Indians Blank First-Place Clippers

IMG_3451Meanwhile, the Indians’ batters were busy getting on base, though not always coming around to score. �They put at least one runner on base in every inning but the 6th. �The Tribe loaded the bases in the 1st inning, beginning with a line drive single into right field by RF Kevin Melillo. �Brian Myrow grounded right to Brian Bixler at second base (he was also kept busy fielding grounders all night), but the ball took an odd hop at the last second and bounced of Bixler’s shoulder. �For a few seconds, Bixler had trouble locating the ball because he hadn’t seen which way it had bounded off his shoulder, and when he did recover the ball, he had no play. �Pedro Alvarez (photo) walked, and the bases were full of Indians with one out. �The Indians couldn’t capitalize, though, as Luke Carlin grounded to second base, where Bixler started a 4-6-3 double play.

The Indians did come through in the 2nd inning. �CF Jonathan Van Every walked, then DH Brandon Moss grounded to second, where Bixler threw to second base for SS Anderson Hernandez to make the force out on Van Every. �But Van Every’s slide disrupted Hernandez enough so that he could not make the throw to first for the double play, and Moss was safe at first. �2B Brian Friday smashed a long liner to the left-center field alley, and as the Clippers’ outfielders were chasing after it, Moss scored the first run of the game, and Friday arrived at third base with a stand-up triple.

IMG_3456The Indians’ put the lead-off runner on base in both the 3rd and the 4th innings — a single by Myrow and a double by Van Every — but another double play by the Columbus middle infield erased Myrow, and Van Every was left standing on second base. �Kevin Melillo gave the Tribe another run in the 5th inning with a huge blast over the right field wall for a solo home run (photo). �The ball landed in the grass berm, just in front of the scoreboard.

A three-run 7th inning sealed the deal for the Indians, as they took advantage of a big error by the Clippers. �Argenis Diaz led off with a single lined into center field. �CF Jose Tabata grounded to short for what should have been a routine double play, just like the others the Clippers had already made in the game. �But the throw from Hernandez was way wide of Bixler, not even within arm’s reach, and the ball flew all the way to the Columbus bullpen. �Diaz was off and running and never slowed down, scoring without even drawing a throw. �Tabata reached third base on the error. �Tabata had to hold at third when Kevin Melillo tapped a grounder to first base for the first out of the inning. �Brian Myrow brought Tabata in with a grounder slapped up the left field line, just out of reach of the third baseman, for a single. �Pedro Alvarez snuck another grounder just past the first baseman and into the right field corner, moving Myrow to third base. �Luke Carlin plated Myrow with a sacrifice fly, to give the Indians a 5-0 lead.

IMG_3454After Chulk got Crotta and the Indians out of the jam in the 6th, Justin Thomas came on to pitch the next two innings. �Thomas retired six Clippers in order, including two strikeouts. �Brian Bass took over for the 9th inning, allowing a walk and a single, but keeping Columbus from scoring. �With the 5-run lead, it was not a save situation for Bass.

Melillo, Myrow, and Alvarez each had 2 hits in the game, and Alvarez and Van Every both had doubles.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Brian Friday’s booming triple to the deepest part of Victory Field — he came into third standing up (photo).

Indians’ Defensive �Gem of the Game: �The 3-6-3 double play in the 5th inning, as Brian Myrow deftly handled a high hop, made the throw to Argenis Diaz, then got himself back to first base to complete the double play.

Photos: �Relievers Vinnie Chulk and Brian Bass



Jonathan Van Every, �and the celebration in the dugout after Melillo’s home run




Priot to the game, the Indians honored radio/tv broadcaster Howard Kellman on the occasion of his 5000th Indians’ broadcast. �GM Cal Burleson presented Kellman with a special microphone. �Kellman has been doing play-by-play for the Indians since 1974.



Scott McCauley, Kellman’s broadcast partner, was careful to point out that today’s was his 626th Indians’ broadcast.

LHP Donnie Veal had Tommy John surgery today, and it reportedly went well.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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