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The Indians were not interested in a close score.� Brian Friday, who had doubled in the 2nd inning, led off the bottom of the 4th with a blast off the top of the wall in left field, and he made it all the way to third base with a triple as the Knights’ outfielders chased down the ball.� Kevin Melillo (photo) lifted a fly ball to left field, a little short, but far enough so that Friday tagged up and scrambled for the plate.� The throw in from left field was a little to the first base side of the plate, and Knight’s C Donny Lucy had to reach for the ball, as he tried to keep one leg sticking over to block the plate.� One leg was not going to keep Friday from scoring, though, and he slid in safely, avoiding the tag.� Alex Presley also doubled in that ininng, but was left on base.� Indians 6, Knights 4.

The Knights got one run back in the top of the 5th, when Stefan Gartrell led off with a solo home run, down the right field line, just barely fair.� Crotta gave up two more hits in the inning, one a solid single into short center field by Donny Lucy, and the second a little tapper by DH Jeremy Reed that stopped between the plate and the mound.� Crotta came down off the mound and made the barehanded pick-up of the ball, and though he did not fumble it or take what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, Reed just bareley beat out the throw to first base, for another hard-luck hit.� But Crotta got a fly out to end the inning without more runs coming in.

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IMG_4106Once again, the Indians kept ahead of the Knights by adding to their lead in the bottom of the 5th.� Brandon Moss matched Gartrell with his own solo blast, also down the right field line and barely fair.� After a strikeout, Jim Negrych (photo) lined a single into left field.� Brian Friday bounced to third base, but Knights’ 3B Luis Rodriguez’s throw to first base bounced in the dirt right in front of the bag, then bounced high over 1B Kroeger’s head, and while Kroeger was looking all around trying to locate the ball, Negrych scrambled home with an unearned run.� Indians 8, Knights 5.

Then came the bottom of the 6th, and the fireworks began.� The Indians sent 13 batters to the plate and scored 9 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 errors.� Jhonny Nunez had relieved Brandon Hynick to begin the inning, and Nunez turned out to be the sacrificial lamb for the Knights.

Aki Iwamura walked.

Alex Presley reached base when SS Rob Hudson misplayed a grounder — it should have been a double play, but instead there were runners on first and second bases.

Jeff Clement reached on catchers’ interference (an error), loading the bases.

Brandon Moss doubled down the right field line and into the corner, bringing in Iwamura and Presley (runs #1 and #2).

Jonathan Van Every grounded to first, and the runners held.

Jim Negrych walked on 3 pitches, loading the bases again.

IMG_4107Luke Carlin (photo) crushed a line drive off the rail at the top of the right field wall.� It missed being a grand slam by inches.� Clement and Moss scored (#3, #4), and the ball was hit so hard that it bounced back very quickly, and Carlin did not get any farther than first base.

Brian Friday also singled on a line drive into center field.� Negrych scored (#5).

Kevin Melillo slipped a single through the hole into right field, and the bases were loaded yet again.

Aki Iwamura was hit by a pitch on the shoulder (he was ok), forcing in Carlin (#6).

Alex Presley grounded to short, and Hudson took a couple of steps to the second base bag, where he forced out Iwamura, but his throw to first base was juggled by 1B Kroeger.� Instead of the inning-ending double play, Presley was ruled safe on the fielder’s choice (no error, since the double play can’t be assumed), and Friday scored (#7).� At this point, the Knights must have felt sorry for Jhonny Nunez, because he was finally rescued by Freddy Dolsi.

Jeff Clement didnt’ treat Dolsi any better — he doubled over the center fielder’s head to the wall, driving in both Melillo and Presley.� (#8, #9).

Dolsi got Brandon Moss to strike out — his only at-bat in the game where he did not hit the ball to deep in the outfield.� Four of the 9 runs were earned, all charged to Nunez.� Indians 17, Knights 5.

After that inning, all of the hits must have been drained out of the Indians’ bats.� They went down in order in both the 7th and 8th innings.

But the Knights did not give up, and for a time, it looked like they might have been contemplating a huge come-back… which the Indians had a problem with earlier in the week.� They scored 2 runs in each of the last three innings of the game.� Mike Crotta came back out to start the top of the 6th inning.� He got a strikeout, then gave up a single to Luis Rodriguez, who had tripled, homered, and singled, leaving him just a double short of the cycle.� That was the end of Crotta’s evening, and he was relieved by Justin Thomas. Thomas quickly finished that inning with a fly out and a ground out.� But Thomas started the 7th by walking Josh Kroeger and giving up a single to Donny Lucy.� Daniel Moskos replaced Thomas and got Jeremy Reed to strike out.� Rob Hudson followed with a single grounded up the middle, plating both Kroeger and Lucy.� Indians 17, Knights 7.� Ok, still plenty of breathing space.

IMG_4111Moskos also pitched the 8th.� That inning began with a four-pitch walk to Luis Rodriguez, and a 2-run home run by LF Buck Coats.� Moskos put two more runners on with a single by Kroeger and a walk to Lucy, but finally got out of the inning with two strikeouts and a fly out.� Moskos threw a total of 48 pitches (26 strikes) and of those, he threw 34 pitches in the 8th inning.� Indians 17,� Knights 9.� Ok, still an 8 run lead.

Jean Machi (photo) pitched the 9th, and he also gave up 2 runs.� With one out, he walked Alejandro De Aza.� Luis Rodriguez grounded to first base, where Jeff Clement scooped, whirled and threw to second base, forcing out De Aza.� Machi raced to first to cover for the return throw from Brian Friday, but Friday’s rushed throw came to the infield side of the bag.� Machi was trying to keep his foot on the bag, but his momentum was moving toward the outfield side, and when he tried to reach back to make the catch, he missed it — and then he fell down.� Machi limped around for a few moments, and the Indians’ training staff came out to check him.� Machi said he was ok, and he continued.� He gave up two more hits — a single by Coats, moving Rodriguez to second base, then a double by Gartrell, driving in both runners.� Indians 17,� Knights 11.� Finally, Machi got Kroeger to fly out to left field, where Doug Bernier had taken over for Melillo, and the game was over.�

The win snapped the Indians’ 4-game losing streak, and their 9-game home losing streak.� Their season record now stands at 51-50, and the Tribe leads the Knights 4-1 in the season series.

Photos:

Left:� Jonathan Van Every makes a catch in right field;� Right:� Jean Machi coaching first base, with Jeff Clement on base.

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Left:� Alex Presley ;�������� Right:� Mike Crotta

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IMG_4103Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game:� Two home runs by Brandon Moss, one for three runs and a solo shot.� They were his 15th and 16th of the season, and Moss also added 6 RBI to his total, now 62.� Moss leads the Indians in both homers and RBI.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� In the 5th inning, Fernando Cortez grounded sharply up the middle.� SS Brian Friday moved to his left and made the play behind second base, then made the throw to first in time to make the out.

NOTES:

Kevin Melillo currently has a 9-game hitting streak.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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