Jackson struck out the next batter, Reddick. �Then two more singles brought in two more runs. �Nava drove one into right field, just under 1B Steve Pearce’s glove, and Sanchez executed a hit-and-run play, which scored a run (Khoury) and put Nava on third base. �Finally, Jackson got Hulett to bounce to Pearce, who started a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning. �Five more runs had scored, all but Khoury’s charged to Hart. �Hart gave up 8 runs (7 earned) on 7 hits and 4 walks in his 2 innings, and struck out 3 batters. �The PawSox were ahead, 9-3.
This was where the Indians could have just throw up their hands. �As Neil Walker said in the post-game interview, “It’s easy to just say ‘let’s get this over with’ when you’re down 9-3, but we didn’t do that today, and we pulled out a great win.”
In the top of the 5th, Erik Kratz started things off by beating out an infield hit to deep short. �After two outs, Jose Tabata worked a walk, the Neil Walker came to the plate again. �And once again, he came through. �Walker singled into right field, loading the bases. �That brought up DH Brian Myrow. Myrow (photo) worked the count full, then lifted a long fly ball, no-doubt-about-it, over the right field wall for a grand slam. �Suddenly, things didn’t look so bad: �PawSox 9, �Indians 7.
The Indians crept closer in the 6th inning. �Steve Pearce led off with a walk, and after a fly out, Erik Kratz walked too. �One more out, then Argenis Diaz rocketed a double into left field, and Pearce raced around to score. �PawSox 9, Indians 8.
Steven Jackson pitched the 4th and 5th innings, allowing only a single in the 4th, and a walk and a hit batter in the 5th. �Vinnie Chulk came on to pitch the next two innings, and he also kept the PawSox from scoring again, giving up only a walk in each inning. �Anthony Claggett took the 8th inning, and he also retired the side in order.
Neil Walker picked up his third hit of the game in the 7th inning. �He doubled into the right field corner on a 0-2 pitch to open the inning. �Brian Myrow’s ground out moved Walker to third base. �Pedro Alvarez flied out to right field, and it looked deep enough… Walker tagged up and dashed for the plate. �He reached the plate before the ball did, and made the slide, but Pawtucket catcher Dusty Brown had the plate blocked, and Walker was ruled out.
The Indians went down in order in the top of the 8th, and went into the 9th looking at their last chance. �Brian Friday started a rally with a single through the hole and into left field. �Argenis Diaz sacrifice bunted him to second base. �Diaz nearly beat the throw to first base. �A passed ball put Friday on third base. �Jose Tabata lifted a fly ball to left field, but instead of making the second out, Pawtucket LF Daniel Nava dropped the ball, and Brian Friday came across the plate with the tying run. �Tabata moved to second base on the error. �That put him into scoring position for Neil Walker — and it was time for his fourth hit. �Walker singled up the middle, and since Tabata was off and running with the swing, he came around to score the go-ahead run from second base. �Walker himself rounded first, then was caught between first and second base after the throw in from the outfield to the plate. �He was tagged out, but by then it didn’t matter.
All that was left was for the Indians to hold off the PawSox in the bottom of the 9th. �Anthony Claggett got the first out, then Bubba Bell walked. �Claggett quickly picked Bell off first base. �Ryan Khoury singled, and at that point, manager Frank Kremblas turned to reliever Wil Ledezma. Ledezma (photo) replaced Claggett, but started by walking Josh Roddick, putting the tying and the winning run on base. �Then he struck out Daniel Nava to end the game and give the Indians the come-from-behind win.
Clagget was credited with his second win, and Ledezma with his first save. �The Indians posted a total of 9 hits. �Besides Walker’s 4, the other hits belonged to Jose Tabata, Brian Myrow, Erik Kratz, Brian Friday, and Argenis Diaz. �The Indians also worked 5 walks.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: �A perfect day at the plate for Neil Walker, and a perfect response to the bases loaded by Brian Myrow.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �In the 7th inning, with the Indians still one run behind, and a runner on first base, Bubba Bell roped a liner that was headed into the right field corner, probably far enough and deep enough to score the runner from first. �Steve Pearce had other ideas — he made a leaping catch of the line drive, to end the inning and keep Pawtucket from getting further ahead.
OF Brandon Jones cleared waivers today, and the Pirates will outright him back to the Indians.
Pedro Alvarez went 0-for-4 in the game, with 2 strikeouts.
(Photos by Nancy)