Hernandez got the Tribe’s big 5th inning started with an infield single, as SS Iorg was able to charge in and make the scoop of the ball, but then dropped the ball as he was making the transfer to his throwing hand. Hernandez stole second base with Presley at the plate. Presley smacked his third hit of the night deep to short, where Iorg was able to keep the ball from going into left field (which would have let Hernandez score), but by the time he turned, he had no play on the speedy Presley. With runners on the corners and one out, Toledo starter Adam Wilk was relieved by Brendan Wise. Wise began by walking both DH Andy Marte to load the bases. Matt Hague (photo) worked a full count, then took ball four, forcing in Hernandez with the tying run. Andrew Lambo took three balls, then on the 3-0 count grounded a little hopper towards first base. Mud Hens’ Ryan Strieby saw his chance to snatch the ball and force out Presley at the plate, but his throw was rushed and off-balance, and it sailed past C John Murrian on the third base side of the plate. Presley scored, and all three other base runners were safe as they advanced (no RBI for Lambo due to the error). The Mud Hens made a second error when 3B Josh Harrison grounded to short. Iorg made the throw to second base, successfully forcing out Lambo, but former Indy Indian 2B Argenis Diaz’s throw to first base was wide. The ball landed at the base of the tarp beside the Indians’ dugout, and while the Mud Hens were chasing it down, both Marte and Hague scored, and Harrison reached second base (it was ruled a fielder’s choice, because you can’t assume the double play, and a throwing error by Diaz to let Harrison get to second). A wild pitch let Harrison move to third base. Then C Dusty Brown lined a single into center field, plating Harrison with the 5th run of the inning. That was all the Indians would get, because with 2B Pedro Ciriaco at the plate, Brown jumped the gun in taking his lead off first base, and was caught in a rundown (1-3-4-1-6-2) to end the inning.
After the 6th, the Tribe returned to their pattern of one hit per inning. Gorkys Hernandez singled for the third time in the 7th inning, and Chase d’Arnaud (photo) also walked in that inning. But Toledo reliever Al Alburquerque struck out the next two batters to finish the 7th. He also struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the 8th, gave up a double to Harrison, then struck out Brown to end the inning. Harrison’s double at first appeared to be a home run. He crushed the ball to deep left field, and it appeared to land in the grass berm. But then the ball bounced a few times and ended up rolling to a stop on the narrow ledge on the top of the left field scoreboard. Harrison, believing he’d hit a home run, circled the bases and was already heading to the dugout when the umpires finished conferring and called him back. They ruled it a ground rule double. Radio guys Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley reported that on the in-house replay the ball clearly did not ever land on the far side of the outfield/berm fence, and the umpires got the call right.
When Rudy Owens had finished his night’s work, he was relieved by newcomer Joe Beimel, who was just moved up from Bradenton today. Beimel needed only 13 pitches (9 strikes) to struck out the first two batters he faced, then get a grounder to complete the inning. Dan Meyer gave up a bunt single to DH Scott Thorman and a grounder that glanced off the mound and into center field to Clete Thomas, but left both of them on base in the 9th.
The Indians and Mud Hens go at it again on Tuesday, beginning at 11 am — a school day special.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Three hits each for both Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley (photo). All six hits were singles. Hernandez’s average was raised to .333, and Presley’s to .550 with those hits.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: In the 4th inning, Ryan Strieby grounded to deep short, where Chase d’Arnaud went way to his right to make a backhanded stop deep in the hole. He didn’t have time to plant his feet, but instead made an across-the-body and off-balance throw to first base, where Matt Hague stretched and dug the ball out of the dirt just in time to beat Strieby to the bag. And, they made it look routine.
Joe Beimel made his Indians’ debut……….. Rudy Owens
Former Indy Indian Argenis Diaz…………………………..Dusty Brown
Joe Beimel is on a minor league contract, so the Pirates can move him around and up and down within the minor leagues as much as they please. But, they ultimately want him healthy and ready to join the Pirates’ bullpen. When that is ready to happen, they will have to add him to the 40-man roster.
Brad Lincoln finished his official rehab assignment, and has been optioned to the Indians. He’ll stay in the Indians’ rotation for a little while, until he too is ready to move up. Unlike Beimel, Lincoln is already on the 40-man roster.
(photos by Nancy)