Morton Struggles But Two Big Innings Give Indians The Win

The Indians took the lead again in the 5th.� Alex Presley beat out the throw on a bunt that dribbled along the third base line for a lead-off single.� C Jason Jaramillo lined a single into right field, and LF Kevin Melillo blooped the third single of the inning into left field, and Presley scored from second base to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.� The inning ended when Aki Iwamura bounced to second base.� The Red Wings forced Melillo out at second, and then when Jaramillo headed for the plate, then hesitated, then started running again, SS Trevor Plouffe alertly made the relay throw to the plate instead of first base, and Jaramillo was tagged out.

The lead did not last long, as the Red Wings again tied the score in the bottom of the 5th.� Trevor Plouffe took Morton’s first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for a solo home run.

At that point, the Indians kicked it into high gear.� They batted around in the 6th inning, scoring 4 runs.� Brian Myrow led off with a walk, and Brandon Moss blasted a 2-run home run over the right field wall (though not as far as Clement’s).� This time, the Indians had a bit of insurance, up 4-2.� They weren’t done, though, as three consecutive singles added two more runs.� Jim Negrych bounced a grounder to Harris at second base, and when the ball glanced off Harris’s glove, Negrych was safe at first.� Alex Presley also singled, on a grounder through the hole and into right field.� A wild pitch by Red Wings’ reliever Brad Hennessey advanced Negrych to third and Presley to second base, and when Hennessey’s next pitch was another wild pitch to the screen, Negrych scored easily and Presley moved up to third base.� Jason Jaramillo singled into right center, plating Presley and earning Jaramillo his first RBI since joining the Indians, and the Indians had a 6-2 lead.

Once again, though, the Red Wings were ready for a come-back.� Morton got a fly out to begin the bottom of the 6th, then gave up singles to Wilson Ramos and Dustin Martin.� Brian Dinkelman followed with a 3-run homer over Alex Presley’s head and over the fence in straight-out center field.� The Wings were back within one run, at 6-5, and Morton was done for the night.� He had thrown 100 pitches, 57 for strikes, and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 11 hits and 2 walks, while he struck out 2 batters. Jeremy Powell took over for Morton and finished the 6th inning with a strikeout and a line out.

When the Tribe came back out in the 7th, they had not lost any of their momentum from the previous inning.� Jeff Clement and Brandon Moss smacked back-to-back doubles, with Clement’s going down the right field line and into the corner.� Moss’s hit went into right field also, and it should have been a single, but when Red Wings’ RF Dinkelman hesitated with the ball in his hand, Moss did not hesitate, and he raced to second base with a double.� Clement stopped at third base, expecting a quicker throw in from the outfield.� Jim Negrych was intentionally walked, loading the bases.� That brought up Alex Presley, who cleared the bases with a triple rocketed over the shortstop’s head and to the wall in the left-center field gap.� Jason Jaramillo’s sacrifice fly brought in Presley, and the Indians had a 10-5 lead.

Jeremy Powell went back out to the mound for the bottom of the 7th.� With one out, he gave up a double to Brendan Harris that floated over Kevin Melillo’s head to the left field wall.� An RBI single by D’Angelo Jimenez brought Harris around from second base to score.� Jimenez got as far as third base when Jason Jaramillo’s pickoff throw to first when sailing over Brian Myrow’s head and into foul territory.� The ball bounced off the stands and back into right field where Brandon Moss was backing up the play — which probably kept Jimenez from making it all the way around to score.� Powell got a fly out to end the inning, leaving Jimenez on third base.

The Red Wings added one more run in the 8th.� Reliever Justin Thomas began the inning by giving up a walk to Dustin Martin, then getting Brian Dinkelman to ground slowly to short.� Argenis Diaz made the throw to Jim Negrych at second for the force out on Martin, but the relay throw to first was not in time to get Dinkelman.� Trevor Plouffe singled, moving Dinkelman to second base.� After a strikeout, Thomas was relieved by Wil Ledezma, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, Jose Morales.� That loaded the bases, and when Ledezma’s third pitch to Brendan Harris flew over Harris’s and Jaramillo’s heads, Dinkelman scrambled across the plate.� Jaramillo caught the ricochet off the wall behind the plate, but his tag was late.� Harris flied out to end the inning.

Ledezma gave up a single to Wilson Ramos in the bottom of the 9th, but struck out the other three batters he faced.� He earned his 7th save of the season.� Morton earned his second win, since he was still the pitcher of record when the Indians took the lead for good.

Besides Presley’s three hits, Kevin Melillo, Jeff Clement, Brandon Moss, and Jason Jaramillo all collected 2 hits.

The Indians remain in second place in the International League’s Western Division.� They are 7.5 games behind the first place Columbus Clippers.� The Louisville Bats are in third place, 3 games behind the Indians, and the Toledo Mud Hens have slipped into fourth place, 3.5 games back of the Tribe.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Alex Presley’s bases-clearning triple in the 7th inning.� Presley’s second triple with the Indians and 9th of the season boosted the Indians’ lead so that the Red Wings couldn’t catch up.

Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game:� Brandon Moss was all over the place in right field. He made a running shoe-top catch to end the 2nd inning and keep at least one, maybe two, runs from scoring.� In the 7th, Moss raced into right-center field to catch a fly ball off the bat of Jose Morales.� If that ball had fallen in for a hit, it would have been extra bases, and Morales would have been able to score on Harris’ double.


Erik Kratz made his major league debut tonight with the Pirates.� He popped up on the first pitch in his first at-bat, and grounded out in his second trip to the plate.� Then, in the bottom of the 5th, with two outs, the Pirates down by one run, and Lastings Milledge on first, Kratz got his first major league hit — a single over the second baseman’s head and into right-center field.� Moments later, he scored the go-ahead run from second base on Ryan Church’s single.� In the 8th, Kratz singled again, this time into the left-center field gap, scoring Garrett Jones from second base to give Kratz his first major league RBI.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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