The Indians took another step closer to the Bats in the 2nd inning, when Dusty Brown (photo) led off with a blast over the left field wall for a solo home run. But within 2 runs was the closest the Indians would ever get.
Sean Gallagher pitched four more innings, working around base runners in each. He gave up a double down the left field line to SS Zack Cozart and walked LF Yonder Alonso in the 2nd. Danny Dorn singled in the 3r and RF Jeremy Hermida singled in the 5th. Gallagher walked opposing pitcher Matt Klinker to begin the 4th, but that was just to give his infielders a chance to show off their double play skills — Sappelt bounced to a charging 2B Ciriaco, who flipped the ball behind him to SS d’Arnaud covering second, and d’Arnaud relayed on to 1B Marte for the 4-6-3 double play.
Bats’ starter Klinker also had to work around Indians on the bases. He gave up back-to-back singles to Marte and Lambo in the 3rd, and Wimberly dropped a looping single into short right field in the 4th. All were left stranded. Presley singled again in the 5th, but was forced out at second base on a grounder to short by Hague. The relay throw from 2B Chris Valaika to first base was wide and got past 1B Dorn, and Hague thought he had a chance to advance to second base. But when the ball sailed past Dorn, it bounced on either the facing of the dugout or the front of the tarp and rebounded very close to first base. It was easy for C Mesoraco, who was backing up the play at first, to snatch up the ball and throw out Hague as he slid into second base.
(Photo: Corey Wimberly slides but is forced out at second base)
After 5 innings, Klinker was relieved by Kyle McCulloch, who also put Tribe batters on base, then left them there. Brown singled again in the 6th, when 1B Dorn and 2B Valaika had some miscommunication about which of them was going to chase after Brown’s grounder toward the hole. Hague chopped a single into right field in the 7th, and Lambo drove a double to the center field wall in the 8th. Lambo might have been able to stretch it to a triple, but he held up at second base — not entirely sure why, and it didn’t seem like manager Dean Treanor was motioning to him to hold up from the coaching box. Reliever Jerry Gil finished the 8th for the Bats by striking out pinch hittter Brian Friday.
(Photo: Matt Hague at third base)
Justin Thomas came on to relieve Gallagher to begin the 6th. Thomas walked Valaika then gave up a 2-run homer to Sappelt to increase the Bats’ lead to 7-3. Thomas retired the side in order in the 7th, and Danny Moskos did the same in the 8th. Chris Leroux came in to pitch the 9th. He gave up a line drive single to Sappelt (his third hit of the game). Two fly outs followed, and it looked like Leroux was going to get out of the inning unscathed — but Frazier singled, and Hermida walked to load the bases. Mesoraco, coming to the plate with the bases loaded for the second time in the game, cleared them with a double down the left field line and into the corner, driving in 3 runs for a 10-3 lead.
The Indians rallied for one more run in the bottom of the 9th. Wimberly grounded sharply into right center field off Gil to begin the 9th, and he moved to second base on a wild pitch. Gil had thrown a wild pitch in Friday’s at-bat in the 8th, though that one turned out to not make a difference. After he walked d’Arnaud in the 9th, Gil threw his third wild pitch, which advanced both Wimberly and d’Arnaud into scoring position. Hague’s sacrifice fly allowed Wimberly to score the Indians’ final run, though by then it was far too late.
Gallagher was charged with the loss, his second of the season.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Two hitters who had been off to a slow start made some strides at the plate. Andy Marte (photo) had been 2-for-18 at the beginning of the game, and he had 2 hits. Andrew Lambo had been 1-for-20, and he knocked three hits. Time to turn things around. (Now we have to get Ciriaco going.)
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the top of the 9th, with one out and one on, Yonder Alonso hammered a long long fly ball to straight away center field. Corey Wimberly raced back towards the wall, hoping that the ball was going to stay in the park. It did, but not by much. Wimberly made the catch still moving toward the wall, looking back over his left shoulder — and as soon as he had the ball in his glove, he slammed face-first into the outfield wall. He was ok, and he didn’t drop the ball either. He got a big ovation from the crowd.
Sean Gallagher (photo) got two plate appearances in the game. He grounded out to third in the 2nd inning and grounded to first in the 4th.
Alex Presley has at least one hit in each of the seven Indians’ games.
Matt Hague played third base for the first time this season. He played one game at third for Altoona in 2010, and one game there for Lynchburg in 2009.
Andy Marte played first base for the first time this season — he’s been the DH in the other games he’s appeared in.
The Pirates have reactivated C Chris Snyder from the DL (he’d been with Bradenton) and he’ll be joining the team for tomorrow’s game. Jason Jaramillo will be optioned to Indianapolis to make space on the active roster.
(Photos by Nancy)