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That lead lasted only a short time.� Starter Chris Jakubauskas (photo) retired the first six Clippers he faced in order.� He gave up two singles, to LF Drew Sutton and SS Josh Rodriguez, in the 3rd inning.� Sutton was immediately erased with a double play, started by SS Pedro Ciriaco to 2B Brian Friday to 1B John Bowker� (6-4-3).� Rodriguez’s single was followed by a four-pitch walk to Jose Constanza, but Jakubauskas struck out Carrera to end the inning and keep the Clippers scoreless.

The Clippers caught up to the Indians in the top of the 4th.� 2B Cord Phelps led off with double into the left-center field alley.� Two ground outs, including a very nice backhanded stab by Aki Iwamura deep behind third base, gave Jakubauskas two outs, and Phelps only advanced on the second ground out.� But with two outs and Phelps on third, 3B Jared Goedert smashed a 2-run homer over the left field wall to tie the score.� Drew Sutton singled into left field after the home run, but he was left on base.

Jakubauskas struggled again in the 5th.� Josh Rodriguez led off with his second hit of the game, a bunt down the third base line just out of reach of Jakubauskas, C Jason Jaramillo, and Aki Iwamura.� Jose Constanza also bunted, sacrificing Rodriguez to second base.� A ground out to first put Rodriguez onto third base.� Cord Phelps added his second double of the night, driving in Rodriguez with the go-ahead run, and the Clippers had a 3-2 lead.

IMG_4542The Indians’ batters also struggled after their rally in the 3rd.� Columbus starter Paolo Espino, whose battery-mate was his cousin Damaso Espino, retired 13 Tribe batters in a row, beginning with a ground out by 1B Brian Myrow (photo) to end the 3rd.� He put the Tribe down in order in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, including 3 strikeouts, to finish up his night.� Paolo Espino gave up only 3 hits and 3 walks, while striking out a total of 7 batters as he earned the win.

Kevin Melillo bounced out to first base to begin the 8th, when reliever Jess Todd took the mound.� Aki Iwamura slipped a single through the right side of the infield, breaking the streak of outs.� Alex Presley grounded to second and beat out the throw to first base for the second time in the game, though Iwamura was out at second base.� But Presley was left on base when Brandon Moss flied out.� Reliever Vinnie Pestano, who earned his 13th save last night, picked up another save tonight when he retired the Indians in order in the 9th inning.

Chris Jakubauskas was done after 5 innings of work and 81 pitches (50 strikes).� He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.� Corey Hamman was first out of the bullpen, and he pitched 3 strong scoreless innings in relief.� He allowed only one hit, a double by Damaso Espino in the 7th.�� He did give up three walks, one in the 7th (Carrera) and back-to-back walks in the 8th (Goedert and Sutton), but left all of them on base.

Anthony Claggett came in to pitch the top of the 9th inning, and that was when the Clippers added two insurance runs.� Claggett began with a strikeout of Josh Rodriguez, then walked Jose Constanza.� Ezequiel Carrera flied out for the second out of the inning, and it looked like Claggett might get out of the inning unscathed.� But pinch-hitter/LF Matt McBride rocketed a double into the right-center field alley, and Constanza raced around from first base to score.� Wes Hodges followed with a single into left field, which zipped just past the diving Aki Iwamura, scoring McBride from second base.� A fly out ended the inning, but the Clippers increased their lead to 5-2.� The Indians could not respond, and the Clippers had the win.

Photos:

Kevin Melillo makes the catch in left field;��� Jason Jaramillo on deck.

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Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Brandon Moss’s double in the 3rd inning, which drove in the Indians’ only two runs of the game.� It was the Indians’ only extra-base hit in the game.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� Alex Presley’s huge running diving catch of Jose Constanza’s fly ball in the top of the 7th inning.� It saved a run from scoring, and at the time, it meant that the Clippers could not extend their lead.

NOTES:

The Pirates can call up some minor league players tomorrow (Sept 1st) when major league rosters are allowed to expand.� However, the Pirates have said that they do not plan to call up many –if any at all — before the Indians’ regular season ends next Monday (Sept 6th).� Some Indians who are already on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, and could easily be called up:� Pitchers Brad Lincoln, Joe Martinez, and Justin Thomas; both Indians’ catchers, Erik Kratz and Jason Jaramillo; infielders� Aki Iwamura and Pedro Ciriaco; outfielder John Bowker.� Outfielder Brandon Moss is leading the Indians in homers and RBI, and deserves a call-up, but he is not on the Pirates’ 40-man roster.� The Pirates would have to remove someone else from the 40-man roster if they want to bring up Moss.

The International League has announced its post-season All Star Team. None of the Indians made the team, which features a lot of Durham Bulls and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.� Three IL Western Division players made the team:� Toledo OF Jeff Frazier, Columbus OF Jose Constanza, and Louisville 2B Chris Valaika.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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