Two Homers Too Much For Tribe

IMG_4419The Indians’ batters were struggling to make any impression on Louisville starter Jeremy Horst.� The first 7 Tribe batters were retired in order, until Doug Bernier lined a single into left field in the 3rd inning.� Mike Crotta bunted him to second base, but that’s as far as he got.� Two Tribe batters reached base in the 4th inning.� 2B Akinori Iwamura and Alex Presley both struck out, then Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch.� Mitch Jones pushed Moss over to third base with a double ripped into left field, but both Moss and Jones were left stranded when John Bowker struck out.

Horst was making a spot start for the Bats, so he was done after 4 scoreless innings, having allowed 2 hits, with 4 strikeouts.� Lee Tabor replaced Horst, and he allowed only one hit over the next two innings — a single lined up the middle by Alex Presley in the 6th.

Mike Crotta retired the Bats in order in the 5th.� He began the 6th inning with a single off the bat of Yonder Alonso.�� Wladimir Balentien crushed Crotta’s 2-2 pitch over the center field wall, over 400 feet away, for a 2-run homer, giving Louisville a 4-0 lead.� Crotta also gave up a walk to Danny Dorn, but erased Dorn when C Corky Miller grounded into a double play.� That was the end of Crotta’s outing.� He was responsible for 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts.

IMG_4207The Tribe scored their only run of the game in the 7th inning.� Reliever Carlos Fisher relieved Lee Tabor, and Mitch Jones (photo) greeted Fisher with a double down the right field line.� A passed ball by Corky Miller put Jones on third base.� Erik Kratz singled up the middle, easily scoring Jones.� Kratz stole second base — neither of the Bats’ middle infielder moved to cover the bag — and Kratz made it to third base on Doug Bernier’s ground out to SS Kris Negron who was playing deep behind second base.� Brian Myrow came on to pinch-hit for Mike Crotta, hoping to keep the rally going.� Myrow raked a line drive into right field, but an excellent running catch by Wladimir Balentien ended the inning and prevented the Tribe from scoring further.

Brian Bass came on in relief to begin the 7th inning.� He gave up a lead-off single and a stolen base to Kris Negron, but retired the next three batters in order.� Dana Eveland pitched the bottom of the 8th for the Indians.� He made only one mistake — but it was to Wladimir Balantien, who took the mistake over the left-center field wall for a solo home run.� Eveland struck out the other three batters he faced.

Aki Iwamura singled in the top of the 8th for the Indians, but he was left on base.� The Tribe went down in order in the 9th inning, and the Bats had the win.� The Columbus Clippers lost their game to Toledo, so the Bats extended their lead over the Clippers to 1.5 games in the International League Western Division.� The Indians are 8 games behind the Clippers in the wild card race, with Buffalo 2 games back and Syracuse 6.5 games back.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Two doubles by Mitch Jones, one of which sparked the Indians’ only rally.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� In the 5th inning, Aki Iwamura, playing second base tonight, made a charging play on a soft grounder by Wilkin Castillo.� He came in to make the scoop, then threw across his body to John Bowker at first base, beating out the quick Castillo for the out.

NOTES:

Mike Crotta’s wild pitch in the 3rd inning was his first of the season with the Indians.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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