a 1-0 lead going into the top of the 3rd, Crotta again got the first out on a grounder, then gave up a single to SS Angel Sanchez, just out of Brian Myrow’s reach and into right field. �RF Daniel Nava lined a single into center, moving Sanchez to third base. �A double by Lars Anderson went deep to the center field wall. �Sanchez scored easily, as CF Brandon Moss made the throw in from center field. �The throw hit the cut-off man Argenis Diaz, who then fired the ball to Erik Kratz at the plate, as Nava was also heading in. �It looked like the throw would have no chance, and Nava did reach home before the ball did. �But, at the plate he encountered Erik Kratz, who had plunked down to block the plate. �Kratz made the catch and held both the ball and the block, as he both made the tag and prevented Nava from touching the plate. �The in-house replay (also on MLB network) showed that the call was correct, but of course, the PawSox management did not know that. �Former Indy Indian (three stints over 1988 – 98) pitching coach Rich Sauveur argued, was jawing as he went back to the dugout, kept jawing from the dugout, and was finally ejected by home plate umpire Travis Brown. �At that point, Sauveur burst from the dugout and did some face-to-face jawing with Brown, as his manager Torey Lovullo tried to drag him away (photo). �The inning ended with a fly out, but the PawSox had tied the game at 1-1.

IMG_3575The Tribe scored two on Pedro Alvarez’s home run in the 4th (photo), and Pawtucket came back to tie the score again in the top of the 5th. �After getting two fly outs, Mike Crotta gave up a single into right field to Angel Sanchez and a single into left field to Daniel Nava. �Sanchez stole third base, then Crotta loaded the bases by walking 1B Lars Anderson. �Aaron Bates singled up the middle, driving in both Sanchez and Nara, once again tying the game.

The Indians responded with the rally in the bottom of the 5th, to again take a 2-run lead. �That was about the end of their offensive attack. �PawSox relievers TJ Large pitched 2 innings and allowed only one hit, a single to Argenis Diaz for the rest of the game. �That was the Indians’ only single in the game — their other 5 hits were all for extra bases. �Chad Paronto retired the Indians in the 8th inning.

IMG_3578Mike Crotta threw 81 pitches in his 6 innings, with 51 for strikes. �He was relieved by Wil Ledezma (photo) to begin the 7th inning. �Ledezma gave up a single to 2B Niuman Romero to open the inning, then walked Angel Sanchez. �He struck out Daniel Nava, then got out of the inning with a timely 4-6-3 double play, Doug Bernier to Argenis Diaz to Brian Myrow. �Ledezma came back out to begin the 8th inning. �He walked Aaron Bates, who was replaced by pinch-runner Bubba Bell. �Ledezma struck out Ryan Kalish, then was replaced by Anthony Claggett, who got started with another strike out, on Gustave Molina. �Claggett began pitching to Jorge Jimenez, but the inning ended when Erik Kratz threw out Bell as he tried to steal second base.

Claggett also came back out to begin the 9th inning. �He struck out Jimenez, then walked Tug Hulett, before being relieved by closer Jean Machi. Machi threw just 3 pitches. �On a 1-1 count, Niuman Romero bounced to Brian Myrow, going to his right from first base. �Myrow whirled and fired to second base, where Argenis Diaz took the throw and fired it right back, having faith that someone would get over there to first base to catch it. �Myrow’s momentum was taking him in the opposite direction, but Machi raced off the mound and go to the first base bag just in time to take the throw and complete the game-ending double play.

The Indians now own a 33-27 record and have moved into second place in the International League Western Division, 3.5 games behind the Columbus Clippers. �The Toledo Mud Hens are just half a game behind the Indians, and the Louisville Bats are fourth, 6 games behind the Indians.

Photos: �Left — Alvarez makes the throw on a grounder to third; �Right — Alvarez signs for some smaller fans pre-game

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Left: �Brian Myrow and Doug Bernier; � Right: �Pedro Alvarez and Argenis Diaz

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IMG_3576Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Who needs a cycle? �Pedro Alvarez had half of the Indians hits, and they were all for extra bases — a triple in the 2nd, a 2-run homer in the 4th (photo), and a double in the 5th.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �Erik Kratz’s block of the plate in the 3rd inning, tagging Daniel Nava out as he prevented him from touching the plate.

NOTES:

Brad Lincoln has made his major league debut for the Pirates. �He went 6 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. �He left the game when the score was still tied, so he did not factor into the decision, though the Pirates lost to the Nationals, 7-5. �Plus, Lincoln singled twice, including one that ricocheted off the opposing pitcher’s leg and into left field. �Jose Tabata also made his debut. �He recorded 2 hits, stole a base, and walked, but came up limping after his 8th inning plate appearance, due to some cramping in his hamstring. �Neil Walker also has two hits, an RBI, and a stolen base.

Roster move: �Corey Hamman has been moved from the State College Spikes roster�back onto the Indians’ active roster, taking the spot vacated by Lincoln.

Erik Kratz’s 11-game hitting streak came to an end, as he went 0-for-4 today.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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