Indians Survive 9th Inning Scare As McCutchen Wins

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After the 1st inning, the Indians put a runner on base in all but two of the rest of their innings. �Kevin Melillo (photo, with manager Frank Kremblas) doubled to lead off the 3rd inning, and tagged up to move to third base on a flyout by Brandon Jones. �He was left on base when the next fly out, by Brian Myrow was too short to tag up and score, and then Pedro Alvarez struck out. �CF Jonathan Van Every doubled into the right field corner in the 4th, and he too was left stranded.

Kevin Melillo gave the Indians the lead again in the bottom of the 5th. �With one out, he blasted a long fly over the 362′ sign in right field. �RF Daniel Nava tried to climb the outfield wall, but was unsuccessful, and besides, it would have disappointed the little fans on the other side of the fence, who did make the catch. �Brian Myrow also singled and stole second base, and Pedro Alvarez walked after the homer, but the inning ended when new reliever Scott Atchison, who took over for starter Michael Bowden, ended the inning with a grounder force out.

The Tribe added some insurance in the bottom of the 8th, and that insurance turned out to be useful. �Pedro Alvarez led off the inning with a liner into right field, for his second single of the game. �Brandon Moss followed with his second double of the game, rocketed to the base of the wall in right field. �Luke Carlin made it three hits in a row, with a little looper that fell into the no-man’s-land behind first base, just out of reach of converging PawSox fielders. �That brought in Alvarez, and moved Moss to third base. �Jonathan Van Every lifted a high high pop into foul territory, with PawSox 3B Jorge Jimenez giving chase. �Jimenez made the catch at the Indians’ bullpen mound, almost falling on the slope. �But while the PawSox were chasing down the foul, none of them were covering second base. �Luke Carlin noticed that, and he raced to second base safely after the catch.

IMG_3129The PawSox changed pitchers again, with closer Chad Paronto coming in from the bullpen. �He faced Doug Bernier, who grounded softly to the infield grass in front of short, and SS Angel Sanchez charged in to make the play. �Sanchez fired to the plate, as Brandon Moss (photo) raced in from third. �C Dusty Brown made the catch and turned to sweep the tag across the base path as Moss ran by. �But Moss was quicker than Brown had expected, and he was already sliding past as Brown was turning and beginning to extend his arm. �Moss hooked around the plate and reached his hand back to touch the plate. �He was safe, and the Indians had a 4-1 lead.

Vinnie Chulk pitched the 8th inning for the Indians. �He faced 4 batters and allowed a hit on a drag bunt by Niuman Romero. �A grounder to first base looked like it might be a double play, and while Romero was forced out at second, the return throw to first was not in time to get Angel Sanchez as well. �Chulk got out of the inning with a fly out.

Justin Thomas came in for the 9th inning, and he gave the Indians a scare. �Thomas began with a strikeout, then gave up back-to-back singles to Dusty Brown and Ryan Kalish. �Then he loaded the bases when he hit Tug Hulett with a pitch. �Jorge Jimenez lifted a fly ball to short right-center, almost out of reach of CF Jonathan Van Every. �Van Every made an excellent running catch to save a multi-run scoring hit. �Instead, it was a sacrifice fly, and one run came in, but only one run. �Thomas was relieved by Wil Ledezma, who got pinch-hitter Aaron Bates to pop out to shortstop Argenis Diaz to end the game and earn his 5th save.

The Indians finish this homestand on Friday, then head out on a 9-day, 8-game road trip. �1B Jeff Clement is expected to join the team on Friday, and the Indians need the help. �With Brian Friday out, the Indians had only one postion player on the bench in tonight’s game — C Erik Kratz.

IMG_3604Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Kevin Melillo’s solo home run (photo) in the bottom of the 5th inning. �It gave the Indians the go-ahead run, and a lead they would not give up.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �A running catch by CF Jonathan Van Every in the top of the 9th, going in and to his left, to rob PawSox’ Jorge Jimenez of a hit. �The bases were loaded, and it became a sacrifice fly, scoring one run, but if Van Every had not made the catch, or had let it drop in right in front of him, more than one run could have scored, and the inning gone on.

NOTES:

Brian Friday’s ankle was sprained last night when he was going to turn a double play and the runner coming into second base knocked him down. �He is expected to be out for “some time”.

Pitcher Steven Jackson, who’s arm was bruised by a line drive last week, was able to play catch today.

Pitcher Charlie Morton was throwing a few pitches in the bullpen when I got to the stadium yesterday. �Today he did a side session, and reported that he was feeling fine.

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Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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