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(Photos: Corey Wimberly steals second base)

IMG_5473The Tribe missed a scoring opportunity in the 4th inning.  1B Matt Hague led off with a single lined into right-center field.  RF Andrew Lambo moved Hague to second base with a swinging bunt on a hit-and-run play.  C Jason Jaramillo worked the count full, fouled off a few more pitches, then took a walk.  3B Andy Marte lifted a fly ball into short center field, where CF Desmond Jennings suddenly pulled up and let the ball drop in right in front of him.  Then he snatched the ball on the first bounce and fired to third base.  Hague had been forced to hold up near second base, thinking that the fly would be caught.  When the ball dropped in, Hague raced for third, but Jennings’ throw beat him easily for the force out, and Marte was robbed of a single.  A “real” fly out ended the inning with Jaramillo and Marte still on base.  

Brad Lincoln (photo, with C Jason Jaramillo) retired the Bulls in order in the 4th.  He gave up a grounder up the middle to Chirinos to begin the 5th, then thought he had the runner erased with a double play.  Olmedo dropped down a bunt, which Jaramillo pounced on, and fired to second base to force out Chirinos.  Olmedo was too fast going down to first, though, and he beat out SS Chase d’Arnaud’s relay throw to first.  D’Arnaud took care of the problem on the next play.  Jennings bounced right to d’Arnaud, who took a few steps to touch the second base sack, then fired on to first base to get the double play. 

IMG_5475Gorkys Hernandez started another rally in the 5th.  He grounded toward third, where 3B Russ Canzler had the ball tip deflect off his glove, past SS Olmedo, and into short left field.  Hernandez took advantage of the second that the Bulls needed to regroup, and raced around to second base, sliding in just ahead of the throw from CF Jennings.  Then, with Canzler playing in at third (anticipating a bunt from Wimberly), Hernandez took off from second and slid into third while C Chirinos had to wait for Canzler to get back to third base.  Moments later, d’Arnaud popped a line drive over the leaping 2B JJ Furmaniak, and Hernandez easily scored.  After a fly out, Hague grounded up the middle, and with d’Arnaud off and running with the pitch, he scored another insurance run.  The Tribe led 5-2.  

Jaramillo and Friday both singled in the bottom of the 6th, but a double play eliminated Jaramillo and Friday was left on base.  

Lincoln began the top of the 6th inning by giving up a single along the right field line to Ruggiano, and a single on a bunt by LF Brandon Guyer, when 3B Marte couldn’t find the handle on the ball.  Lincoln had thrown 91 pitches at that point (61 strikes), and he was relieved by Justin Thomas (photo).  Thomas got Carter to ground to second, where Friday tossed to d’Arnaud for the force out at second, sending Ruggiano to third base.  Then Canzler grounded to short, where d’Arnaud started the inning-ending double play.  Tim Wood came on to pitch the top of the 7th, retiring the side in order to earn his 4th Save.  Lincoln earned his first win of the season.  

Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game:  Alex Presley’s two hits — a solo home run in the 1st inning to get the Tribe pumped up and going, and the RBI single in the 3rd, to drive in what would become the winning run.  

Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game:  Two double plays, both started by SS Chase d’Arnaud.  He began the DP in the 5th, to remove Ray Olmedo.  That one included taking the ball to second base himself for the first out.  In the 6th, d’Arnaud ended the inning with a double play, which prevented a base runner from scoring from third base.

Photos:  Brian Friday and Matt Hague;    Alex Presley is greeted after his home run

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Jason Jaramillo and Pedro Ciriaco;    team meeting on the mound

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Bulls  8,  Indians  5   (Game 2)
(box)

IMG_5480The sun came out for Game 2, but the game was not as happy for the Indians.  The Tribe again scored first, with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.  DH Corey Wimberly started with a 4-pitch walk, and after a strikeout, LF Alex Presley also walked.  1B Matt Hague doubled just barely inside the right field line and down to the corner, driving in both Wimberly and Presley.  

The Bulls came right back once again, tying the score in the top of the 2nd.   Starter Rudy Owens (photo) retired the first three batters he faced, but Bulls’ DH Chris Carter began the 2nd inning by depositing Owens’ first pitch just over the wall in right field for a solo homer.  3B Russ Canzler ricocheted a ball off the top of the wall in deep left-center field for a double, and moments later 1B Leslie Anderson brought Canzler in with a single into right field.  Former Indy Indian JJ Furmaniak ended the inning when he grounded into a double play.

The Bulls attacked Owens again in the 3rd inning.  With one out, CF Jennings walked, and LF Ruggiano singled through to left field, moving Jennings to third base.  RF Brandon Guyer hit the second home run of the game — a 3-run homer over the left field wall, to give the Bulls a 5-2 lead.

IMG_5488That’s when the weird part started.  Owens hit the next batter, Carter, on the arm with a pitch, and home plate umpire Toby Basner immediatley leapt out from behind the plate, pointed to Owens, and ejected him from the game.  Everyone, including the Bulls, seemed stunned.  Owens (far left in the photo) argued, but was hustled toward the dugout by one of the other umpires.  Manager Dean Treanor (second from the right in the front) argued so loudly with Basner that he could be heard clearly in
the upper part of the lower seating bowl.  It didn’t work, and Owens was out.  

Tony Watson came on to pitch, getting all the time he needed to warm up.  Watson finished the 3rd with a double play (2 pitches), then retired the side in the 4th.  Owens had lasted only 2.1 innings, allowed 5 runs on 5 hits and a walk, with no strikeouts.  He threw only 40 pitches (21 strikes).

IMG_5506Jose Ascanio (photo) took the mound to begin the 5th inning.  2B Omar Luna led off with a double down the third base line, moved to third base on a groundout, and scored on Ruggiano’s looping hit into the no-man’s-land in short right behind first base, where neither RF Andrew Lambo, 2B Brian Friday, nor 1B Matt Hague could get to it.  Ascanio gave up another single in the 6th, but that runner was erased by another double play.  The ball zipped back toward the mound, glanced off Ascanio’s glove, then on toward second base, where Friday made a diving stop almost behind the bag.  Friday flipped the ball to d’Arnaud at short, who relayed on to Hague at first base, just in time for the double play.

The weird ejection of Owens in the 3rd led to another ejection in the bottom of the 4th.  Durham starter Jeremy Hall was relieved by Dane De La Rosa, who began the inning by hitting Andrew Lambo with the first pitch he threw.  Well, if Owens was going to be thrown out without a warning, then De La Rosa was also going to have to live by the same rules.  Umpire Basner again jumped out from behind the plate and ejected De La Rosa.  He also pointed into the Bulls’ dugout, and may have ejected the Bulls’ manager Charlie Montoyo as well, but I’m not sure.  De La Rosa was replaced by Jake McGee, and the inning continued.  Lambo advanced to second base when Friday walked, but the inning ended without a run scoring.  

IMG_5514McGee came back out to pitch the 5th, and Wimberly greeted him with a single into left field.  D’Arnaud followed with a single lined into right field, moving Wimberly to third.  D’Arnaud stole second, and with two runners in scoring position, hot hitter Presley grounded to third, where Canzler made a diving stop but was unable to hop up fast enough to make a throw.  That scored Wimberly and put d’Arnaud on third base.  Hague’s sacrifice fly drove in Presley, and the Indians were a little closer:  6-4.  

Blaine Boyer (photo), who returned to the Indians when Danny Moskos was promoted, made his second appearance for the Indians, coming on to pitch the top of the 7th.  Boyer walked Furmaniak, but C Wyatt Toregas rescued Boyer by throwing out Furmaniak as he tried to steal second base.  A grounder to short gave Boyer the second out.  Then Boyer gave up a line drive single into center to Jennings and walked Ruggiano.  On the first pitch to the next batter, Guyer, Jennings and Ruggiano pulled off a double steal, and both were in scoring position.  Guyer also lined a single into center field, plating both runners, to give the Bulls even more insurance, with a 8-4 lead.  

The Indians rallied again in the bottom of the 7th.  With one out, d’Arnaud grounded to short, where Furmaniak couldn’t handle the bouncer, and d’Arnaud was safe on the error.  Presley bounced a grounder off the reliever Mike Ekstrom’s glove and with the change in direction caused by the deflection, the ball skipped past 2B Luna and into right field for a hit.  Hague followed with a grounder force out at second base, and Presley scored.  But with Hague still on first base, Lambo struck out to end the rally and the game.  

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:  Matt Hague’s 2-run double in the 1st inning, which started the scoring and gave the Tribe the lead, at least for a short time.  Hague also drove in a run in the 5th with a sacrifice fly.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:  The double play in the 6th, when Friday made a diving stop of a ball that had been deflected off Jose Ascanio’s glove, then made a quick flip to Chase d’Arnaud for the out at second.  D’Arnaud completed the double play with a relay throw to Matt Hague at first.

Corey Wimberly can run well, no matter what color jersey he’s wearing:

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Tony Watson gets a word from Chase d’Arnaud;   the outfielders wait for Watson to warm up

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Alex Presley leads off second base;   Dusty Brown, Josh Harrison, and Chase d’Arnaud

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NOTES:
The Indians have Wednesday off, then travel down south on Thursday.  This road trip will include a 4-game series against the Tides in Norfolk, then a 4-game series against the Bulls in Durham.   

Go Tribe!

(Photos by Nancy)

 

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