Ford came out in the bottom of the 1st and quickly made up for his throwing error. He took a 1-0 pitch on a liner back up the middle for his first AAA hit since 2009. SS Brian Friday (photo) followed with a hit-and-run play on a grounder through the hole that the Yankees’ shortstop had just vacated to try to cover second base. That let Ford race around second base and advance to third. CF Alex Presley drove in Ford from third base with the third hit of the game, bouncing a 2-1 pitch off the back of the mound and over second base for another single. Bowker made it four consecutive singles, already more hits than Warren had allowed the Indians last week, with a liner into left-center field, driving in Friday from second base. Presley advanced to third base when 3B Andy Marte bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, forcing out Bowker at second base. With 1B Matt Hague at the plate, Warren threw a wild pitch (matching Gallagher). C Gustavo Molina scrambled back to the backstop to find the ball, but his throw to Warren, who was covering the plate, was not in time and it sailed on past Warren and back to the mound, as Presley scored easily. The Indians took a 3-1 lead.
Warren allowed only a walk to DH Andrew Lambo in the 2nd inning. Yankees’ RF Dan Brewer stole a hit from Ford with a running catch of a long fly ball into right field to end the 2nd inning. Then, Brewer began the bottom of the 3rd by robbing Friday of a hit, on a diving catch of his long fly down the right field line. Warren walked Presley, then Bowker grounded sharply to deep behind second base. 2B Kevin Russo made the stop to keep the ball from going into the outfield, but his throw from the seated position, was not in time to throw out Bowker at first. That moved Presley to second base. Marte grounded to third, which resulted in a force out on Bowker going to second, leaving Tribe runners on the corners. Hague lined an RBI single into left field, and Presley crossed the plate for the second time in the game, giving the Indians a 4-1 lead.
Gallagher (photo) had little trouble with the Yankees for his middle three innings. He gave up a single to Brewer, but a perfect throw to second from new Tribe C Eric Fryer, just promoted from Altoona, had Brewer out at second by a few feet. Maxwell worked a walk in the 4th, but was left on base. But Gallagher got into trouble in the 5th inning. Russo led off with a double off the top of the scoreboard wall in left field, and Brewer followed with a liner into center field, moving Russo to third. Russo scored on Gallagher’s second wild pitch of the game, cutting the Tribe’s lead to 4-2. After a ground out, LF Austin Krum singled, driving in Brewer. A passed ball by Fryer let Krum move up to second base, and after Gallagher struck out Pena, Montero zapped a line drive into right field, to drive in Krum and tie the game at 4-4. A ground out to first ended the inning, and that was also the end of Gallagher’s night. He left with the score tied, and so was not going to figure into the decision. He had allowed 6 hits and 2 walks for 4 runs in his 5 innings. He threw 90 pitches, with 56 strikes.
Justin Thomas (photo) came on to pitch the 6th inning for the Indians, and the Yankees got to him, taking the lead in the 6th. Thomas struck out Maxwell to begin the inning, then gave up back-to-back singles to 3B Brandon Laird and Russo. Brewer flied out, but Molina also singled, on a liner into left field. The throw back in to the infield was cut off, and Laird scored easily to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.
The Tribe bats were mostly quiet for the 4th and 5th innings, other than a double ripped down the left field line by Friday. Friday was doubled off when Bowker lined out to third base. Hague and Lambo both singled in the 6th, but couldn’t come around to score. Then in the bottom of the 7th, Ford sparked another big Tribe rally. Ford lined a double down the right field line and into the corner. Friday bounced to third base, but the ball skipped off 3B Laird’s glove and up over his shoulder. SS Pena was backing him up and managed to catch the ricochet, and fired on to first, but his throw was not in time to catch Friday. 1B Vazquez hesitated a second too long, before throwing back to third base, in hopes of catching Ford, who was running from second, but that throw was also not in time. Then the Indians took advantage of a second Yankees’ error — with Ford on third base and Friday on first, Presley hit a high bouncer towards first base. 1B Vazquez charged in, made the catch, then fired to C Molina as Ford headed for the plate. Ford was caught in a run-down, with the ball going from Molina to Laird, and then back to Vazquez, who had moved over to cover the plate behind Molina. Vazquez reached out to tag Ford, as Ford made his last desperate attempt to reach the plate — and the ball popped out of Vazquez’s glove. That let Ford cross the plate with the tying run, and also created enough of a delay so that Friday had time to advance to third and Presley had time to go to second base.
The inning continued with a grounder up the middle by Bowker, for his third hit of the game. He drove in both Friday and Presley, and Bowker moved to second base on the throw in from center field, which was short and late. Bowker scored when Marte singled into left field. Hague bounced into a double play, erasing Marte. Then Fryer recorded his first AAA hit, with a ground-rule double that bounced on the track and over the right-center wall at the 405′ mark. A strikeout ended the inning, but the Indians had an 8-5 lead.
Ford picked up his third hit of the game with a single lined into right field in the bottom of the 8th, but he was left on base. RF Miles Durham (photo), who was also promoted today, went 0-for-4 at the plate, with 3 strikeouts.
Tony Watson pitched the 7th and 8th innings for the Indians. He struck out the side in the 7th inning, then struck out the first and last batters in the 8th. He gave up a double to Laird, and got Russo to line out. Watson was the pitcher of record when the Indians scored their 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th, so he was credited with his second win of the season.
Tim Wood earned his 11th Save of the season with a scoreless top of the 9th, including a strikeout.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: John Bowker’s 2-RBI single in the bottom of the 7th. He drove in Brian Friday and Alex Presley with his grounder up the middle, and those were the go-ahead run and an insurance run. Bowker also scored another insurance run moments later on Andy Marte’s RBI single.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the top of the 9th, with one out, Tim Wood got Austin Krum to smack a bouncer right back at the mound. Wood reached
out his glove — didn’t make the catch, but the ball was deflected when it hit the glove. It popped up into the air, heading for the area in front of second base behind the mound. SS Brian Friday charged in and made the bare-handed pick, then fired across his body to first base, just in time to make the out on Krum.
Honorable Mention: In his first AAA game, and on his first time having a runner try to steal against him, Eric Fryer (photo) made a perfect throw to Shelby Ford covering second base, to tag out Dan Brewer.
Photos: Eric Fryer at the plate; Chase d’Arnaud is on the DL and doesn’t look too happy
The Indians put catcher Jason Jaramillo onto the Disabled List today. He was hit by a foul ball last week, and is still not ready to be back in action. C Dusty Brown was called up to the Pirates today, so C Eric Fryer was promoted up from Altoona to give the Indians another catcher besides Wyatt Toregas.
With Josh Harrison also called up to Pittsburgh and Chase d’Arnaud on the Indians’ Disabled List, infielder Shelby Ford and outfielder/1B Miles Durham were brought up to Indianapolis.
(photos by Nancy)