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Photo:� Manager Frank Kremblas directs the defense from the dugout.

The Indians were getting on base against Charlotte’s starter Carlos Torres in each of the first three innings, but they were not coming around to score.� In the top of the 1st, Kevin Melillo led off with a line drive single into left field.� Aki Iwamura walked.� Alex Presley, who was on DH duty tonight, dropped down a bunt, trying to move the runners along.� But his bunt landed just barely out of the batters’ box right in front of the plate, making it too easy for Charlotte’s C Tyler Flowers to pounce on the ball and fire to third base, forcing out the lead runner Melillo.� A ground out and a strikeout ended the inning.

Back-to-back singles by Jim Negrych and C Luke Carlin again put two Indians on base in the 2nd inning, but Argenis Diaz bounced into an inning-ending double play to get Torres out of the jam.� Kevin Melillo walked to begin the 3rd but was thrown out trying to steal second base.� Alex Presley also walked in the 3rd and Jeff Clement singled, but a very nice diving stop by SS Luis Rodriguez on a grounder off the bat of RF Brandon Moss to end that inning.

IMG_4125Carlos Torres was not so fortunate with another lead-off walk in the 5th inning.� That time it was Argenis Diaz who worked the count full, fouled off a couple more pitches, then took ball four for the free trip to first base.� It came back to haunt Torres very quickly.� He tried to pick Diaz off first base, but his throw went sailing past first base and into the Knights’ bullpen, and Diaz raced around to third base.� Kevin Melillo grounded to short next, and the Knights traded the out for a run, as Diaz scored.� After a line out by Aki Iwamura, Alex Presley (photo, with Brian Friday) took a 4-pitch walk.� Jeff Clement’s second single of the game, lined into center field, brought the speedy Presley around to third base to give the Indians runners on the corners with two outs.� Presley scored on a wild pitch from Torres, and the score was tied at 2-2.

The tie did not last long.� Jeremy Powell came back out to begin the top of the 6th, and he began by giving up a first-pitch line drive single into center field to DH Stefan Gartrell.� After a fly out, Powell hit Tyler Flowers with a pitch, then struck out 3B Brent Morel.� Manager Frank Kremblas made a visit to the mound, and it was one of the rare occasions when Kremblas was not already signaling to the pitcher warming up in the bullpen (in this case, Steven Jackson) as he was walking to the mound.� Powell must have assured Kremblas that he still had enough in the tank to get the next batter and finish the inning, because he was left out on the mound.� Jeremy Reed did not cooperate with Powell’s plan though.� Reed grounded his third hit of the game into right field for an RBI single, scoring Gartrell from second base and giving the Knights the go-ahead run.

IMG_3302That was all for Powell.� He had thrown 92 pitches (60 strikes) and was responsible for 3 runs on 6 hits, with 6 strikeouts in 5.2 innings.� Steven Jackson (photo) did come into the game, finishing up the 6th inning for Powell with a quick grounder to short, forcing out Reed at second base.

That brought the Tribe to the bottom of the 6th, when they batted around and scored 5 runs.� Jim Negrych led off with a walk, and Luke Carlin struck out.� The next five Indians batters hit 5 consecutive hits, stunning the Knights.� Argenis Diaz lined a single into right-center field, moving Negrych to second base.� That brought Carlos Torres to 100 pitches, and he was done for the night.� He had given up 6 hits and had walked 7 batters (he leads the International League with 56 walks in 124.1 innings) with 4 strikeouts.� He was responsible for the two runners on base, Negrych and Diaz, and when they eventually came around to score, Torres was responsible for 4 runs.

Randy Williams, who had finished the game for the Knights on Friday night and had retired three Indians in order, came out of the bullpen to relieve Torres.� Williams was greeted with a 2-RBI double into the left-center field alley by Kevin Melillo, scoring both Negrych and Diaz, to give the Indians a 4-3 lead.� Aki Iwamura lined a single into right field, driving in Melillo from second base.� Iwamura moved on to second base on the throw in to the plate, which was not even close to being in time.� Alex Presley hit an oops-dribbler off the end of his bat and along the third base line.� By the time 3B Brent Morel got to the ball, Presley was already at first base, and Iwamura had advanced to third.� Then Jeff Clement smacked a double down the right field line, just barely fair, plating both Iwamura and Presley.� Indians 7, Knights 3.

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Photo:� Alex Presley on the bench

Steven Jackson let the Knights get two of the runs back in the 7th inning.� Alejandro De Aza began the inning with a single, then Luis Rodriguez followed with a home run over the right field wall — his third home run in three straight games.� Jackson then retired the next 6 batters he faced.� Wil Ledezma also retired the Knights in order in the top of the 9th.

Luke Carlin increased the Indians’ lead back to 3 runs with a solo home run into the grass berm behind the right-center field fence in the bottom of the 7th.� It was Carlin’s second home run with the Indians.� He was the only Indians’ batter to reach base in the team’s last two at-bats.

Steven Jackson earned the win, which was his 3rd win with the Indians.� Wil Ledezma earned his 8th save.� Jeff Clement went 3-for-5 for the Indians, with 2 RBI.� Kevin Melillo had 2 hits and 3 RBI.

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Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Kevin Melillo’s 2-RBI double in the 6th inning.� It brought the lead back to the Indians, and they would not give it up after that.� The double was Melillo’s 19th of the season.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� In the top of the 8th, Charlotte’s Brent Morel lifted a fly ball into the right-center field alley.� CF Jonathan Van Every had a long run into the alley, and he made the catch.

NOTES:

LHP Dana Eveland (photo) was originally scheduled to make the start today, but that was changed almost at the last minute, due to tenderness in Eveland’s left elbow.

RHP Jean Machi fell last night as he was covering first base on a ground out.� He was limping around for a couple of minutes, but said he was ok and continued to pitch.� Machi gave up two more hits after that play, and two runs came in, before he got the final out of the game.� Today, word was that Machi was getting the night off, with some tightness in his hamstring from that stretch and fall at first.

Kevin Melillo’s two hits extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

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The Zooperstars, with “Ramdy Johnson” in his Indy Indians’ jersey, were performing between innings tonight.� Radio broadcasters Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley reported that some of the Indians players were trying to come up with Zooperstar names for their teammates.� Their suggestions:�� “Kevin Mule-illo”, and “Mike Crotta-dile”.

I suppose Brian Bass is just too obvious.� What about “Brandon Moose”,� “Daniel Moose-kos”,� “Brian Fly-day”,� “Brian Chicks-ler”� (or Chixler), “Luke Cow-lin”,� “Jeremy Cow-ell”,� “Jeff Clam-ent”� ?

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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