Syracuse starter Ross Detwiler faced the minimum number of Tribe batters over the first two innings. Friday lined the first pitch he saw into center field for a single in the bottom of the 1st, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base. With one out in the 3rd inning, CF Gorkys Hernandez grounded to third base, but the ball bounced off 3B Adam Fox’s glove, up into the air, and over toward short, and Hernandez was safe at first, credited with a hit. Gallagher’s sacrifice bunt moved Hernandez to second base. D’Arnaud (photo) shot a long fly ball to the deepest part of Victory Field, in the left-center gap, and he cruised into third base with a standing triple, as Hernandez scored the tying run. Friday worked the count full, then took ball four to put Tribe runners on the corners. LF Alex Presley grounded to second base, where 2B Hulett bobbled the ball, picked it up again, realized he had no play at second base, and fired the ball to first. The speedy Presley easily beat the throw to first, and d’Arnaud crossed the plate with the go-ahead run. The play was ruled an error on Hulett, with no RBI for Presley.
The Tribe put at least one runner on base in each of the next three innings. Hague doubled down the left field line and into the corner to open the bottom of the 4th. He stole third base, for his second steal of the season, but was left stranded there. D’Arnaud looped a single over the head of the Syracuse shortstop for a single in the 5th. He stole second base in an odd way — d’Arnaud took off from first, then hesitated in the middle of the basepath. But the Chiefs’ C Jesus Flores also hesitated when it was time to throw. When d’Arnaud saw Flores throw going to first base, he took off for second base, reaching safely without a throw from first to second. D’Arnaud went on to third base on a passed ball. Presley was hit on the left arm by a pitch, again putting runners on the corners for the Indians, but a fly out ended the inning. Fryer walked in the 6th inning, but the other three batters in that inning all struck out.
Gallagher went into the top of the 4th with a 2-1 lead. He gave up a double to Flores, but the other three batters all flied out, including a very nice play in deep center field by Hernandez, who ran back to the wall and made an over-the-shoulder catch. Gallagher finished his evening’s work with a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th, and as the skies darkened, the Indians and fans were happy to have the lead with enough innings for the game to be “official”. Gallagher gave up only the one run in his 5 innings, on 4 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts. It took him 71 pitches (47 strikes).
Chris Leroux came on to pitch the 6th inning for the Tribe. The first out of the inning came on a liner off the bat of Marrero, when d’Arnaud made either a dive or a slow (but graceful) fall to his right for the back-handed stab of the line drive. Hulett, who had struck out in his first two at-bats, blasted a long fly ball down the right field line, over the wall, and all the way to the sidewalk behind the grass berm behind right field, to tie the game at 2-2. Now the game was not going to be able to just be called if the weather got worse… and the weather did get worse.
Leroux struck out two batters to end the 6th, then began the 7th inning with a light rain falling. SS Matt Antonelli slapped a hard grounder to short, where it bounced hard off his counterpart d’Arnaud’s chest and caromed over towards second base. Antonelli was on first with a single, and d’Arnaud was ok and stayed in the game. 3B Fox dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Antonelli to second base. Leroux was relieved by Justin Thomas, who struck out pinch-hitter Michael Aubrey looking. By this time, it was raining heavily. Thomas hit LF Gregor Blanco on either the arm, or the arm of his jersey, with a pitch. Then he hit Brown in the back with a pitch — and it was clear to almost everyone in the stadium that the wet ball had slipped from Thomas’ hand. The umpires called everyone off the field, and the tarp went on.
After waiting for more than an hour, with no improvement in the weather, the game was officially suspended. They will pick up in the top of the 7th, with two out and the bases loaded with Chiefs, on Sunday at 1 pm (an hour earlier than the usual start time for Sunday games). The regular Sunday game will be played after the conclusion of today’s game.
The thunder and lightning has not stopped since play was halted, and now that has been almost 3 hours.
It was Butler University Night at Victory Field, and the famous bulldog Blue II was at the game. Since Blue can’t be expected to throw a pitch, he chased the first pitch instead. He also made friends with some of the Tribe players.
Go Tribe! (Go Dawgs!)
(photos by Nancy)