The biggest trouble the Indians gave Willis was in the 6th inning. SS Chase d’Arnaud led off with a single into right field. LF Alex Presley grounded to short, forcing out d’Arnaud at second, but the speedy Presley beat out the throw to first base, avoiding the double play. Hague grounded to third, and again the Bats tried for a double play. Presley was out at second, but Hague also beat out the throw to first base. Harrison bounced to deep short, where Bats’ SS Kris Negron made a diving stop. He tried to throw from the ground to second base, but his throw went wide and into short right field, leaving Hague on second and Harrison on first. But Willis shut this rally down too, ending the inning with a ground out.
While Willis was busy dominating the Indians’ batters, Brad Lincoln (photo, with pitching coach Tom Filer and catcher Dusty Brown) was doing fairly well with the Bats’ batters. He allowed only two hits over the first three innings. RF Jeremy Hermida lined a single up the middle in the 2nd inning, and was left on base when Lincoln followed Willis’ lead and struck out the next two batters to end the inning. Willis singled on a slow roller along the third base line in the 3rd inning. He was doubled off first when CF Dave Sappelt lifted a looper into short right field — it looked like it was going to drop in, so Willis took off from first base, and he was surprised when Gorkys Hernandez raced in and made the catch. Hernandez also seemed surprised to look up and find Willis at second base. He made an off-balance throw to first, which was wide to the outfield side, but Matt Hague still had plenty of time to take a few steps back to the bag and get there before Willis could get back.
(Photo: Lincoln at the plate)
Lincoln retired the Bats in order in the 1st and the 5th. The only inning in which he had trouble was the 3rd, and that’s when the Bats scored all of their runs. The inning began with a solo homer by 2B Chris Valaika, who smacked the ball high in the air toward left field — where it got caught up in the gale that was blowing from right to left, and sailed over the fence. Lincoln struck out LF Yonder Alonso, then gave up three consecutive doubles, for 2 more runs. 3B Todd Frazier clubbed a 1-0 pitch over CF Corey Wimberly’s head and off the center field wall for the first double. Hermida drove a liner past Wimberly and into the right-center field alley for the second double and an RBI. 1B Danny Dorn finished the triplet with a fly ball down the left field line for another RBI double. A strikeout and a ground out ended the inning, but those 3 runs were all the Bats needed. Lincoln was charged with his second loss of the season. He gave up 6 hits but no walks, and he struck out 7 batters.
Danny Moskos relieved Lincoln to begin the 6th inning. Moskos pitched two innings and allowed 2 hits — a liner by Frazier in the 6th, and a slow rolling infield single by Negron in the 7th. Moskos promptly picked Negron off first.
Chris Leroux surrendered a lead-off double to Sappelt in the 8th, then struck out the next three batters he faced. Justin Thomas retired the Bats in order in the 9th inning.
(Photo: Andrew Lambo was coaching first base before he made a pinch-hit appearance in the 7th.
The Indians finished this homestand with a 1-8 record. Next they will set off on their longest road trip of the season (best to get the longest out of the way first): 3 games in Louisville, 4 games in Toledo, and 3 games in Columbus over the next 10 days.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: The Indians had just 5 hits, all singles, two of which were by Josh Harrison. The deepest and longest hit was Gorkys Hernandez’ liner into the right field corner in the 2nd inning — a clutch hit that allowed Dusty Brown to move from first to third.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Gorkys Hernandez and Matt Hague combining for a double play in the 3rd. Hernandez charged in to make a running catch of a ball that no one thought he could get to (or at least Dontrelle Willis didn’t think so), then Hague was able to make the catch of a wide throw to double Willis off first.
The forecast called for rain…. and it rained all afternoon, then stopped around dinner time. The skies were overcast and it was very windy during the game, but the rain held off…. until just a few minutes ago, when the thunder and lightning started.
LHP Joe Beimel officially joined the Pirates today. To make room for him on both the Pirates’ 40-man and 25-man rosters, the Pirates designated LHP Garrett Olson for assignment. Olson will have to be traded, released, or outrighted to the minors within 10 days if he clears waivers. Making it through waivers and being sent to Indy would be the option the Pirates like the best.
Catcher Jason Jaramillo has not yet reported to the Indy Indians, but he has 3 days after being notified to report. That gives him until Sunday.
(photos by Nancy)