Gallagher pitched two more innings. He gave up a single to RF Bubba Bell in the 4th, and a second walk to Pascucci in the 5th. The biggest mistake he made in those last two innings was a solo home run to Fisher to lead off the top of the 5th. The ball sailed up and out over right center field, just barely over the fence to the left of the 362′ sign. Gallagher gave up a total of 8 hits and 2 walks for 4 runs in his 5 innings, with 2 strikeouts. He threw a total of 86 pitches with 57 strikes. He was charged with the loss, his 6th of the season, for a 1-6 record.
Dan Meyer took over for Gallagher to begin the top of the 6th. Meyer gave up a 2-out double to opposing pitcher Brian Sweeney (Sweeney’s first hit of the season), but a grounder to 3B Josh Harrison turned into a fielder’s choice, and Sweeney was tagged out on the base path in a brief run-down (Harrison to d’Arnaud to Ciriaco).
Meyer began the top of the 7th with a fly out and a walk to Nieuwenhuis. Then he suddenly stopped, with C Brown going out to talk to him. After a minute, Brown headed back to the plate, but returned to the mound when Meyer signaled to the dugout. Pitching coach Tom Filer and trainer Brian Housand joined them on the mound, and after a short conference, Meyer returned to the dugout and headed back into the clubhouse with Housand. Chris Leroux (photo) came on in relief, able to take as much time as he needed to get ready (though he’d already been warming up in the bullpen). Leroux began with a wild pitch, which allowed Nieuwenhuis to move to second base. Pascucci grounded up the middle, and due to what appeared to be communication problems between 2B d’Arnaud and SS Ciriaco, who were both heading for the ball, both of the fielders pulled up, and the ball dribbled through to the outfield for a single. Nieuwenhuis took advantage of the confusion to round third and head for the plate, scoring easily. Chavez zipped another double down the third base line, past the diving Harrison, which advanced Chavez to third base. Leroux intentionally walked Bell to load the bases, then struck out 3B Jonathan Malo to finish the frame. The Bison had a 5-0 lead.
Sweeney dominated the Tribe batters, scattering just 4 hits over his 7 innings of work. He did not allow a walk, and he struck out 4 Tribe batters. Harrison lined a single into left-center field in the 2nd inning. Ciriaco dropped a perfect bunt along the third base line, no more than 12 feet from the plate for a hit to lead off the 4th. Both were left on base. The only time the Indians put two runners on base in one inning was in the 5th, when with one out, Brown lined a single into center field. CF Gorkys Hernandez (photo) grounded to third, where 3B Malo made a diving stop, hopped to his feet, then fired to second base, forcing out Brown. The relay throw from second to first was not in time to catch Hernandez racing down the base path, though. Hernandez was left on base when pinch-hitter Andy Marte struck out.
John Bowker gave the Indians their only run in the bottom of the 7th. He led off the inning with a booming homer over the 362′ sign in right field, to the right of where Fisher’s homer had left the park. Sweeney retired the next three Indians in a row to finish his afternoon’s work.
Sweeney was relieved by Dale Thayer for the 8th inning. Thayer gave up the fifth Indians’ hit of the game, a liner into right field by Hernandez. Justin Hampson pitched the 9th for the Bison, and retired the side in order.
Tony Watson pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the Indians. He gave up Fisher’s fourth hit of the game (4-for-5), but left him on base. Blaine Boyer came in to pitch the 9th. He had his best appearance so far for the Tribe (6 previous appearances). Boyer walked Pascucci (for the third time in the game), then retired the next three batters he faced. It was Boyer’s first hitless outing, and only the second in which he did not allow a run. On May 9th, Boyer pitched to just two batters, with a hit and a strikeout.
The Indians have one more game against the Bison, on Friday night.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: John Bowker’s (photo) solo home run in the 7th, for the Indians’ only run of the game.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: The Indians’ calm-under-pressure in the 3rd inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Gallagher got Jesus Feliciano to bounce to 2B Chase d’Arnaud. D’Arnaud made the scoop and sent a lateral toss to Pedro Ciriaco, who relayed to first in time for the double play.
This was the first time John Bowker played first base in his 2 weeks or so with the Indians. He’s been in the outfield in his previous games. He did move back to the outfield in the 8th inning, on a double-switch that took RF Andrew Lambo out of the game and brought Matt Hague in to play first base.
The Indians will conclude this homestand on Friday. Friday’s game will be Breast Cancer Awareness night. The players will be wearing pink-pin-striped jerseys. They might be wearing some of those pink shoes and other gear they wore on Mother’s Day.
(photos by Nancy)