Lincoln (photo) came back out to begin the bottom of the 6th, but the first batter he faced, Thomas, lifted a solo homer over the right-center field wall, and the next batter, DH Nate Spears, walked. Blaine Boyer came on to relieve Lincoln, but after he struck out Dlugach, Boyer gave up a 2-run homer to Bermudez, to push the PawSox lead to 8-1. Lincoln was responsible for 7 of those runs (6 earned), on 9 hits, one walk, and one hit batter, plus 5 strikeouts. Lincoln threw 87 pitches in his 5 innings (54 strikes) in his 5th loss of the season. Boyer ended the inning with a pop out and another strikeout.
Dan Meyer pitched a scoreless 7th inning. He hit Luna with a pitch and gave up a single to 1B Lars Anderson , but retired the next three batters, leaving the two runners stranded. Justin Thomas pitched the bottom of the 8th, and he surrendered Pawtucket’s final run of the game, on a solo homer by Dlugach.
Meanwhile, the Indians were being dominated by Pawtucket ace Andrew Miller, who replaced Jenks after the first inning. Miller retired the Indians in order in the 2nd inning. With one out in the 3rd, Hernandez singled and SS Brian Friday walked, but Presley bounced into an inning-ending double play, and the rally was cut short before it could really get going. Miller allowed just one Indian base runner over the next five innings — a walk by Friday in the 6th inning.
To the Indians’ relief, Miller left the game after the 8th inning, replaced by Hideki Okajima. Friday greeted Okajima with a double into left field, then Presley singled, moving Friday to third base. Marte lined a single into left field, bringing Friday across the plate for the second Indians’ run. That was all the Tribe could get, and it was far too little, too late. The next three batters went down in order, and the PawSox had avoided the sweep of the series.
The Indians return to Indianapolis tomorrow, and they will begin an 8-game home stand with an unusual (for the Indians) game on Memorial Day. They have a 4-game series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, then a 4-game series against the Syracuse Chiefs.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Andy Marte’s two RBI singles, which drove in the only Indians’ runs of the game. The Indians had only 5 hits in the game, and three of those came in the 9th inning. Marte and Gorkys Hernandez were the only batters to have a hit in the first 8 innings of the game. Marte’s batting average stands at .202, but he has been hot over the past 9 games, when he’s gone 12-for-33 (.364).
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the bottom of the 4th, Pawtucket had one run in and Ronald Bermudez on first base with two outs. Bermudez took off for second base, but Tribe C Wyatt Toregas(photo) made a great throw to second, where SS Brian Friday made the tag to catch Bermudez, and put an abrupt halt to the Pawtucket rally. The way the PawSox were going, that may have saved at least one run.
Two injuries for the Pirates today, which will likely have ripples down to the Indians:
Inf/Of Steve Pearce had to leave the game with more calf problems. He will be placed on the Disabled List. Pearce was getting more playing time because 3B Pedro Alvarez is already on the DL. Alvarez is not yet eligible to come off the DL, so the Pirates may need to bring up someone else. They have already hinted that they will not be calling up an outfielder, but Andy Marte’s hot streak may have come at the right time.
Pirates’ C Ryan Doumit was involved in a collision at the plate in today’s game. Doumit was able to get up and limp to the mound, but was eventually taken out of the game. He walked off the field under his own power, but got some help to get down the dugout steps. He was later seen wearing a walking boot and using crutches, with the diagnosis of sprained left ankle, and will most likely end up on the DL too. With Tribe C Jason Jaramillo still not playing (but not on the DL) after being hit by a foul ball last week, it might be Dusty Brown who gets the call up. Brown would have to be added to the Pirates’ 40-man roster first.
(photos by Nancy)