(Photo: Dusty Brown)
The Tribe began the top of the 5th with an offensive explosion. Four straight singles — by Harrison, Hernandez, Presley, and Bowker loaded the bases, then drove in both Harrison and Hernandez on Bowker’s line drive into right field (2 RBI). That sent Duckworth to the showers. He was relieved by Tony Pena Jr, who got Hague to bounce into a double play, which allowed Presley to score, though Hague did not get an RBI. Pena ended the inning with a ground out, leaving two runners on base. The Indians had a 4-1 lead.
The PawSox came right back again in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back singles by 3B Brent Dlugach and RF Matt Sheely, plus Lin being hit by a pitch, loaded the bases with no outs. Owens got SS Jose Iglesias to ground out, which plated Dlugach. Another ground out by Luna brought in Sheely, to cut the Indians’ lead to 4-3.
For the remainder of the game, the Tribe clung tight to that one-run lead. The Indians put one runner on base in each of the next 4 innings: Brown walked in the 6th; Bowker singled in the 7th; 3B Andy Marte singled and stole second in the 8th; and Harrison led off the 9th with a single. A sacrifice bunt by Hernandez and a ground out by Presley let Harrison move up as far as third base in the 9th, but that was the closest any of those runners came to scoring.
Pawtucket was able to put only one runner on base over those last 4 innings. Owens retired the PawSox in order in the bottom of the 6th. Cesar Valdez did the same, including two strikeouts, in the 7th. Valdez also got the first two outs and walked 1B Lars Anderson in the 8th. Reliever Tony Watson finished the 8th with a pop out by the only batter he faced. Tim Wood wrapped things up with a fly out and two more strikeouts in the bottom of the 9th, earning his 9th Save of the season.
The Indians did not have an extra-base hit in the game, but Harrison, Hernandez, Bowker, and Hague each had 2 hits.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Two singles and two RBI for John Bowker (photo). His single in the 5th drove in both Josh Harrison and Gorkys Hernandez, and gave the Indians what would turn out to be the winning run.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Four scoreless innings, split between the four Indians pitchers, to hold on to a one-run lead. Over those 4 innings, only one Pawtucket batter reached base, on a walk.
Fog rolled in at McCoy Park during the game, and combined with a misty rain, visibility was low. The outfielders had trouble seeing balls hit into the air, and at times, the people in the stands couldn’t see the outfielders very well either. It never got so bad that the umpires halted play, though.
(photos by Nancy)