(Photo: Cesar Valdez)
The Indians put at least one base runner on in three of the first four innings, but were not able to score off Columbus starter Zach McAllister. SS Chase d’Arnaud reached base when Clippers’ 3B Chisenhall and (former Indy Indian) C Luke Carlin could not see a high pop up on the left side of the infield and let it drop between them. Hague led off the 2nd inning with a single that skipped off the mound and into center field. Ciriaco beat out the throw on an infield single to the right of second base for his first hit of the season to begin the bottom of the 3rd, but he was forced out at second in a double play. The Indians had two runners on base when d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch (right shoulder) and LF Alex Presley tipped a liner off 2B Phelps’ glove and into right field, but again both were left on base.
After the Clippers scored their 4 runs in the top of the 5th, though, the Indians got some revenge off McAllister. With one out, Ciriaco picked up his second hit of the season with a line drive into right field. CF Gorkys Hernandez fouled off a pile of pitches in an 11-pitch at-bat, but ultimately swung and missed for a strikeout. While Hernandez was busy fouling off balls, Ciriaco was busy stealing both second and third bases. D’Arnaud was hit by a pitch for the second time (probably just the front of his shirt though) to put runners on the corners. Then Presley came through with a double into the left field corner on the first pitch he saw, driving in both Ciriaco and d’Arnaud. DH Andy Marte followed with a booming home run — the second ball into the batters’ eye ground cover in the afternoon. That brought in Presley as well, and the Indians were back within one run, 5-4.
The one-run margin was increased quickly. Valdez came back out to begin the top of the 6th, and he began with two walks and a ground out, going deep into the count on both walks. He was replaced by reliever Justin Thomas (photo), who unfortunately began his outing by giving up a line drive single to Carlin to load the bases. Bell singled for his third hit of the game, driving in the lead runner, and a wild pitch brought in another run. Carrera lifted a fly ball to short left field, and it looked like the ball would drop in, bringing in at least one more run and extending the inning. But LF Alex Presley had other ideas — he sprinted in and made a last-ditch diving catch for the out. He popped up quickly and fired in to the infield, since the Clippers’ runners never dreamed the ball would be caught. He nearly caught Bell off second base, but the throw was a little high, and Bel slipped back in safely. No matter, as Thomas needed only one more pitch to get Phelps to fly out, ending the inning. Clippers up, 7-4.
Thomas also pitched the 7th inning. He walked one and gave up an infield single when he fielded a dribbler along the first base line, but his swipe tag completely missed SS Luis Valbuena. Thomas tried to sell it, but the umpires at home and first had a good look and ruled it a missed swipe and a hit. Again, it didn’t matter, as Thomas got LF Jared Head to end the inning with a pop out.
Danny Moskos (photo) pitched the final two innings for the Indians. He zipped through on 28 pitches, allowing only a single to Bell (his fourth hit of the game, going 4-for-4), with one strikeout.
After the Indians’ 4-run inning, they were back to just one hit per inning in the 6th (double off the center field wall by Dusty Brown) and 7th (single up the middle by Alex Presley). Former Indy Indian Joe Martinez pitched those two innings, keeping his former teammates scoreless. Zach Putnam retired the Indians in order in the 8th, but Dusty Brown led off the bottom of the 9th with a solo home run over the Jackie Robinson “42” sign in left center field. Chase d’Arnaud lined a single into center field with two outs. But again, the Indians finished the game with a runner on base, though down 2 runs instead of just 1, as the game ended on a line out by Presley.
The Indians will not be sorry to see the Clippers leave town. They will next play a 2-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Two big home runs, by Andy Marte and Dusty Brown, both of whom have been slow getting started at the plate in this series.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Alex Presley’s diving catch of Carrera’s short fly ball in the 6th inning. He kept more runs from scoring and kept the inning from extending.
Manager Dean Treanor congratulates both Andy Marte and Dusty Brown
Chase d’Arnaud leads off third base…………. meeting on the mound with the infield (Brown, Treanor, Harrison, d’Arnaud, Thomas, and Hague)
Hague makes a play on a grounder to first…………. the infield (Harrison, Hague, d’Arnaud, and Ciriaco)
After the first series, several players are hitting well:
Alex Presley is 8-for-16 (.500) with a home run and 4 RBI
Matt Hague is 7-for-16 (.438) with one RBI
Chase d’Arnaud is6-for-14 (.429) with 3 RBI
Corey Wimberly is 2-for-5 (.400) with an RBI
Dusty Brown is 3-for-10 with a homer and 2 RBI
Justin Thomas, Danny Moskos, and Dan Meyer are all yet to allow a run to score.
Justin Wilson leads the pitchers with 6 strikeouts.
(photos by Nancy)