Indians’ starter Charlie Morton (photo) allowed only 3 hits in his 6 innings of work, but he walked 6 Norfolk batters.� The first walk followed a double in the 2nd inning, but a double play got Morton out of that jam.� Morton walked two more Tides in the 3rd and another two in the 4th, but both times wiggled his way out of trouble and left the runners on base.� He retired the Tides in order in the 5th.
Morton could not slip out of a jam in the 6th, and that one did not even involve walks.� Michael Aubrey led off with an oops hit (not a bunt) in front of the plate.� Robert Andino reached base on a fielding error by Doug Bernier at third, moving Aubrey to second base.� Morton struck out Scott Moore, but Noland Reimold grounded to third, and Doug Bernier had trouble again — this time it was a throwing error.� Reimold was safe, and advanced to second base on the error, while both Aubrey and Andino came in to score.� Both runs were unearned, but the Indians were still ahead, 4-2.
The 7th inning began with Morton back on the mound, but he was relieved after giving up a walk to Paco Figueroa.� Travis Chick took over for Morton, making his Indians’ debut.� The first batter Chick faced, Matt Angle, dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Figueroa to second base.� The next four batters all hit safely, and Chick was charged with a Blown Save as the Tides took a 6-4 lead.� Jeff Salazar singled, moving Figueroa to third base.� Michael Aubrey doubled, scoring Figueroa and putting Salazar on third base.� Robert Andino blooped an RBI single into center field to plate Salazar with the tying run.� Scott Moore’s liner into left field scored Aubrey, to give the Tides the lead.� Andino went to third base on the throw.� When Nolan Reimold grounded to short, Andino scored the fourth run of the inning, and the Tides had an insurance run.� Chick’s wild pitch moved Reimold to second base.� He walked DH Rhyne Hughes, but ended the inning with a line out.
The Indians were held scoreless for four innings after the 3rd, as they put runners onto base but could not take advantage of the Tides’ mistakes.� The Indians threatened in the 4th, when LF Jim Negrych led off with a line drive single into left field, then advanced to second and on to third on two wild pitches by Tides’ starter Zach Britton.� Luke Carlin walked, and Britton’s second wild pitch moved him to second base.� A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning with both runners in scoring position.� Two more Indians reached base in the 6th.� Mitch Jones led off with another liner into left field, and Negrych reached base on a throwing error by relief pitcher Mike Hinckley.� A strikeout and a double play ended that inning without the Indians scoring.� The Tides’ third fielding error put Doug Bernier on base in the 7th inning, but he was out in a force play when Brian Bixler grounded to second.� The speedy Bixler reached base safely, and he stole second base, but a strikeout ended the inning.
The Tides took the 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 7th, but the Indians came right back to tie it up again in the top of the 8th.� Brandon Moss greeted the new Norfolk reliever Alberto Castillo with a single up the middle.� Mitch Jones lined a double into left field, moving Moss to third base.� Moss scored when Jim Negrych grounded out to short.� 1B Jonathan Van Every brought in Jones with his double down the right field line.� That chased Castillo, but the next reliever, Jim Hoey, quickly shut down the Tribe rally by striking out Luke Carlin and Brian Friday.� Still, the Indians had tied the score, and they had a chance.
Until the bottom of the 8th, that is.� Norfolk scored 5 with their two home runs.� Two strikeouts and a ground out retired the Indians in the top of the 9th, and gave the Tides the win.� The Indians now have a 56-54 record, which puts them in third place in the International League West Division, 10 games behind the first-place Columbus Clippers, and 3.5 games behind the second-place Louisville Bats.� Both the Bats and the Syracuse Chiefs won today, so the Indians have slid down to third place in the Wild Card standings.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Brandon Moss’s second home run of the series, his 19th of the season, which leads the Indians.� It also increased his RBI total to 76, which also leads the team.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� The double play turned in the 2nd inning, which got Charlie Morton out of a jam.� With runners on first and second bases and one out, Rhyne Hughes grounded to short, where Brian Friday fielded the ball, stepped on second base for the force out, then threw on to Jonathan Van Every at first to end the inning.
(photos by Nancy)