The Indians did not do much to help out Penn in the bottom of the 1st, although Alex Presley did begin his cycle with a two-out triple to the base of the center field wall. �He was left stranded when the inning ended with a strikeout. �Penn retired the Mud Hens in order in the top of the 2nd. �Then the Indians’ fun began.

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With Billy Buckner on the mound for the Mud Hens, DH Jeff Clement opened the 2nd inning with a solo home run (left photo above), which left the field just inside the right field foul pole. �3B Brian Myrow made it back-to-back homers (right photo above) with a blast over the berm and all the way to the sidewalk, sailing over the 362′ sign on the right field fence. �The Indians all began to breathe a little easier, as they had moved to within one run of the Mud Hens, 3-2. �Buckner must have been a little upset, though, as he walked C Erik Kratz on 5 pitches. �CF Jonathan Van Every struck out, but SS Doug Bernier moved Kratz to second base with a single just past the Toledo shortstop and into right field. �2B Akinori Iwamura, making his debut with the Indians, walked to load the bases for RF Brandon Moss. This was a mistake on Toledo’s part, because Moss has been on fire for the past few games. �He increased his streak with a line drive into center field, scoring Kratz from third and Bernier from second, to give the Indians a 4-3 lead. �Alex Presley singled through the hole and into right field, driving in Iwamura, and putting Moss onto third base with a slide (photos below). �A sacrifice fly by 1B Steve Pearce brought in Moss with the 6th run of the inning. �Jeff Clement, the 10th batter to come to the plate, popped out to behind the plate in foul territory to end the inning, and the Indians had a 6-3 lead.

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IMG_3797The Indians weren’t done beating up on Buckner. �They lulled him into a false sense of security by letting him get two outs to begin the 3rd inning — Brian Myrow grounded to first and Erik Kratz struck out. �Then Buckner walked Jonathan Van Every, and Doug Bernier smacked his second hit of the game, a double into the right-center field alley, and Bernier raced around to score standing up from first base. �Aki Iwamura walked on 4 pitches, and that brought up Brandon Moss, again with runners on base waiting for him. �Moss obliged with a huge bomb over the right field wall nearly to the scoreboard — a 3-run homer (photo). �The Indians were ahead 10-3.

That was all for Buckner, who headed to the showers after handing the ball over to reliever Rudy Lugo. � Alex Presley (left photo below) greeted Lugo with the second home run of the inning — Presley’s first AAA home run, to make it back-to-back homers for the second inning in a row. �Then Steve Pearce made it back-to-back-to-back, with an opposite-field home run (right photo below), also down the right field line. �A walk to Jeff Clement and a strikeout by Myrow, and the Indians had again sent 10 batters to the plate and again recorded a 6-run inning. �Indians 12, Mud Hens 3.

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IMG_3782Lugo gave up singles to both Jonathan Van Every and Doug Bernier (his third of the game) in the 4th inning, but got out of the jam, without letting the Indians score, with a double play. �The 5th inning started with Alex Presley completing his cycle by lifting a soft fly ball into left field. �LF Strieby came running in and tried for a catch at his shoetops, but missed, and when the ball bounced behind him, Presley had the double he’d been lacking, for the first ever cycle hit at Victory Field. �Not wanting to waist the double, two outs later, Brian Myrow lined a single into center field, bringing Presley around from second to score the Indians’ lucky 13th run.

Scot Drucker pitched the 6th inning for the Mud Hens, and the Indians got to him too. �Doug Bernier was keeping pace with Presley in number of hits — he led off by beating out a slow roller to short for an infield single. �Aki Iwamura (photo) hit the first pitch he saw into right field for his first hit with the Indians, and Alex Presley loaded the bases with his second single (and fifth hit, to edge ahead of Bernier again) of the game. �Steve Pearce plated Bernier with his second sacrifice fly of the game, and Jeff Clement zipped a grounder up the left field line for an RBI double to bring in Iwamura. �Indians 15, Mud Hens 3.

IMG_3794The scoring stopped there — hopefully the Indians save some hits and runs for tomorrow. �Erik Kratz doubled to lead off the 7th inning, and that meant that each member of the Indians’ lineup had at least one hit. �Each member of the team also scored at least one run. �The final six Tribe batters went down in order, including Alex Presley, who lined out to right field in the 9th — the only time in the game that he was retired.

Hayden Penn enjoyed all the run support he had received, and he did his part, too. �With one out in the 3rd inning, Penn gave up back-to-back singles to Jeff Frazier and Ryan Strieby, then hit Jeff Larish with a pitch to load the bases. �He got out of the jam by striking out Wilkin Ramirez and getting RF Casper Wells to bounce into a force out at third base (photo, 3B Brian Myrow takes the ball himself and steps on third for the force out.) �Penn retired the Mud Hens in order in the 4th and 5th innings, then worked around a one-out single by Wilkin Ramirez in the 6th. �He finished having thrown 77 pitches (55 strikes), and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.

Corey Hamman pitched the 7th inning for the Tribe. �He gave up a lead-off double to C Jeff Kunkel, on a ground ball that tracked up the third base and left field line, fair by only inches. �The next three batters went down in order, though, and Kunkel was left stranded on second base. �Brian Bass came on for the last two innings. �He loaded the bases with two outs in the 8th, on a double by Ramirez, who had 3 hits in the game, a hit batter (Wells) and an infield single by DH Jon Weber. �Bass then calmly got Kunkel to lift an easy fly ball to center field, getting out of the jam and leaving all three runners on base. �Bass also worked around a one-out single in the 9th by Justin Henry, ending the game with a line out to Jonathan Van Every in center field.

IMG_3739The win puts the Indians two games ahead of the Mud Hens in the International League Western Division standings. �The Indians are in second place, 3 games behind the Columbus Clippers, and the Mud Hens are in third place, 5 games behind the Clippers. �The Louisville Bats remain in fourth place, 11 games behind Columbus.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Alex Presley (photo) hitting for the cycle — the first cyle in Victory Field history. �He finished the day with two singles, a double, a triple, and a homer (solo), and 2 RBI. �Presley now owns a .500 (7-for-14) average with the Indians.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �In the top of the 5th, with two outs, Ryan Strieby lifted a long fly ball to deep center field. �CF Jonathan Van Every ran back – back- back- to the wall and made the catch, robbing Strieby of at least a double.

Working with the Rookies:

Some of these rookies are so green, you have to show them how to run to first and step on the base

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Catching and throwing is also important

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NOTES:

IMG_3779Steven Jackson has been optioned back to Indianapolis. �The Pirates needed to free up a spot on the active roster yesterday for Daniel McCutchen.

Aki Iwamura’s (photo) debut was lost in the flurry of the cycle and the home runs. �He made 6 trips to the plate and was walked 3 times — seeing only one strike amid those 12 balls. �He came around to score on two of those walks. �Iwamura also grounded out to first, singled into right field and scored again, then was robbed of another hit when he lined sharply right at SS Will Rhymes.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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