The Indians left 3 more runners on base in each of the next two innings. In the 3rd, after a line out, Hague, RF Andrew Lambo, and Marte worked three consecutive walks, loading the bases again. Once again, the Tribe left all three standing on base, as Brown struck out and Harrison flied out to end the inning. The top of the 4th began with a strikeout, then two consecutive walks, to CF Gorkys Hernandez and d’Arnaud, and that was all for Columbus starter Corey Kluber. He was relieved by Jensen Lewis, who made it another three consecutive walks with a walk to Presley. But the Indians left all three runners stranded for the third time in the game, as Lewis got Hague to pop out and Lambo to fly out, escaping the jam.
Brian Burres (photo) was not so lucky in the bottom of the 4th. After a fly out, Burres walked Buck. Phelps took a sinking line drive into center field, and Hernandez tried to make a running sliding catch. He missed the catch, but with Presley’s back up, Phelps was held to a single, though Buck reached third base. Then Burres had a melt down — he gave up a 2-run triple into the right field corner to 1B Jordan Brown, a 2-run homer into the left field bleachers to C Paul Phillips, and a solo homer just a couple of feet over the right-center field wall to 2B Luis Valbuena. After a ground out, Burres walked DH Jason Donald and a single to Chisenhall. That was the end of Burres’ afternoon. He was relieved by Cesar Valdez, who finished the inning with a ground out. Burres had lasted 3.2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits, 3 of which were home runs. He walked 2 and struck out 3. He threw 72 pitches (44 strikes) in his third loss of the season.
Valdez retired the Clippers in order in the 5th, then gave up back-to-back lead-off singles to Phillips and Valbuena in the 6th. A sacrifice fly moved both runners to third, but Valdez got out of the inning with a strikeout and a ground out. Danny Moskos came on to pitch the 7th. He hit Buck with a pitch, then erased him with a 6-4-3 (d’Arnaud to Friday to Hague) double play. Justin Thomas pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 8th.
The Tribe had single base runners on in the 6th, on 2B Brian Friday’s single, and in the 7th, on Marte’s walk. Both were left on base. Friday should have been out on a fly ball to deep center field, when CF Ezequiel Carrera made a beautiful diving catch, but the ball popped out of his glove when Carrera hit the ground.
Harrison began an Indians’ rally when he led off the top of the 8th with a single up the middle. When the Columbus reliever Frank Herrmann tried to pick Harrison off first, he threw wild, and Harrison reached second on the error. Next, Herrmann threw a wild pitch, and Harrison scrambled over to third. Friday walked, giving the Tribe runners on the corners. Hernandez brought Harrison in with a sacrifice fly, then after a walk to Presley, Hague singled to deep second base. Hague raced down to first, and just beat out the throw, which allowed Friday to score. That brought the Indians within 2 runs of the Clippers, 6 – 4.
But the Indians went down in order in the top of the 9th, set down by reliever Josh Judy, and the Clippers had the win. That puts the season series between the two teams at 5 wins for Columbus and no wins for the Indians. They will play a double header on Monday, making up Saturday’s rain out, beginning at 5 pm.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Josh Harrison’s solo home run in the 2nd inning. It was a huge hit, which got up and into the wind.
Indians Defensive Gem of the Game: This was Harrison too (photo). He ended the bottom of the 1st with a charging pick-up and a throw across his body. In the 7th, Harrison fielded a grounder by LF Chad Huffman, with a similar play, though a bit easier throw.
Jose Ascanio is not ready to get back to action, but he is feeling better after being hit in the head by a line dri
ve on Thursday. He did not have a concussion, but a bruise, and a headache for a day or so.
(photos by Nancy)