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(photo — Alex Presley)

After scoring in the 1st inning, the Tribe had at least one runner on base in each of the next three innings.� Brian Friday singled to lead off the 2nd.� He moved to second base on Chris Jakubauskas’ sacrifice bunt, and then on to third on Pedro Ciriaco’s single, but got no further.� Brandon Moss walked to begin the 3rd, but three fly outs left him standing on first base.� Friday walked to begin the 4th and once again, Jakubauskas bunted him to second base.� Friday tried a delayed steal of third base, but he was easily thrown out by Bats’ C Devin Mesoraco.� Kevin Melillo drove a grounder into left field, but instead of holding at first base, he rounded first and headed for second base, where he was thrown out by 10 feet.

With the score tied at 2-2 going into the top of the 6th, Bats’ reliever Jerry Gil took the mound.� Mitch Jones greeted Gil by blasting Gil’s first pitch over the left field wall for a solo home run.� It was Jones’ first home run since he joined the Indians.� Doug Bernier kept things going with a double and Brian Friday walked, but Gil struck out Chris Jakubauskas and ended the inning with a pop out.� Indians up, 3-2.

That lead did not last long.� LF Todd Frazier ignited a rally in the bottom of the frame with a double off the top of the left field wall.� Devin Mesoraco grounded to short, but SS Pedro Ciriaco’s throw to first base was high and it pulled Mitch Jones off the bag.� That left runners on the corners with no outs.� RF Luis Terrero lined a single into right field, scoring Frazier from third base to tie the score at 3-3.� That was all for Chris Jakubauskas, who had needed 68 pitches (47 strikes) to get through 5+ innings.� He was responsible for all 3 Bats’ runs, on 7 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.

Brian Bass relieved Jakubauskas with runners on first and second bases and no outs.� He got out of the jam by striking out Eric Eymann, then getting Kris Negron to bounce back to the mound, where Bass began a 1-4-3 (Bass to Brian Friday to Mitch Jones) double play.

IMG_4651Bats’ Daniel Ray Herrera, who has been a nemesis to the Indians all season, came on to pitch in the top of the 7th, with the score tied.� After the game, Brandon Moss (photo) said that he has faced Herrera about 25 times this season, and before today, he had only one hit off Herrera.� But today was different.� With one out, Alex Presley lined a single into right field.� Then Moss stepped to the plate and rocketed a line drive into the right field corner.� Presley raced around the bases, and later told Moss that he intended to score for him.� “He told me that even if Frank (Kremblas, the Indians’ manager) tried to stop him, he was going to keep going,” laughed Moss after the game.� Presley did come around third and reached home at the same time as the ball did, but the ball was high, and Presley slid under C Mesoraco to score the go-ahead run.� Moss advanced to third base on the throw, and moments later, he scored when Mitch Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.� Indians up, 5-3.

All that remained was for the Indians to hold off the Bats and not let them catch up again.� Brian Bass retired the Bats in order in the bottom of the 7th, including 2 strikeouts.� Justin Thomas pitched the 8th.� He worked around a fielding error by Pedro Ciriaco that let Frazier reach base.� He got Devin Mesoraco to bounce into a grounder force out.� Luis Terrero tapped a ball on the ground along the first base line, and then ran into the ball in fair territory as he was taking his first few steps to first base.� It was ruled batter interference, as he was keeping Erik Kratz from getting to the ball.

The Indians also were retired in order in both the 8th and the 9th innings.� Jean Machi came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th, which began with a single when Eric Eymann skipped the first pitch he saw on a high bouncer off the tip of Pedro Ciriaco’s glove and into left-center field.� Machi also threw one pitch to RF Sean Henry, who bounced back to the mound.� Machi made the scoop and fired to Ciriaco covering second, who turned the 1-6-3 double play.� The game ended with three pitches, all strikes, to Michael Griffin, for the game-ending strikeout.� Machi earned his 23rd save of the season, and Brian Bass was credited with his 4th win.

IMG_4667The Indians got to be the spoilers again.� Louisville’s loss, combined with Columbus’ 9-1 loss to Toledo, means that the Bats have to win Monday’s game AND the Clippers need to lose their game in order for the Bats to win the International League Western Division title.� Louisville has secured a playoff spot, with both Syracuse and Buffalo eliminated from the Wild Card race.

Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game:� Mitch Jones’ home run in the 6th, and Brandon Moss’s RBI double in the 7th inning, both of which gave the Indians the go-ahead runs at the time.� Jones’ homer was his first since joining the Indians, but his 19th of the season.

Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game:� Two double plays by the infield.� The one in the 6th inning (Brian Bass to Brian Friday to Mitch Jones) halted the Bats’ scoring in that inning, preventing them from taking the lead.� The second double play, in the bottom of the 9th (Machi to Ciriaco to Jones), cut off the Bats’ last chance rally before it could get started.� (photo –Brian Friday)

Frank Kremblas and Brandon Moss;� in the dugout

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NOTES:

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Pitcher Joe Martinez (photo) was called up to the Pirates this morning.� He got right into today’s game against the Nationals, pitching 3 innings.� Martinez entered the game in relief of Daniel McCutchen to begin the 5th.� He gave up a two-out single to Adam Kennedy in that inning, but C Chris Snyder threw out Kennedy trying to steal second.� He surrendered two unearned runs in the 6th.� With two outs, Nyjer Morgan walked, and Ian Desmond reached on a fielding error.� Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn both singled, and both drove in a run.� Then Martinez retired the side in order in the 7th.

When did an Indianapolis Indian last have as many as 96 RBI?� Back in 1999, DT Cromer had 107 RBI for the Tribe.� In 1988, Roberto Petagine led the Indians in three categories:� .331 average, 24 homers, and 109 RBI.� In 1978, Champ Summers led both the Indians and the league (it was the American Association back then) with 124 RBI.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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