2B Shelby Ford (photo) struck right back at the Yankees in the bottom of the 1st. Ford took the second pitch from starter Carlos Silva over the right field wall for a solo home run. Presley also singled on a line drive into center field, but was erased when LF John Bowker bounced to first for a 3-6-3 double play.
Owens needed 40 pitches to work his way through that first inning. Then he threw 46 more pitches (a total of 61 strikes) to get through the next four innings he pitched. He gave up a single to Pena in the 2nd inning, but erased him with a double play. Owens gave up another run in the 3rd inning, when 2B Luis Nunez singled on a ball that skipped off SS Friday’s glove, tagged up and advanced on a fly ball to deep center field, and an RBI single by Parraz. The throw in from RF Durham after Parraz’s hit came right to the plate in time, but the ball popped out of C Eric Fryer’s glove as Nunez slid in to the plate.
Owens retired the side in order in the 4th. Two more hits gave the Yanks another run in the 5th. With two outs, Owens gave up a bloopy single into left field to Nunez, who scored when Laird smashed a double off the top of the wall in the 418′ gap. That raised the Yankee’s lead to 7-1.
After scoring in the 1st, the Indians posted only two hits over the next four innings. Hague doubled off the left field wall in the 2nd, but was left on base. Presley singled for the second time to lead off the bottom of the 4th, but he was erased when Bowker bounced into a double play for the second time. Andy Marte was robbed of a hit, and maybe a home run, in the 2nd inning, when he rocketed a fly ball to the left field wall. Yankees’ LF Justin Maxwell made a tremendous leaping catch of the ball, but hit the wall with his shoulder on the way down, and crumpled to the ground. He eventually was able to get up and walked off the field under his own power. Kevin Russo moved from second base to left field, and Luis Nunez came in to play second base.
Reliever Blaine Boyer (photo) was warming up in the Tribe bullpen in the first inning, in case Owens could not get through the inning. Then Boyer got up again in the 5th, as Owens was finishing up that inning. When Owens finished, Boyer came on to begin the top of the 6th. After his warm-up pitches, Boyer walked around behind the mound, flexing his right wrist and forearm, and looking at his arm. Something seemed off, but Boyer got up onto the mound and began pitching to Russo. After two pitches, though, Boyer stopped and motioned to the Indians’ dugout. Manager Dean Treanor and trainer Bryan Housand came out to talk with Boyer, and the infield and the plate umpire also joined the group on the mound. Boyer continued to flex his wrist and move his forearm, explaining to the others. At one point, Housand took Boyer’s wrist and made a movement — which made Boyer visibly flinch. Moments later, Boyer followed Housand off the field and into the dugout.
(Trainer Bryan Housand examines Boyer’s arm.)
This was going to be tough on both Boyer and the whole bullpen, which has been stretched to their limit over the past few days. Dan Meyer came on to finish Russo’s at-bat (ground out to short), then finished the 6th inning, allowing one hit to CF Austin Krum. Meyer also came out again to start the 7th. He gave up a lead-off homer to Montero, the International League’s home run and RBI leader. Meyer got a strikeout, then walked Nunez. That was all for Meyer. Cesar Valdez came in from the bullpen next. He got a fly out, then gave up back-to-back singles to Parraz and Russo, which drove in Nunez. Both of those runs were charged to Meyer.
The Indians scored again off Silva in the 6th inning, on three doubles. Miles Durham started the rally with his first AAA hit, a double down the left field line and all the way to the left field wall. Ford followed with his second hit of the game, a double down the right field line and into the corner, scoring Durham. Moments later, Presley hit his third hit of the game — the third double of the inning, driving in Ford. That was all the Tribe could get, though, as a pop out and a ground out ended the inning.
The only other attempt at a rally for the Tribe came in the 8th. Ford reached base for the third time in the game when he walked on 4 pitches. Friday singled off the glove of the diving SS Pena, moving Ford to second. Presley flied out, and Ford tagged up and advanced to third. But Bowker bounced into his third double play, to end the inning.
Valdez came back out to pitch a scoreless 8th inning. Then in the bottom of the 8th, the strain on the bullpen showed in a new way — outfielder Corey Wimberly started warming up on the bullpen mound. Wimberly (photo) came out to pitch the top of the 9th, his first time pitching in a real game. Wimberly got Nunez to ground out — the only time in the game that Nunez did not reach base. Laird singled into short right field, then Parraz lined a double into left, scoring Laird. Russo grounded toward short, and with Friday playing deep, Marte cut over from third base, but the ball ticked off Marte’s glove, and Russo was safe on an infield single. Then Wimberly got Brewer and Krum to fly out, ending the inning with runners stranded on the corners.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Shelby Ford’s “right back atcha” home run to lead off the bottom of the first, and Miles Durham’s first AAA hit and run scored, with a lead-off double in the 6th.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: John Bowker’s leaping catch of Jorge Vasquez’s fly ball in the 3rd inning. Bowker’s leap was perfectly timed, and he saved at least an extra-base hit and maybe even a home run — and did it without getting hurt.
Wimberly looking like he’s been there before:
Rudy Owens doing some grounds-keeping; watching from the dugout
Andy Marte makes the play……..and keeps the other infielders’ laughing
Both Josh Harrison and Dusty Brown, who were promoted to Pittsburgh this weekend, were both in the Pirates’ starting line-up today. Harrison went 2-for-4, and Brown went 1-for-4. Harrison got his first major league hit in the top of the 3rd — a single into left field. Then in the top of the 8th, with two on and two outs, Harrison lined a single into right field, for his first RBI. He went to second base on the throw in from the outfield. After a walk by Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker singled up the middle, driving in two runs, including Harrison. Brown singled in the Pirates’ 9th inning rally, then stole second base, and scored on Brandon Wood’s 2-RBI single.
e game-time temperature tonight was 87 degrees…. not a good day to be wearing extra fur. It was Franklin College (Franklin, Indiana) Night, with alumni and friends celebrating with the Franklin Grizzly.
(photos by Nancy)