IMG_4418The Bats did not put their lead-off runner on base in the 4th inning — and that’s when they started to score.� With two outs, Burres suddenly could not find the strike zone.� He walked both Balentien and C Devin Mesoraco on 10 pitches.� 2B Wilkin Castillo took the first pitch he saw from Burres down the left field line, past LF John Bowker, and into the left field corner for a 2-run double.� A line-out ended the inning, but the Bats had taken a 2-0 lead.

The Indians, on the other hand, were not putting the runners on base in the first three innings.� Matt Maloney struck out 5 Tribe batters in the first three, and allowed only one hit — a long blast off the top of the left field wall for a double by C Erik Kratz (just seconds after that photo was taken).

The Tribe also got going in the 4th, after the Bats had scored twice in the top of the frame.� CF Alex Presley and John Bowker began the bottom of the 4th with back-to-back line hits into right field.� Presley stole second base (his 8th steal with the Indians), but he did not score on Bowker’s hit, because he was forced to wait and see whether or not Bats RF Balentien was going to catch Bowker’s hit.� The ball hit the ground just a few yards in front of Balentien, and Presley made it to third base easily.� RF Brandon Moss grounded to second base, where the Bats were able to turn a 4-6-3 (2B Castillo to SS Cozart to 1B Alonso) double play.� Presley scored on the play (no RBI for Moss), to put the Tribe onto the scoreboard, 2-1.

IMG_4004Louisville kept their momentum going with 2 more runs in the 5th, as they sent 8 batters to the plate.� Sappelt led off with his third hit of the game, a triple into the right-center field alley that rolled all the way to the wall.� Two more singles followed, a single into center by Cozart, which scored Sappelt, and a single down the right field line by Alonso, just out of reach of 1B Mitch Jones, who was holding Cozart on the first base bag.� Burres struck out Frazier, but 3B Juan Francisco dribbled a slow roller toward the hole between first and second bases.� Jones made the attempt at a back-handed stop, but he missed.� Brian Friday was backing him up, and he made the stop, but his throw to Burres covering first base was not in time to get Francisco.� That let Cozart score from third base, and gave Louisville a 4-1 lead.� Burres struck out Balentien, but walked Mesoraco to load the bases.� A pop out to Erik Kratz in foul territory behind the plate ended the inning with all three runners still in position.

That was the end of Brian Burres’ night.� He threw 95 pitches (62 strikes) and allowed those 4 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks, with 3 strikeouts.� Dana Eveland (photo) relieved Burres to begin the 6th inning, and he retired the Bats in order for the first (and only) inning in the game.

Three runs in the bottom of the 6th tied the score for the Indians.� Pedro Ciriaco led off wth a single lined into left field, but he was quickly erased when Alex Presley bounced to short.� Cozart needed to take only two steps to reach second base for the force on Ciriaco before relaying over to first base for the double play.� John Bowker also singled, just inside the right field line, and Brandon drove a double into the right-center field alley.� Bowker was held at third base rather than trying for the plate with two outs already recorded.� Mitch Jones walked to load the bases, and that was all for starter Matt Maloney.� He was relieved by Jerry Gil.� Erik Kratz took Gil’s 1-2 pitch deep and long to left-center field, as the crowd gasped — then sighed as Bats’ LF Frazier and CF Sappelt converged.� Then the sighs turned to screams as Frazier had the ball go into and out of his glove, then fumbled to pick it up again.� Bowker, Moss, and Jones all scored, though Kratz did not get credit — it was ruled a 2-base error on Frazier.� Kratz had rounded second and gone part way to third base, but he is not a particularly fast runner, and he thought better of it, retreating to second base.� He was left there when 3B Doug Bernier flied out.

The 4-4 tie did not last long.� Dana Eveland got into trouble in the 7th inning, and 5 runs came in as the Bats batted around.� Alonso and Frazier led off with back-to-back doubles, scoring Alonso to break the tie.� Francisco grounded out, then the next three batters — Balentien, Mesoraco, and Castillo — all singled.� Balentien drove in Frazier and Castillo plated Balentien.� Mesoraco had to be replaced with a pinch-runner, Michael Griffin, when he appeared to pull a hamstring as he arrived at first base.� With Griffin at second base and Castillo at first, Erik Kratz tried to pick off Castillo.� Castillo got in the way of the throw, and the ball got away from 1B Mitch Jones, charged as an error on Kratz.� When Jones got to the ball and threw it to second base, the ball hit Castillo and bounced away from Pedro Ciriaco, but the runners did not advance further.� Eveland struck out pinch-hitter Eric Eymann for the second out of the inning.� Then Sappelt hit his fourth hit of the night, a double down the left field line on the first pitch he saw, bringing both Griffin and Castillo across the plate, and the Bats had a 9-4 lead.

The Indians answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning.� Pinch-hitter Kevin Melillo signled through the hole and into right field with one out, and Pedro Ciriaco added a bloop single into right.� Alex Presley grounded out, which advanced both runners one base, and John Bowker walked to load the bases.� The Bats changed pitchers, bringing in Daniel Ray Herrera from the bullpen.� Brandon Moss greeted Herrera with a line drive single into right field, scoring both Melillo and Ciriaco, as the Indians got a little closer, 9-6.� Herrera’s first wild pitch of the season moved both Bowker and Moss into scoring position.� Mitch Jones was nearly the hero, as he drove a liner into short right-center field.� But Sappelt became the defensive hero as well as the offensive hero for the Bats with a running shoestring catch of Jones’ line drive to end the inning and the Indians’ rally.

The Tribe’s little bit of momentum was lost with that catch.� Herrera came back out to pitch the bottom of the 8th.� He hit Erik Kratz with a pitch, but erased him when Doug Bernier grounded into a double play — the third turned by the Bats in the game.� Aroldis Chapman pitched the bottom of the 9th, and he was as astonishing as he has been advertised to be.� Most of his fastballs were in the 97 – 99 mph range, and his off-speed pitches were 83 – 86 mph.� Kevin Melillo made contact and hit the ball hard — but on a liner straight at 2B Michael Griffin, who had stayed in the game after pinch-running.� Pedro Ciriaco also hit the ball hard, but right back at the mound.� The ball ricocheted off Chapman’s glove and over towards short, and the speedy Ciriaco was able to reach first base before SS Cozart was able to come up with the ball.� Chapman ignored Ciriaco, and struck out both Alex Presley and John Bowker to finish the inning.

Brian Bass pitched the last two innings for the Tribe.� He worked around a two-out double by Francisco and a walk to Balentien, striking out Griffin to get out of the 8th inning.� Then he gave up the Bats’ last run in the top of the 9th.� With one out, pinch-hitter Danny Dorn looped a single into short right field, behind first base, just out of Brian Friday’s reach.� Sappelt singled for his 5th hit of the game, moving Dorn over to third base.� Bass struck out Cozart, but then walked Alonso and Frazier on 8 straight balls, and that forced in Dorn with the Bats’ 10th run.� Finally, a strikeout by Francisco ended the inning.

Dana Eveland was charged with the loss.� Pedro Ciriaco had 3 hits int he game, and both John Bowker and Brandon Moss had two hits.

Photos:

Brian Burres at the plate — he struck out in his only at-bat; Doug Bernier doubled in the 5th.

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Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Brandon Moss’ double in the bottom of the 6th, for two RBI.� Of Moss’ 83 RBI, 33 have come with two outs.

Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game:� Doug Bernier made two very nice plays on slow rolling balls in the infield, charging in to make the pick-up, then firing across his body to first base.� The first came in the 2nd inning, on a slow grounder off the bat of Devin Mesoraco.� The second was in the 7th, when Bernier ended the inning by making the play on Zack Cozart’s grounder.

NOTES:

Brad Lincoln was placed on the Disabled List due to a stiff neck.� He is expected to miss only one start.

Chris Jakubauskas has reported to the team, after having been removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster and been outrighted to the Indians, and he has been placed on the active roster, taking Lincoln’s spot.

There are four players named “Brian” on the Indians’ roster, and all four got into tonight’s game:� Bass, Burres, Friday, and Myrow.

The Pirates have announced that C Jason Jaramillo has committed to playing winter ball this year.� No word yet as to where he’d be playing.� No word yet about which Pirates’ farmhands will be playing with the Arizona Fall League either, but that should be announced soon.� The Pirates’ players will be on the Mesa Solar Sox team (a change from previous years), along with players from the Cubs, the Angels, the� Mets, and the Phillies.� The Solar Sox will be managed by Casey Kopitzke, who is currently managing the Peoria Chiefs in the Cubs’ organization.

The rain that was promised yesterday fell mostly overnight and in the morning.� There were just a few sprinkles while I was on the way downtown, and nothing at all during the game.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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