After the Bats scored in the 3rd, Brian Burres mowed them down again for the next three innings. �He worked around a double by LF Todd Frazier in the 4th, then retired the side in order in the 5th. �The 6th inning began with an odd error. �Matthews grounded to third, and Aki Iwamura made the scoop, but his throw to first base was wide. �It sailed past Jeff Clement to the wall along the first base side stands. �Mathews made the turn at first and headed for second base. The ball caromed off the wall… and right to 2B Jim Negrych, who had moved behind first base to back up the play. �Negrych fielded the carom, whirled, and fired to second base. �The ball reached Argenis Diaz, who was covering second, when Matthews was still six steps away from the bag. �It was an easy tag out, negating the error by Iwamura. �There was a bit of a worrisome moment after the out was recorded. �Erik Kratz came out from behind the plate to the mound, where he stood bent over for a moment, then went down on one knee. �He might have been hit by the bat on Matthews’ backswing — it was hard to see on the video feed. �After a few moments to catch his breath, Kratz was up again and back behind the plate.
The Bats scored again in the 7th. �3B Juan Francisco blasted a long fly ball down the right field line, just fair, for a solo home run, and the Bats were up 2-0. �Brian Burres was done after the 7th inning, having allowed just the two runs on 4 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts. �He threw 82 pitches (56 for strikes). �Steven Jackson (photo) took the mound for the 8th inning. �He needed only 12 pitches to retire three Bats on three ground outs.
The Tribe made one last try for a rally in the 8th. �Argenis Diaz again reached base on another error, then moved to second base on a wild pitch by Bats’ reliever Philippe Valiquette. �Pinch-hitter Brian Myrow worked a walk, and Kevin Melillo struck out for the first out of the inning. �Aki Iwamura took a slow grounder deep in the hole at short. �By the time SS Zack Cozart got to the ball and turned to second base, Myrow was already safe on the bag, and Iwamura was already reaching first base, for his second hit of the game. �Bases loaded, one out — and of course, what came next? �Yes, another double play. �Jim Negrych grounded to short, where Cozart started the 6-4-3 inning ending double play. �Brandon Moss walked in the 9th inning, but three strikeouts ended the game.
The Indians are still in second place in the International League Western Division, but they have dropped to 7 games behind the first-place Columbus Clippers.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: �Erik Kratz’s double in the 2nd inning — the Tribe’s only extra-base hit in the game.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: �Jim Negrych’s perfect back-up play on the carom off the wall after a throwing error by Aki Iwamura. �It’s all about being in the right place at the right time, and doing some quick thinking.
Steve Pearce, who has sat out the last two days of his rehab assignment with the Indians due to a sore left knee, has now been diagnosed as having patellar tendinitis. �He will be examined by the Pirates’ team physician in a couple of days.
Pedro Alvarez hit his first major league home run for the Pirates in tonight’s game. �Pirates lost though, 12-4, to the Phillies.
(photos by Nancy)