Tribe Drops Double Header; Eveland’s Debut

While the Bats were busy scoring, the Indians were putting runners on base — but getting no further. �The Tribe put at least one runner on base in 5 of their 7 innings (minor league double header, both games just 7 innings):

1st inning: 3B Akinori Iwamura walks, 2B Jim Negrych singles into left field — both left on base

3rd inning: �LF Kevin Melillo walks, Iwamura grounds into a force out at second –Iwamura left on base

4th inning: �1B Brian Myrow lines a single into right field, CF Alex Presley reached base on a fielding error by Reineke, RF Jonathan Van Every walked to load the bases. �SS Doug Bernier bounced into a double play to end the inning.

5th inning: �SS Argenis Diaz (who entered the game in a double switch) drives a single u the middle, Iwamura walks — both left on base.

6th inning: �Myrow singles again, Presley grounds into a double play

The Indians came closest in the 4th inning when they had the bases loaded. �There were not any huge base running errors in this game, but Louisville turned 2 double plays on the Indians. �That brings them to a total of 10 double plays in 3 games. �The Tribe batters were held to just 4 hits, all singles. �Two were by Brian Myrow, and one each by Jim Negrych and Argenis Diaz.

The Indians’ bullpen held the Bats scoreless for the final three innings of the game. �Steven Jackson pitched two perfect innings in relief. �Vinnie Chulk pitched the 7th inning. �He made it interesting by giving up back-to-back singles by Frazier and Francisco to lead off the inning. �Chulk then got a strikeout and a pop out, then loaded the bases by walking Valaika. �He ended the inning with a strikeout, leaving the bases loaded.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Two singles by Brian Myrow, who has been steadily improving at the plate all season. �He hit just .213 in April and .224 in May, then upped that to .261 in June. �So far in July, Myrow is 4-for-10.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �In the 5th inning, Ryan Hanigan grounded hard and sharp to third base. �Aki Iwamura dove to make the stab, then up and fired to first base. �The ball bounced once, about 5 feet from the bag, and Brian Myrow scooped up the hop in time to make the out.

Bats �1, �Indians �0 � � �— �Game 2 (box)

The night-cap turned out to be a pitching duel between Mike Crotta and Ben Jukich. �The two pitchers matched one another pretty closely for the first few innings, but in the end, it was Jukich who came out on top, with one fewer hit allowed, but 2 fewer strikeouts. �Crotta took the hard-luck loss, his 5th of the season with the Indians.

Crotta gave up a double to the first batter of the game, CF Gary Matthews Jr. �A sacrifice bunt by SS Zack Cozart moved Matthews to third base, and 1B Yonder Alonso’s single through the right side of the infield plated Matthews. �And that was all the scoring in the game.

In the bottom of the inning, Jukich gave up a single to the Indians’ first batter, CF Alex Presley, then got an out (a fly out by 3B Akinori Iwamura). �The third batter, 2B Jim Negrych also singled through the right side of the infield, though he was only able to move Presley to third base. �At that point, Jukich was given the gift of some bad base running by the Indians. �Negrych broke for second base, then stopped short as Jukich came at him with the ball. �Jukich threw to first base, as Negrych, stuck in the middle of nowhere on the base path, had to keep going towards second base. �1B Alonso faked the throw to second, and about that time, Presley took off from third base to try to score. �Alonso held on to the ball until Presley was committed, then Alonso threw the ball home, where Presley was easily tagged out for the second out of the inning. �A strikeout ended the inning.

After the run scored in the top of the 1st, Crotta retired two batters to finish the inning, then continued on by retiring the next 10 batters he faced — for a total of 12 batters retired in a row. �2B Drew Sutton singled off Crotta in the 5th inning, but was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Jukich dispatched the Indians rather easily over those same innings. �He retired the Indians in order in the 2nd. �He walked Alex Presley with two outs in the 3rd, but left him stranded moments later. �Jeff Clement (back at first base in the night-cap) reached base on a weird hit in the 4th inning. �He grounded right up the first-base line, and just as 1B Alonso was ready to make the play, the ball bounced on the first base bag and up into the air, making a perfect loop right over Alonso’s head. �Clement stole second base, cleverly sliding in around what appeared to be a half-hearted tag by SS Cozart. �C Erik Kratz worked a walk, but the inning ended on yet another double play. �Brian Myrow lined right to Cozart, who was standing just a few steps from the second base bag. �Cozart was easily able to double Clement off second base, this time making a rather deliberate tag. �Argenis Diaz singled in the 5th inning, but he too was left stranded on base.

The Bats threatened in the 6th inning. �With one out, Matthews singled off the side of the mound. �When Matthews took off for second base, �Cozart singled through the hole vacated by 2B Jim Negrych, sending Matthews all the way to third base. �Erik Kratz erased Cozart when he tried to steal second base, but a walk to Alonso put runners on the corners. �That was the end of Crotta’s evening. �He had thrown 78 pitches (50 strikes), and had struck out 6 batters in his 5.2 innings, while allowing the one run on 5 hits.

Wil Ledezma came in from the bullpen to take over for Crotta. �He hit the first batter he faced, 3B Juan Francisco, loading the bases. �Then he struck out RF Danny Dorn to end the inning, leaving three Bats stranded. �Ledezma gave up a walk in the 9th inning, but left that batter stranded too, while collecting two more strikeouts.

Jukich left after 5 innings of work, but the Indians did not have any better luck against relievers Aroldis Chapman or Carlos Fisher. �Chapman began by walking Aki Iwamura, then struck out Jim Negrych, and got Jeff Clement to bounce into a 3-6-3 double play — the second double play of the game, and the fourth of the day. �Fisher gave up a single to Brian Myrow in the 7th, but he was left standing on second base when the game ended with two ground outs.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Five hits, all singles. �Jim Negrych’s was the only one that came when there was another runner on base, but Jeff Clement’s was kind of funny, as it popped over the head of the astonished Yonder Alonso.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �Wil Ledezma’s strikeout with the bases loaded, keeping the Bats from scoring again and keeping the game within reach.

NOTES:

The Indians have now played 18 innings (7 + 7 today, and the last 4 yesterday) without scoring a run. �They have also been the victims of 12 double plays in the past three days (4 games).

Jeff Clement caught the first game of the double header — the first time he has caught since April 2009. �In fact, when he first joined the Pirates’ organization later last season, he had said he would like to catch, and he was specifically told that he would NOT be catching. �What changed? �Well, the Indians are down a catcher again. �Luke Carlin had missed about a week with a sprained ankle, and Erik Kratz had done all the catching while Carlin was out. �Carlin played in three games last week, but the ankle was still bothering him, and then he re-injured it. �Kratz can’t be expected to do all the catching, especially both ends of a double header in 90-degree heat, so Clement had to help out. �No word as to how many games or how often Clement will be catching.

In order to add Dana Eveland to the active roster today, the Indians had to remove a player from the roster. �That was reliever Anthony Claggett, who was assigned to the Altoona Curve.

Corey Hamman was assigned to West Virginia to create a space for Charlie Morton, but that might be a paper move — I think I saw Hamman in the dugout today.

Go Tribe!

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