Early Lead And More Double Plays Drop Tribe

IMG_3898Photo: Doug Bernier and Jim Negrych confer, while Gary Matthews Jr stands on second base.

The Indians got onto the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. �Edison Volquez gave up a double lined into left field to 1B Jeff Clement. Two strikeouts later, C Erik Kratz drove a double off the left field wall, scoring Clement.

In the bottom of the 5th, the Indians had a turn at showing what happens when the lead-off batter walks. �Kratz was the recipient of the free pass this time, and he moved to second on an odd play by the Bats. �Doug Bernier bounced to third, where 3B Juan Francisco made the scoop, looked at second base, as Kratz was motoring in. �Instead of throwing to first base, where he had a chance of throwing out Bernier, Francisco threw to second base — and Kratz easily beat the throw. �That gave the Indians runners on first and second bases and no outs. �Pinch-hitter Brian Myrow loaded the bases with an easy looper single into left field. �Next, LF Kevin Melillo lifted a short fly ball into center field. �CF Matthews made the catch with a diving roll, but when he came up from the roll, he made only a weak throw back into the infield. �Kratz had moved only part of the way down the third base line, unsure whether or not Matthews would make the catch. �When the catch was made, Kratz went back to third and tagged up. �He still hesitated, since the fly was short, but when Matthew’s weak throw rolled through the infield, Kratz ran the rest of the way to the plate and slid in head first with the Indians’ second run.

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Both starting pitchers were done after 5 innings. �Charlie Morton had allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 2 strikeouts. �Edinson Volquez gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, with 4 strikeouts. �When Morton was finished, Anthony Claggett (photo) came on to pitch the next two innings. �Claggett faced the minimum number of batters, despite giving up a hit to the lead-off batter in each inning. �C Ryan Hanigan grounded a single up the middle to begin the 6th inning. �After a fly out, pinch-hitter Wilkin Castillo bounced back to the mound, where Claggett whirled and started a 1-6-3 (Claggett to Doug Bernier to Jeff Clement) double play to end the inning. �It was the only double play the Indians turned in the game.

In the 7th inning, Matthews led off with a grounder deep in the hole at short. �Bernier went deep and to his right, and leaped in the air to turn and make the throw to first, but Matthews beat the ball to first base. �Two pitches later, Erik Kratz cut down Matthews as he tried to steal second base.

IMG_3917Danny Moskos and Brian Bass each pitched a scoreless inning for the Tribe. �Moskos (photo) took the 8th, beginning the inning with two quick outs. �He walked Danny Dorn, then with Dorn on first, Hanigan drove a line drive down the left field line. �Dorn raced around second as Kevin Melillo fielded the double, and rounded third as Melillo threw the ball in to the infield. �Doug Bernier took the throw and relayed to the plate. �The ball reached the plate before Dorn did, with Erik Kratz taking the throw and planting himself in front of the dish. �Dorn tried to ram into Kratz, but Kratz held firm and kept Dorn from touching the dish, holding up the ball as Dorn bounced off him.

Bass retired the Bats in order in the 9th, including a strikeout.

The Indians put runners on base in all but two innings, but could not bring any more of them around to score. �Like last night, they fell victim to four double plays, each of them ending an inning. �It began in the 1st inning, when 3B Akinori Iwamura lined a one-out single into right field, then was erased when Jim Negrych grounded right to 1B Alonso, just a few feet off the bag. �Alonso started a 3-6-3 double play, with SS Cozart as the middle man. �In the 2nd inning, Iwamura walked with one out and Kevin Melillo on second base. �Negrych bounced into another double play, this time going to Cozart at short, who took a few steps to step on second, then threw on to first base for the double play.

Cozart made the same play in the 6th, with Jeff Clement on first after a walk, and one out. �This time it was Brandon Moss who grounded to short. �A few steps for Cozart and a throw to first — another double play. �The double play in the 5th was not on a grounder. �After Erik Kratz had scored on Kevin Melillo’s sacrifice fly, the Indians had Doug Bernier on second and Brian Myrow on first with one out. �Aki Iwamura lifted a fly ball to left field, which LF Frazier caught about 2 inches off the ground as he was running in. �Bernier had moved about a third of the way to third base, but was waiting to see if the catch would be made. �He easily got back to second base ahead of Frazier’s throw from left field. �But Myrow had nearly reached second base, and was easily doubled off first base when he couldn’t get back in time.

Another base running blunder halted an attempt at a rally in the 8th. �Pinch-hitter Jonathan Van Every walked to lead off the inning, and advanced to second base when Kevin Melillo bounced out back to the mound. �Bats’ reliever Jared Burton tried to pick Van Every off second, but his throw skipped past second base and into short right field. �Van Every got back to the base in time, then hesitated when he saw the ball go into the outfield. �Then he took off for third base — and then stopped again, half way between second and third bases. �By then, CF Matthews had had plenty of time to get to the ball and get it to the infield. �Van Every was caught in a brief run-down, and was easily tagged out.

Brandon Moss singled into short right field with two outs in the 9th, and then stole second base, but the game ended with CF Alex Presley lining out.

The loss is the 6th straight for the Indians, and it drops them to 8 games behind the first-place Columbus Clippers in the International League Western Division.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Erik Kratz’s RBI double in the 2nd inning. �It bounced off the left field wall, and brought in Jeff Clement with the Indians’ first run. �It was All-Star Kratz’s 19th double of the season.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �This one also involved Kratz. �In the bottom of the 8th, with Danny Dorn on first, Ryan Hanigan doubled down the left field line. �The throw in from Kevin Melillo, relayed by Doug Bernier, got to the plate ahead of Dorn, and Kratz took the throw, blocked the plate, and held on to the ball to prevent Dorn from scoring.

Photos:

Left: �Charlie Morton got to bat, too — he walked; � � �Right: �Cincinnati Reds’ Edison Volquez on his rehab assignment with the Bats

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Left: �Jim Negrych on second base � � � � � � � � �Right: �Jeff Clement at first base

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Left: �Akinori Iwamura at third base � � � � � � � � Right: �Reliever Brian Bass

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NOTES:

The Indians’ General Manager Cal Burleson presented Alex Presley with a trophy in recognition of his hitting for the cycle last Sunday.

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Left: �Cal Burleson and Alex Presley � � � � � Right: �Hayden Penn was given the Indians’ Player of the Month Award for June.

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IMG_3901Roster Move:

When Charlie Morton was added to the Indians’ roster, someone else had to come off. �That someone was Corey Hamman, who was moved to the West Virginia Power roster.

Steve Pearce has had his official rehab assignment stopped because of patellar tendinitis in his knee. �He is going to be examined in Pittsburgh in a couple of days (after the holiday) but meanwhile, he’s still hanging out with the Indians. �Today he was coaching at first base.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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