Jaramillo’s Blast Seals It For The Tribe

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IMG_4303Charlie Morton (photo) began his night’s work by buzzing through the Chiefs’ line-up.� He retired the side in order, with a strikeout per inning, in each of the first three innings.� He also retired the side in order in the 5th, again with a strikeout.

The top of the 4th began with the Chiefs’ first hit of the game, a slow bunt by CF Boomer Whiting to the left side of the infield.� Morton fielded it cleanly but Whiting was able to beat the throw to first.� Whiting stole second base and SS Danny Espinosa walked.� Brian Bixler also beat out an infield single to short, despite Pedro Ciriano’s charging play, and that loaded the bases with no outs.� 2B Seth Bynum bounced a grounder right to Doug Bernier at third, and Bernier started the around-the-horn double play, 5-4-3 (Bernier to 2B Brian Friday to 1B Mitch Jones).� Whiting scored from third base on the play (no RBI).� Then, in a surprise move, Espinosa, who had been running from second to third, made a delayed charge for the plate.� Morton had the ball back, but he was standing behind the mound, collecting his thoughts, and the next batter had not yet stepped into the batters’ box.� The Indians were taken by surprise, but Morton recovered quickly.� Catcher Jason Jaramillo said after the game that he heard the crowd’s roar of surprise, and “I heard our bench yelling, and I turned and saw him coming down.� Fortunately, Morton made a heads-up play and gave me a good feed.”� Morton fired the ball to Jaramillo, who had the ball in plenty of time, and just had to stand there and tag out Espinosa, ending the inning.� Indians 3,� Chiefs 1.

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Syracuse scratched out another run off Morton (photo) in the 6th inning.�� Morton struck out Carlos Maldonado for the second time to begin the frame, then gave up a single up the middle to pitcher Matt Chico.� Morton hit Boomer Whiting on the foot with a pitch, then he loaded the bases when Espinosa slipped a grounder through the hole into right field for a single.� That brought up former Indian Brian Bixler, who smacked a high chop toward third base.� Doug Bernier was right there, but he had to wait for the ball to come down, and by the time it landed in his glove, the speedy Bixler was crossing first base and Chico was crossing the plate.� A pop out and a strikeout ended the inning, with the Indians still clinging to the lead, 3-2.

That was Charlie Morton’s last inning.� He had thrown 84 pitches (53 strikes) and gave up a total of 5 hits and a walk for 2 runs.� He also struck out 6 batters in 6 innings.� Justin Thomas was the first out of the bullpen, to pitch the 7th, as the Indians had to hold on tight to that lead.� He retired the side in order, including striking out Carlos Maldonado — Maldonado’s third strikeout of the game.� Steven Jackson, who had just rejoined the team, worked around a lead-off single by pinch-hitter Michael Martinez, then retired the next three batters, including a strikeout.

Once Matt Chico got out of the first inning, he settled in and pitched well.� He gave up just three more singles — one over the head of 3B Brian Bixler and into left field by Pedro Ciriaco in the 2nd inning; a blooper that fell into short center field by John Bowker in the 4th; and one that looked almost cartoonish — in the 5th, Doug Bernier grounded up the middle, and as 2B Seth Bynum set himself behind second base to make the play, the ball hit the second base bag and caromed off into short left field.� Chico retired the Indians in order in the 3rd, and finished his night by striking out the side in the 6th.

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(Photo:� Pedro Ciriaco make the play at short)

The Indians had a little better luck against reliever Jeff Mandel, but still didn’t add to their lead.� With one out in the 7th, pinch-hitter Jonathan Van Every worked a walk.� Pedro Ciriaco reached base for the third time in the game, when he rolled a slow grounder toward second base.� Chief’s 2B Seth Bynum was able to make the force out of Van Every at second, but had no play on Ciriaco at first.� Left-handed hitter Akinori Iwamura pinch-hit for righty Doug Bernier against the right-handed Mandel, and the move paid off when Iwamura grounded sharply up the first base line, off the glove of 1B Chase Lambin, and into foul territory — a fair hit, since it hit Lambin’s glove in fair territory.� Ciriaco raced around to third, and the Indians had runners on the corners with two outs.� But the threat ended when Alex Presley hit a high bouncer back to the mound for the third out.

The bottom of the 8th started with two outs.� Then John Bowker lined a single into center field off reliever Jason Bergmann.� Jason Jaramillo followed with a long high fly ball over the right field wall for a 2-run homer to give the Indians a little cushion.

All that remained was for Jean Machi, who had pitched in each of the last two games, to hold off the Chiefs in the top of the 9th.� Machi began with strikeouts, by Seth Bynum and Chase Lambin.� LF Leonard Davis popped up behind home plate, and Jason Jaramillo made the catch two steps from the backstop to end the game.

IMG_4314Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:� Jaramillo’s (photo) first home run with the Indians, a towering shot into the right field berm.

Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game:� Two nice plays by Mitch Jones at first base.� In the top of the 3rd, pitcher Matt Chico grounded wide of first base.� Jones went to his right and made the diving stop, then turned and made the throw to Charlie Morton covering first base.� The throw was a little high, but Morton is tall, and he was able to make the catch and keep his foot on the bag.�� In the top of the 6th, with the bases loaded, one run in, and one out, Seth Bynum lifted a pop fly into foul territory back of first base.� Jones chased the ball and made the catch a few feet from the stands, then fired quickly to the plate, where Jason Jaramillo was waiting — keeping the runner on third from having any ideas of trying to score.

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More Photos:

Some old friends:

Left: Former Indians’ manager Trent Jewett is now the Chiefs’ manager;� Right:� C Carlos Maldonado

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Brian Bixler jokes with former teammate Jason Jaramillo;� at the plate

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NOTES:

Roster moves: Pitcher Steven Jackson was added to the Indians’ roster today.� He was DFA’ed and had passed through waivers, then was assigned to the Indians.

In order to free up a roster spot, reliever Danny Moskos was reassigned to the Altoona Curve today.� Despite dominating the� Eastern League, Moskos has been struggling in his appearances with the Indians.� He had an 0-5 record and a 10.48 ERA in 19 appearances.

Pitcher Travis Chick, who was briefly with the Indians before being sent to AA Altoona last week, has been traded to the Texas Rangers.� The Rangers assigned him to AA Frisco.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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