Indians 3, Mud Hens 1 (Game 2)
The Indians came back to earn a split in the night-cap, which was also a 7-inning game. Jose Ascanio was scheduled to pitch one inning in his first rehab start of the season. He gave up a triple off the center field wall on the first pitch to CF Andy Dirks. Then with a 1-0 count, 2B Scott Sizemore ripped Ascanio’s third pitch on a line drive right back at Ascanio. The ball hit Ascanio in the head — around or behind his right ear, as best as I could tell. Ascanio went to his knees, then tried to get up but was too shaky, and he went back to his hands and knees. No blood was visible, and Ascanio was able to talk to the coaching and medical staff, then walked off under his own power. By the end of the game, there was no further word on his condition.
Tony Watson (photo) replaced Ascanio — he’d been scheduled to pitch in the game anyway, after Ascanio’s inning. Watson took over with no outs and runners on the corners, as Dirks had been so surprised by the ball hitting Ascanio that he froze at third base. LF Timo Perez slipped a single through the right side of the infield and into right field, scoring Dirks from third, then Watson finished the inning with three quick outs, leaving the two runners on base.
The Tribe answered with one run in the top of the 2nd. 1B Matt Hague led off with a single through the hole into left field. RF Andrew Lambo grounded to short, forcing Hague out at second base, but there was no play on Lambo at first. Lambo stole second base, then scored on C Dusty Brown’s line drive into right field, tying the score at 1-1.
Watson continued pitching, going 3 innings, and retiring all the batters he faced after that first hit. He struck out 2 batters, and threw 41 pitches (25 strikes). Chris Leroux entered the game to pitch the 4th inning for the Tribe. He gave up a lead-off walk, then retired the next three batters.
The Indians took the lead in the 5th inning. DH Andy Marte began the rally with a single lined into left field. Brown smacked a fly ball to center field, missing a home run by about 2 feet. Instead of sailing out of the park, the ball bounced off the top of the outfield fence for a double, which moved Marte to third. LF Corey Wimberly singled through the right side of the infield, plating Marte, and sending Brown to third.
Brown tried to score on a grounder to first off the bat of 2B Chase d’Arnaud, but Toledo 1B Ryan Strieby fired the ball to C John Murrian, who blocked the plate and did not move when Brown ran into him, for the second out of the inning. Wimberly moved to second base on the play, then stole third, so he was easily able to score on SS Pedro Ciriaco’s (photo) liner into center field. That gave the Indians a 3-1 lead.
With Leroux back on the mound in the bottom of the 5th, the Mud Hens threatened again. Leroux walked the first two batters of the inning on 9 pitches. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, but Leroux retired the next two batters, leaving the runners on base. He also retired the side in order in the 6th.
The Indians put two runners on base in the 7th. 3B Brian Friday lined a single into center field, then stole second, and Wimberly walked. But two grounder force outs ended that threat. Tim Wood took over for Leroux to pitch the bottom of the 7th, and he also put the Mud Hens down in order, earning his second Save of the season. Leroux was credited with his second win of the season.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Singles by Corey Wimberly and Pedro Ciriaco in the 5th inning, to drive in the Indians’ go-ahead and insurance runs.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the bottom of the 7th, SS Cale Iorg started the inning with a smashing grounder toward second base. 2B Chase d’Arnaud made a stop deep, and made the throw to 1B Matt Hague just in time to catch Iorg out at first.
Pitcher Dan Meyer was placed on the Disabled List. That opened up a roster spot for Blaine Boyer, who has joined the Indians.
Pitcher Garrett Olson, who was DFA’ed by the Pirates a few days ago, has been outrighted to the Indians. He is temporarily listed as “reserve” on the roster.
(photos by Nancy)