Pawtucket Red Sox 5, Indianapolis Indians 3
Two key errors committed by the Indianapolis Indians in the 5th inning all but handed the game to the Pawtucket Red Sox at Victory Field tonight. The Pawtucket win gives the two teams a split of this 4-game series, but gives the Red Sox a 5-3 win in the season series. Daniel Cabrera, whose last start lasted just one inning thanks to an untimely rain delay, pitched 5 innings in tonight’s start, and he was charged with the loss.
Pawtucket got the game going in the top of the first, when lead-off batter CF Ryan Kalish sliced a line drive into center field. A ground out to the infield behind the mound let Kalish reach second base, and he moved on to third on Cabrera’s wild pitch. 1B Lars Anderson singled along the third base line and into left field, driving in Kalish. 3B Mauro Gomez bounced to third base, where Tribe 3B Matt Hague tried for a double play — Anderson was forced out at second base, but Gomez beat out the relay to first base. Gomez also stole second base, then scored from second on DH JC Linares’ bloopy single into left field. Pawtucket up, 2-0.
The Indians answered immediately, with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning. Pawtucket’s starter was Scott Atchison, who is on a rehab assignment from Boston. He was scheduled to throw just one inning, then turn in over to the “regular” PawSox starter. SS Chase d’Arnaud began the Indians’ rally with a single into right field. Atchison struck out the next two batters, 2B Anderson Hernandez and CF Jose Tabata, though he allowed d’Arnaud to steal second base. Then Matt Hague lined back to center field, driving in d’Arnaud from second. Hague also stole second base (his second steal of the season). 1B Jeff Clement gave the Indians a 3-2 lead with a no-doubt-about it bomb over the right field wall for a 2-run homer.
Cabrera settled in after that first inning. He walked one batter in the 2nd, and retired the side in order in the 3rd, thanks to two excellent diving stops by d’Arnaud at shortstop. Cabrera gave up another walk and a double to LF Jason Repko in the 4th, giving Pawtucket two runners in scoring position. Two more strikeouts got him out of that jam.
Then came the disastrous 5th inning. Kalish led off with a single lined into right field. He advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by SS Jose Iglesias, then stole third base. Anderson reached base safely when his grounder to the right of second base tipped off 2B Anderson Hernandez’s glove for a fielding error. That allowed Kalish to score from third, tying the score at 3-3 (Anderson got credit for an RBI). A walk to Gomez put PawSox runners on first and second. Those two runners both moved into scoring position when Linares grounded to third base, requiring a diving stop and excellent throw by Hague at third. The second error in the inning followed, when 2B Andy LaRoche grounded to short. D’Arnaud fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to first base was way wide. Both Anderson and Gomez came around to score as the Indians chased down the errant throw, and the PawSox had a 5-3 lead.
Atchison exited the game after his one inning, which was not exactly a great rehab appearance — 3 runs on 3 hits in one inning. Regular starter Chris Hernandez came into the game to begin the 2nd inning, and he went on to pitch 5 scoreless frames. The Indians put at least one runner on base in each of those innings, but were not able to get any of them around the score. Eric Fryer, playing left field tonight, was hit on the leg by a pitch int he 2nd, but did not get past first base. Hague walked and Clement doubled in the 3rd, giving the Tribe two runners in scoring position with two outs. That was the Tribe’s biggest threat of the rest of the game, but both runners were left there when a ground out ended the inning. C Jose Morales and d’Arnaud both singled in the 4th, with the same result. CF Jose Tabata singled to lead off the 5th inning, but was picked off first and caught in a run-down. Morales also walked in the 6th, and was forced out at second base.
After Chris Hernandez was relieved, the Indians continued to put one or two runners on base, but leaving them stranded — a total of 9 runners left on base for the Indians. Tabata singled again in the 7th, and Anderson Hernandez singled in the 9th. The Indians first two batters were walked by reliever Daniel Bard in the 8th, and a strikeout and a timely double play halted that threat. Anderson Hernandez singled off 1B Lars Anderson’s glove and into right field. Three other Tribe batters were set down though, and Hernandez was also left stranded.
When Daniel Cabrera finished his outing, the relievers shut down the PawSox for the next three innings. Logan Kensing made his second appearance with the Indians, and he retired the side in order, including two strikeouts. Evan Meek pitched the 7th and 8th innings, retiring all six batters he faced, including 3 strike outs. Jose Diaz pitched the top of the 9th. He gave up a one-out hit to C Matt Spring. Spring stole second base but missed the chance to move on when Morales airmailed the ball into center field as he tried to throw out Spring at second base. Kalish lifted a long fly ball, which Tabata raced into left-center field to catch. Iglesias also singled, but the inning ended when Lars Anderson lifted a pop foul, caught by Hague nearly in the stands with the fans.
Of the Indians’ 9 total hits, Chase d’Arnaud, Jose Tabata, and Jeff Clement each had 2 hits. Clement had two of the Indians’ RBI, while Hague had the other RBI.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Jeff Clement’s 2-run home run in the bottom of the 1st, to give the Indians the lead for a few innings. It was Clement’s 14th home run of the season. He also doubled in the 3rd.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: Back-to-back plays by Chase d’Arnaud and Jeff Clement in the top of the 3rd. With one out, Lars Anderson grounded to deep in the hole at short. D’Arnaud made a diving stop going to his right, then made a throw to first base from his knees.
Clement had to stretch to reach the ball, but he did it and Anderson was out. The next batter, Mauro Gomez slapped a grounder to just the left side of second base. This time d’Arnaud took a few running steps and then went diving to his left. With his momentum carrying him the wrong way, he spun around to position himself better, then made an off-balance throw to first base. Clement had to stretch toward the outfield side of first base, but again kept his toe on the bag to make the out.
The Columbus Clippers won their game this evening, cutting the Indians’ lead in the International League Western Division to 8 games.
Injury updates: Brian Friday might have bruised his ribs while sliding in yesterday’s game. Not sure yet how serious this injury will be, or how long Friday might have to be out of the line up.
Pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes, who pitched yesterday for the first time in 2 months due to a hamstring injury, might have “tweaked” that hamstring again in yesterday’s game. Nothing to do but wait and see how it feels in a few more days.