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The Tribe cut the Clippers’ lead in half in the 4th when the first four batters reached base safely. �Pedro Alvarez singled in his second at-bat, slipping a grounder through the hole into right field. �C Erik Kratz singled into left field, moving Alvarez to second base. �Jonathan Van Every walked to load the bases. �With Brandon Moss at the plate, Tomlin’s ball three skipped all the way to the backstop, allowing Alvarez to score easily (photo). �Moss also walked, loading the bases again, but the Indians could not take advantage of the opportunity — both Brian Friday and Doug Bernier struck out to end the inning.

IMG_3506After two outs in the 5th, Tomlin suddenly had trouble finding the plate. �He walked Pedro Alvarez on four straight pitches — not intentionally. �Erik Kratz worked the count full, then took ball four. �Jonathan Van Every also worked the count full, and took ball four, and the bases were loaded with two outs. �Tomlin headed for the showers, and Josh Judy came on to face Brandon Moss. �Moss looked at ball one, then blasted the next pitch to the left field wall. �It hit the wall near the top of the scoreboard, and though he missed a grand slam, he still cleared the bases with a double. �All three runners who had walked came in to score, and the Indians had taken the lead, 4-2. �Brian Friday followed the double with a single into right field. �Moss and manager Frank Kremblas, who was waving him home, thought Moss could make it, but he was thrown out at the plate, on the throw in from RF Chris Gimenez to C Carlos Santana.

Brian Burres retired the side in order in the 5th, but opened the 6th inning by giving up a double to Wes Hodges, on a fly ball that got past Jose Tabata and all the way to the left field wall. �After a ground out, Burres was relieved by Vinnie Chulk. Burres had allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, with one walk and 4 strikeouts. �He threw 91 pitches, 59 for strikes.

IMG_3548Hodges had moved to third base on the ground out. �Chulk (photo) walked Jared Goedert to put runners on first and third bases. �Chris Gimenez lifted a fly ball to short right field. �Kevin Melillo came tearing in, and made a diving catch for the out, but Hodges was easily able to tag up and score on the play, to bring the Clippers within one run, 4-3. �The inning ended when Chulk threw a ball into the dirt at the plate. �C Erik Kratz couldn’t hold on to it, and with the ball stopping right at his feet, he could not initially see where the ball had landed. �Goedert saw Kratz’s confusion and took off for second base. �But Kratz caught site of the ball fairly quickly, and threw down to second base, in plenty of time for Doug Bernier to tag out Goedert for the third out.

Josh Judy stayed to pitch the 6th inning for the Clippers, when the Indians added an insurance run. �With one out, LF Jose Tabata grounded to third, but 3B Jared Goedert’s throw to first went wide and bounced past Wes Hodges all the way to the rolled up tarp. �Tabata reached second easily, credited with a single, and Goedert charged with a throwing error. �Kevin Melillo lined into left field, and Tabata raced around third and came in to score an unearned run. �Melillo tried to make it to second base, but the ball had not gone that far into left field. �Melillo was easily thrown out at second base.

The Indians managed only one hit over the last two innings of the game. �Brian Friday doubled with one out in the bottom of the 8th, and advanced to third on a ground out, but could go no further. �Friday, Alvarez, and Melillo each had 2 hits for the Indians.

IMG_3536Vinnie Chulk started the top of the 7th for the Indians, but uncharacteristically got into some trouble. �He gave up singles to Josh Rodriguez and SS Anderson Hernandez. �A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, and a walk to Brian Bixler loaded the bases. �Chulk was relieved by Justin Thomas. Thomas needed only three pitches to take care of the problem. �He got Carlos Santana to bounce a grounder to third. �Pedro Alvarez fielded the ball just a couple of steps from the third base bag. �He took two steps to touch third, then fired across the diamond to first base, to get Santana for the inning-ending double play.

Justin Thomas also pitched the 8th inning, allowing just a single to LF Jordan Brown. �Jean Machi came on to pitch the 9th. �He earned his 8th save, walking Michael Brantley with two outs, then getting Brian Bixler (photo) to pop out in foul territory next to first base to end the game.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Clutch hitting by Brandon Moss in the 5th inning– a double driving in 3 runs to put the Indians ahead to stay. �It was Moss’ 11th double of the season.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �The double play started by 3B Pedro Alvarez in the 7th inning. �Carlos Santana, the hot prospect in the Cleveland Indians’ organization, came to the plate with his .317 average and his International League-leading .451 OBP, with the bases loaded and one out. �Alvarez scooped the grounder at third, stepped on the bag to force out one runner, then threw to first to get Santana to end the inning and save a run from scoring.

NOTES:

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Erik Kratz’s single in the 4th extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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