Indianapolis Indians 5, Columbus Clippers 4
The Indianapolis Indians held on tight to a one-run lead, to win the final game of this 3-game series with the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio tonight. Indians’ starter Daniel Cabrera earned the win with 6 innings of work, while Yamaico Navarro, Alex Presley, and Matt Hague had key hits for the Indians.
The Indians jumped out to a comfortable lead in the top of the 2nd inning, as they batted around. With one out, 3B Yamaico Navarro smashed a solo home run over the left-center field wall, for a 1-0 lead. Columbus starter Matt Packer followed the home run with a walk to C Tony Sanchez. LF Brandon Boggs grounded to third, where the ball ticked off of Clippers’ 3B Russ Canzler’s glove and bounced toward short. SS Gregorio Petit was able to keep the ball in the infield, but Boggs was safe at first. SS Anderson Hernandez flied out to center field, and both runners alertly tagged up and moved into scoring position. Both scored on CF Alex Presley’s single up the middle. Presley moved to third base when SS Brock Holt also singled up the middle. RF Jose Tabata hit the third consecutive single up the middle and into center field, plating Presley for a 4-0 lead. A grounder force out ended the inning.
Daniel Cabrera began his start by retiring the first 7 batters he faced. With one out in the 3rd, Cabrera gave up back-to-back doubles, to former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin and CF Aaron Cunningham. That cut the Indians’ lead to 4-1. Carrera struck out the next two batters to finish the 3rd inning. He retired the side again in the 4th. After two strikeouts to begin the 5th, Carlin worked a walk, but Cabrera left him stranded with a fly out.
Cabrera gave up another run in the 6th, when LF Tim Fedroff tripled off the center field wall. RF Vinny Rotttino’s sacrifice fly brought in Fedroff for a 4-2 score.
The Indians got the run back in the top of the 7th. With one out, Holt dropped down a drag bunt which ended up in the space between first base and the mound. Three Columbus infielders scrambled after the ball, but when they got to it, Holt was already crossing first base. Tabata and Hague followed with back-to-back singles, both into right field. Holt scored on Hague’s single, but Tabata was not watching closely, and he got caught on the base path when the ball was thrown in, easily tagged out at third. Hague moved up to second on the play, and DH Jeff Clement was intentionally walked, even though that would bring up Navarro, who had homered earlier in the game. The Clippers got lucky, though, as Navarro struck out, leaving two Indians stranded on base. Navarro started arguing with home plate umpire Kelvin Bultron, though, and found himself quickly ejected from the game.
Chase d’Arnaud came into the game to play shortstop, as Anderson Hernandez moved to third base where Navarro had been. The bottom of the 7th began with a double by Canzler, and that put an end to Cabrera’s start. He had pitched 6 innings plus one batter, and allowed 3 runs (he was responsible for Canzler) on 4 hits and a walk, and he struck out 7 batters. All four of the hits he allowed were for extra bases — three doubles and a triple. Cabrera had thrown 91 pitches (68 strikes).
Evan Meek took over for Cabrera. The first batter he faced, 1B Lars Anderson, lined a double into left field, to bring in Canzler. It was the second time in the game that the Clippers scored on back-to-back doubles. With Anderson on second, Meek hit SS Gregorio Petit with a pitch. Carlin grounded softly to the mound, not really intending to bunt, and that moved both Anderson and Petit into scoring position. Anderson scored on a grounder to the right side of the infield, to make the score 5-4.
With the tying run on third base, Doug Slaten was brought in to relieve Meek. Meek walked Fedroff, putting the go-ahead run on first, but then he got 2B Cord Phelps to ground to short for the force out on Fedroff at second base.
The Indians unsuccessfully tried to increase their lead in the top of the 8th. Sanchez walked, but was forced out at second on Hernandez’ grounder. Hernandez stole second base (only his third steal of the season), but he was left standing there.
Tim Wood took the mound for the Tribe to begin the bottom of the 8th. He gave up a triple to Canzler, but got three other batters out, keeping the tying run stuck on third base.
Brock Holt led off the top of the 9th with a line drive into left field for a single. Jose Tabata grounded slowly to second, giving the Clippers enough time to get him out at first, but not enough time for a double play. That moved Holt to second base. A fly out by Hague let Holt tag up and advance to third base. Clement was again intentionally walked, giving the Indians runners on the corners. Chase d’Arnaud also walked, not intentionally, loading the bases. Sanchez had the opportunity to give the Indians some insurance, but after he worked the count full, he flied out to right field to leave the bases loaded.
Tim Wood made things a little interesting in the bottom of the 9th. He got a ground out to begin the frame, then Carlin grounded to first. Hague got to the ball, but it bounced off his glove and into foul territory, and Carlin was credited with a single. With the tying run on first, Wood struck out Cunningham, then got Fedroff to ground to short, where d’Arnaud tossed to Holt for a game-ending force out on Carlin.
Daniel Cabrera was given the win, pushing his record to 6-6. Tim Wood earned his 17th Save of the season. The Indians’ pitchers gave up 7 hits to the Clippers, and all but one were extra-base hits: two triples, four doubles, and a single. The Indians totalled 13 hits, with Jose Tabata and Brock Holt each collecting 3 hits. Matt Hague and Yamaico Navarro had 2 hits each.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Yamaico Navarro’s solo home run in the 2nd inning, his 8th homer of the season. That got the ball rolling, so to speak. Alex Presley’s 2-RBI single gave the Indians another boost in the 2nd, as the Indians scored 4 runs.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the 4th inning, Matt LaPorta lifted a long fly ball into center field. Alex Presley went back, back, back — and made the catch on the warning track for the out.
The win gives the Indians a 2-1 win of the series with the Clippers — the first time the Indians have won a series with the Clippers this season. The Tribe now leads the Clippers by 10 games in the International League Western Division. That means that the Clippers have a “12 game” elimination number — or that the Indians’ magic number is 12.
The Indians have the day off on Monday. On Tuesday, they begin a 4-game series against the Rochester Red Wings.
The Pirates have optioned reliever Jared Hughes to the Indians, to make room for Juan Cruz, who is coming off the Disabled List. OF Christian Marrero has been sent to Altoona, making room on the Indians’ roster.