Indians Turn The Tide

The Tides got to Martinez again in the top of the 3rd.� SS Robert Andino led off with a low line drive that slipped past his diving counterpart SS Pedro Ciriaco for a single.� Aubrey singled through the hole into right field, allowing Andino to move to third base.� LF Nolan Reimold bounced to Ciriaco, who started a 6-4-3 (Ciriaco to 2B Brian Friday to Bernier) double play.� Andino scored on the play.� The next batter, RF Rhyne Hughes, struck out, but Martinez’s pitch on strike three went sailing to the backstop over towards the Indians’ on-deck circle, and Hughes was able to reach first base before C Erik Kratz was able to chase down the ball.� Martinez struck out Snyder to end the inning, but the Tides had increased their lead to 3-1.

Not for long.� The Indians batted around in the bottom of the 3rd and chased Jim Miller from the game, as they scored 3 runs.� With one out, Pedro Ciriaco sliced a single into left-center field, then stole second base.� Aki Iwamura walked on four pitches, then Alex Presley flied out for the second out of the inning.� Hot-hitting DH Brandon Moss lined a single into right center, scoring Ciriaco and moving Iwamura to second base.� RF Mitch Jones singled into right field, with the ball just barely eluding Tides’ RF Hughes, who made a heroic (but unsuccessful) dive.� Iwamura scored from second base with the tying run, and Moss moved around to third base.� Jones waited for Hughes to make a somewhat belated throw to the plate — which had no chance at all of catching Iwamura — and then Jones advanced to second base on the throw.� John Bowker was intentionally walked, loading the bases, and that was the end of the night for Jim Miller.� He was relieved by Cla Meredith.� Meredith began by working a full count on Erik Kratz, then walking Kratz to force in Moss, who represented the go-ahead run.� A ground out ended the inning, and the Indians had the lead for the first time, 4-3.

Norfolk regained the lead in the top of the 4th, on what would turn out to be an embarrassing play.� Scott Moore led off with a single down the right field line that might have been a double — except that hit hit first base umpire Damien Beal on the leg and caromed into short right field, where Mitch Jones was able to hold Moore to a single.� C Adam Donachie followed by ripping a line drive down the left field line and into the Indians’ bullpen.� The ball bounced under the bullpen bench, off the leg of one of the relievers (too far away to see which one) and back under the bench.� LF John Bowker raced over to the bullpen, but as he related in the post-game interview, when he got there, he thought the ball had gotten stuck in the legs of the bench.� Unfortunately for Bowker and for Joe Martinez, the Victory Field ground rules state that even if the ball goes under the bench (unless it bounces into an equipment bag), it is still in play.� Bowker threw his arms into the air (like he would do if the ball were to go into the ivy at Wrigley Field), expecting the third base umpire Fran Burke to call it a ground-rule double — but the call didn’t come.� By the time Bowker figured out why Burke had not made the call and dug the ball out from under the bench, not only had Moore scored, but Donachie had already rounded third base and was headed for the plate.� Donachie was the recipient of a very strange inside-the-park home run, and the Tides had the lead again, 5-4.

Luckily for Bowker, his teammates were not done yet.� They sent 8 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 4th, and those 8 were even more efficient than the 9 in the previous inning — they scored 4 runs.� Brian Friday led off with an easy little single that fell into no-mans’-land in short right-center field.� Pedro Ciriaco dropped down a very nice sacrifice bunt, and when pitcher Meredith’s throw to first pulled 1B Snyder off the bag, Ciriaco was safe on the error.� Aki Iwamura grounded to short, where Andino was able to make an off-balance throw to second base, forcing out Ciriaco.� They didn’t have time for any other play, and the Indians had runners on the corners with one out.� That brought up Alex Presley, who broke the game open with a tremendous triple to the right-center field wall, plating both Friday and Iwamura, to give the Indians the lead.� Moments later, Mitch Jones drove a double into the Tides’ bullpen (which RF Hughes now knew he had to chase down), easily scoring Presley.� That sent Cla Meredith to the showers, and brought in Jim Hoey from the bullpen.� Hoey gave up a single through the hole on the right side of the infield to John Bowker, scoring Jones from second base, and the Indians had an 8-5 lead.

Hoey kept the Indians from scoring in the 5th, but the Tribe added another 2 runs in the 6th.� Alex Presley began with a walk.� He was off and running on the swing when Brandon Moss grounded to second base, and by the time the Tides’ infielders looked up after throwing out Moss, the speedy Presley was not standing on second base, where they expected him to be, but standing over on third base.� Hoey was relieved by Pat Egan, who began by getting Mitch Jones to ground to third base.� Snyder, who had moved over to third by then, made the play and fired to the plate, but when the ball got to C Donachie, Presley was already sliding across the plate, and Donachie’s tag attempt was too late.� Jones stole second base, and when Donachie’s throw to second got away and went into center field, Jones advanced to third base.� John Bowker followed with his third hit of the night, a single through the drawn-in infield and into right field, scoring Jones from third.� Indians 10, Tides 5.

Joe Martinez finished his night’s work with a scoreless 5th inning.� He walked Nolan Reimold to start the frame, then retired the next three batters, including Scott Moore, who was called out looking at strike three.� Moore took exception and argued with home plate umpire Derek Crabill (never a smart idea), and was promptly ejected from the game, forcing the Tides to shuffle some players around on the field.

Justin Thomas came in from the bullpen to pitch the 6th and 7th innings.� He gave up a single to Donachie to begin the 6th, but erased him with a double play.� Then he walked CF Matt Angle, but Luke Carlin threw out Angle as he tried to steal second.� Thomas hit Reimold with a pitch and gave up a (real) ground-rule double to Hughes in the 7th, but left both stranded.

Brian Bass took the last two innings for the Indians.� He gave up a run in the 8th, when Donachie bounced a ball over the center field wall for another ground-rule double, then Angle drove in Donachie with a single into right field.� Bass hit Reimold with a pitch (second time) in the 9th, but erased him with a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.� The Indians also had their last at-bat end with a double play.� The Tides tried an over-shift against Brandon Moss with one out in the bottom of the 8th, putting three infielders on the right side of the infield.� Moss responded by slapping a grounder through the smaller-than-usual hole between the first and second basemen for a single.� But Mitch Jones bounced into a double play, forcing Moss out at second.

The win moves the Indians back to .500, with a 59 – 59 record.� John Bowker went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI for the night.� Alex Presley, Brandon Moss, and Mitch Jones all had 2 hits;� Moss had one RBI, Presley had two RBI, and Jones had 3 RBI.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Alex Presley’s triple in the 4th inning, which gave the Indians the lead that they would not give up.

Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game:� The Indians’ infield turned three double plays, but the most spectacular was the one in the 6th.� 2B Paco Figueroa bounced to third base, where Aki Iwamura made the scoop and fired to Brian Friday for the force out of Adam Donachie at second base.� Friday’s relay on to Doug Bernier at first was a little high, but Bernier was able to reach up and pull the ball down in time to get Figueroa out.


Roster moves:�� C Luke Carlin (photo) has been traded to the Cleveland Indians’ organization, and has been assigned to the Columbus Clippers.� He is the “Player To Be Named Later” in the deal that brought Brian Bixler back to the Pirates.� Of course, Bixler has now moved on to AAA Syracuse in the Nationals’ organization… and the Clippers were playing in Syracuse today.

Reliever Steven Jackson has cleared waivers and was assigned to the Indians.




Look who’s starting for Kansas City tonight:� That “Bullingt”� is really former Indian Bryan Bullington.� Despite being charged with the loss, Bullington pitched well in his first start with the Royals.� He went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts.� He threw 91 pitches (54 strikes).� He didn’t get much run support, though.� Angels 3,� Royals 1.




Someone to feel sorry for:� game time temperature tonight was 91 degrees, and temps of up to 96 degrees were being recorded in Indianapolis about 2 hours before game time.� This “tomato” is a very furry costume… someone must have been melting in there.



Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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