Garrett Olson and Wyatt Toregas……. Andy Marte at third base
Olson got through the 2nd inning without allowing a run. He walked CF Matt Sheely, but C Wyatt Toregas promptly picked Sheely off first base. Dlugach singled with two outs, but a fly out ended the inning. With one out in the 3rd, Olson gave up a huge no-doubter solo home run to Lavarnway, as the ball sailed high over the left field wall, over the grass berm, and past the sidewalk behind the grass. Spears followed the homer with a double down the left field line, falling just barely fair then bouncing into the corner. Spears moved to third base on a ground out, but he was left at third when Iglesias lined out right to Harrison at second base. PawSox 4, Indians 0.
Pawtucket starter Matt Fox held the Indians scoreless and hitless over the first two ininngs. He did walk two Tribe batters, Friday and LF John Bowker in the 1st inning, but left them on base. Three Indians went down in order in the 2nd. The Tribe headed into the bottom of the 3rd down by 4 runs. After a fly out by CF Gorkys Hernandez, DH Corey Wimberly picked up the first Indians’ hit of the game with a single right back up the middle and into center field. Wimberly stole second base, but Friday flied out for the second out of the inning. Then the Indians found some magic in the camo jerseys — the next five Tribe batters reached base safely. RF Alex Presley chopped a high bouncer into center field, scoring Wimberly from second base. Bowker walked, then 1B Matt Hague slammed a 3-run homer that just cleared the fence at the top of the left field wall, to tie the score at 4-4 (photo). Two more singles followed, by Harrison and 3B Andy Marte, but a grounder force out ended the inning.
Garrett Olson came back out to begin the top of the 4th. He got two outs, then walked Dlugach. That put him up to 87 pitches (49 strikes) and that was all that manager Dean Treanor wanted to see from Olson. Chris Leroux (photo, with Andy Marte looking on) came on in relief. He hit Nava on the foot with a ball that bounced before it came across the plate, then got Luna to ground out, ending the inning.
Leroux continued on a roll, retiring 10 of the 11 PawSox batters he faced. Nava was the only batter to reach base against him. Leroux threw 42 pitches (27 strikes) and struck out 2 batters in 3.1 innings of work.
With two outs in the 4th, Friday walked again. Fox tried to pick Friday off first base, but the throw went wide to the outfield side of the bag. The ball skipped over near the visitor’s bullpen, and by the time the PawSox tracked it down, Friday was standing on third base. Presley also walked, giving the Indians runners on the corners, but a line out ended that threat.
Fox was relieved to begin the 5th inning, with Jason Rice coming in from the PawSox bullpen. Rice’s first pitch plunked Hague (photo) right on the upper arm, making home plate umpire Jeff Gosney jump out from behind the plate and walk a ways down the first base line with Hague, ensuring that Hague did not take off toward the mound to retaliate for Rice’s retaliation (after Hague’s homer). No, Hague did not have any intention of charging the mound. Instead, he got some even better revenge. He stole second base on the first pitch by Rice to Harrison, then advanced to third base when Harrison grounded out. 3B Andy Marte lifted a fly ball to medium left field, and Hague tagged up and headed for the plate. LF Nava’s throw to the plate was on time and right to C Lavarnway, but Hague’s slide in was high, and Lavarnway dropped the ball, and Hague scored the go-ahead run, despite the bruise on his arm. The Tribe took the lead, 5-4.
Rice retired the Indians in order in the 6th and 7th innings. Reliever Franklin Morales did the same in the 8th. Jared Hughes pitched the top of the 8th for the Indians. He gave up a one-out single to Spears, but then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Tribe went into the top of the 9th, clinging to the one-run lead. Jose Ascanio came in to pitch the final inning, but he quickly got into trouble. Ascanio got a fly out to begin the inning, then gave up a line drive single into center field to Navarro. Dlugach also singled, lining into right field. Ascanio hit Nava with a pitch, loading the bases with PawSox. Pitching coach Tom Filer came out to chat with Ascanio for a moment, but it did not seem to help much. Luna slipped a grounder into left-center field for an RBI single, driving in Navarro from third to tie the score at 5-5. Ascanio ended the inning by getting Lavarnway to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Pawtucket brought in Randy Williams to pitch the bottom of the 9th. Williams had not allowed an earned run in his 10 relief appearances for the PawSox this season, and the last unearned run was back in April. He had allowed only one hit in his last 5 appearances, and he did not allow one tonight either. The usually reliable Williams began by hitting Hernandez on the thigh with a pitch. Then Williams walked Wimberly on a 3-1 count, and some of his pitches had his catcher Lavarnway leaping up or outside to catch photos that had been sent. The Pawtucket pitching coach came out to chat, but it didn’t help. Williams next walked Friday, also on a 3-1 count, to load the bases with Indians, and without the benefit of a hit. Presley struck out, and Williams seemed to settle down. He got a 0-2 count on John Bowker, with an additional foul ball. Then William’s wildness returned — and he threw a wild pitch that escaped Lavarnway and flew all the way to the backstop. That was all the speedy Gorkys Hernandez needed, as he raced for the plate and scored standing up, to break the tie and give the Indians the win.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Matt Hague’s 3-run homer in the 3rd inning, which put the Tribe back into the game.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: #1 — In the top of the 8th, Ryan Lavarnway smacked a grounder to the left side of the infield. Josh Harrison came in and to his left from third base to make the stabbing catch, then he whirled and threw to first, in time to make the out on Lavarnway. #2 — The 6-4-3 (Harrison to Friday to Hague) double play, also off the bat off Lavarnway, that ended the top of the 9th. It cut the PawSox rally to a halt and got Jose Ascanio out of a jam.
Chase d’Arnaud had another hit in tonight’s Pirates’ game, as he got the start at third base again.
Joining d’Arnaud in Pittsburgh — C Eric Fryer, who was called up today and added t
o the active and 40-man rosters. He did not get into tonight’s game. Fryer will be backing up C Mike McKenry. The Pirates designated C Dusty Brown for assignment, removing him from both the active and 40-man rosters. That made room for Fryer on both rosters. If Brown should clear waivers, he likely will be sent back to Indianapolis.
Meanwhile, C Kris Watts rejoined the Indians from AA Altoona. He’ll share catching duties with Toregas.
(photos by Nancy)