The Mud Hens scored their first two runs in the bottom of the 5th, with a rally started by Salazar. He was hit by a pitch and was bunted to second base by 2B Danny Worth. Salazar advanced to third base on a passed ball, then scored on RF Scott Thorman’s RBI single to 1B Hague, when no one covered first base. Thorman rounded second and reached third base on Santos’ single, then scored on Iorg’s sacrifice fly, giving the Mud Hens a 2-0 lead.
Argenis Diaz started another rally in the 6th when he lined a double into center field. A sacrifice bunt by DH Ben Guez moved Diaz to third base. Salazar’s bloop single into right field drove in Diaz for a 3-0 lead.
Hernandez (photo) gave the Indians their only run in the top of the 7th, with a solo home run blasted over the left field wall.
Burres finished his outing with a scoreless bottom of the 7th, allowing one single. He threw 87 pitches (58 strikes) in the loss. Jose Ascanio took over for Burres for the 8th inning, and that’s when things got out of control Ascanio gave up hits to the first four batters: a double by LF Will Rhymes, a single by Diaz, a double by Guez scoring both Rhymes and Diaz, and a 2-run homer by 1B Ryan Strieby. Ascanio struck out Salazar and Worth, then gave up a double to Thorman, which slipped between Hague and the first base bag into right field. A strikeout ended the inning.
The Indians had Friday reach base in the 8th inning when he was hit by a pitch. Friday also stole second base, but was left there. With two outs in the top of the 9th, C Miguel Perez singled through the hole and into left field, but he was also left on base when a pop out ended the game.
The Indians return to Victory Field for a sold-out game on the Fourth of July. After a 3-game series against the Mud Hens, the Indians play a home-and-away series against the Louisville Bats.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Gorkys Hernandez’s first home run of the season, which gave the Tribe their only run of the game.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Brian Burres picked Jeff Salazar off first base, then Matt Hague threw to Brian Friday to catch Salazar stealing to end the 6th inning. One run had already scored, and the Mud Hens had runners on the corners at the time, and if the inning had not ended at that point, more runs might have scored.
As expected, the day after making a start for the Pirates, Brad Lincoln was optioned back to the Indians. His roster spot on the big league team was taken by reliever Chris Leroux (photo), who was called up this morning. Leroux had a great month of June for the Tribe, with a 1.85 ERA in 11 relief appearances. He had one win, one loss, and one save in June, and allowed just 5 runs on 16 hits in 24.1 innings, with 22 strikeouts. Batters hit .190 against him in June.
Leroux got right into his first major league game of the season, when he pitched the 9th inning for the Pirates today. He began the inning with a strikeout and a pop out, then gave up a single and a double, putting two runners into scoring position. But Leroux got pinch-hitter Ivan Rodriguez to line out to right field to end the game.
(photos by Nancy)