Crotta gave up another run in the bottom of the frame.� With one out, Hodges singled.� After a pop out, singles by Goedert and Sutton drove in Hodges, to put the Clippers closer, 3-2.� Then they tied the score in the bottom of the 4th, when Carrera singled with two outs, and Phelps blasted a double into center field which bounced off the warning track and hit the center field wall near the top, then caromed back onto the field.� Alex Presley tracked it down, and Phelps had a double, but Carrera scored from first base on the hit.
A bases-loaded situation gave the Indians hope in their half of the 4th.� With one out, C Jason Jaramillo walked and Pedro Ciriaco lined a single into left field.� Brian Friday’s grounder to third forced out Ciriaco at second base, but left the Indians with runners on the corners with two outs.� Friday stole second base, then Kevin Melillo walked to load the bass.� But Aki Iwamura flied out, ending the inning with all three runners still on base.� Brandon Moss and RF John Bowker (photo) hit back-to-back singles in the 5th, but both were left on base.
Mike Crotta began the 5th inning by giving up two singles, to Jordan Brown and Jared Goedert (his third of the day).� That was the end of Crotta’s evening.� He had allowed 8 hits and 2 walks, and would ultimately be responsible for 5 runs (4 earned).� Justin Thomas came on to relieve Crotta.� Drew Sutton, the first batter Thomas faced, dropped down a sacrifice bunt, putting both runners into scoring position.� Thomas got McBride to pop out, but then former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin grounded to short, where the ball skipped off Pedro Ciriaco’s glove and into left field, ruled a hit.� Both Brown and Goedert came in to score, with both runs charged to Crotta, and the Clippers had a 5-3 lead.
The Tribe got one of the runs back in the top of the 6th.� Brian Friday slipped a single into left field, then was off and running when Kevin Melillo grounded to second, so Friday was safe at second.� Aki Iwamura lined just out of reach of SS Drew Sutton and into left field, and Friday, off and running again, rounded third and scored on the play.� Alex Presley also singled in the inning, with a sharp grounder right back at the mound.� Clippers’ reliever Jensen Lewis reflexively stuck out his pitching hand at the ball as it zipped past him, but he deflected the ball just enough so that his shortstop Sutton was no longer lined up to make the play.� By the time Sutton rerouted to get to the ball, Presley was safe at first, moving Iwamura to second base.� But both were left stranded when Brandon Moss struck out to end the inning.
Justin Thomas came back out to pitch the bottom of the 6th, and he kept the Clippers scoreless, allowing just a walk.� The Indians also had just a walk, by Jason Jaramillo, in the top of the 7th.� Anthony Claggett relieved Thomas to begin the bottom of the 7th, and that’s when things got out of hand.� Jared Goedert began the inning with his fourth hit of the game, which was a solo home run over the left field wall.� Tribe LF Kevin Melillo tried to make a leaping catch, but since he is 5 ‘ 11, and not 11’ 5″, he was not even close to making the catch.� After a ground out, McBride doubled down the left field line, on a bouncer that skipped off Aki Iwamura’s glove as he tried for the back-handed stab.� Luke Carlin walked, then RF Jose Constanza drove in McBride with a single lined into left field.� Carrera lifted a fly ball into right field, which bounced off the wall and got past RF John Bowker.� By the time Bowker tracked down the ball, Carrera was into third base with a triple, and both Carlin and Constanza had scored.� Josh Rodriguez, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 6th then stayed in to play shortstop, doubled into the right field corner, and Carrera scored easily with the 5th run of the inning.� Claggett finally struck out Hodges and got Brown to fly out, but the Clippers had taken a commanding 10-4 lead.
The Tribe did not give up yet.� Brian Friday (photo) led off the top of the 8th with a liner into right field.� Kevin Melillo grounded to second base, forcing out Friday, but Melillo was safe at first.� A passed ball by Luke Carlin let Melillo go to second base, then Alex Presley collected his third hit and third RBI of the game with a single lined up the middle, scoring Melillo.
Corey Hamman pitched the bottom of the 8th for the Indians.� He buzzed through the inning, retiring the Clippers in order, finally getting Goedert out on strikes, then a line out and a fly out.� Jason Jaramillo had one desperate last attempt in the top of the 9th, with a two-out double into the right-center field alley.� But a strikeout by Pedro Ciriaco ended the game, leaving Jaramillo on second base.
The Indians have dropped to 5th place in the wild card race.� Columbus leads the wild card race, by 2.5 games over Buffalo.� Syracuse is third, 4.5 games behind Columbus.� Gwinnett has moved into fourth place ahead of the Indians, and they are 6.5 games behind Columbus, with the Indians now 7 games back.� The Tribe has very little time left, and they would have to win just about every remaining game (8 of those), while Columbus, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Gwinnett would have to lose all of their games, or else just forget to show up.� It’s looking pretty unlikely.
The Indians continue this series against the Clippers, but return back home to Victory Field for the next three games.� After that, the Indians have three games against Louisville at home, then wrap it up with 2 games in Louisville to end the season.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game:� Three hits and three RBI for Alex Presley.� He had a key single in the Indians’ rally in the 3rd, driving in two of the three runs.� He singled again in the 6th, keeping that rally going after one run had already scored.� Then he had the RBI single in the 8th to bring in the run in that inning.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� Two scoreless innings pitched by by Justin Thomas, and another scoreless inning by Corey Hamman, finally clamping down on the Clippers’ bats.
The Clippers stole 4 bases in 4 attempts in this game.� The Indians had one stolen base (Brian Friday).
Charlie Morton, recalled by Pittsburgh yesterday, made the start for the Pirates in Milwaukee this afternoon.� He struggled through 3.1 innings, allowing 8 runs (7 earned) on 9 hits and a walk, incouding a home run by Brewers’ Ryan Braun.� Neil Walker blasted his 7th home run for the Pirates in the 1st inning, a 2-run blast down the right field line, just barely fair.
(photos by Nancy)