Wilson and the Indians clung to that one-run lead until the top of the 6th. With one out, 2B Chase d’Arnaud (photo) lined a double to the left-center field wall. He made the turn and thought about going to third, but Toledo’s CF Clete Thomas got to the ball quickly, and d’Arnaud wisely held up at second base. Pedro Ciriaco lined into the left field corner for a second double, easily driving in d’Arnaud. Ciriaco stole third base, sliding in under a poor throw from C John Murrian. That put Ciriaco in position to score on Presley’s sacrifice fly, to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Justin Thomas came on to pitch in the bottom of the 7th. He gave up a double to 3B Danny Worth, who smacked a ball into center field, off the tip of CF Corey Wimberly’s glove and to the wall. A sacrifice bunt moved Worth to third, and a walk to Iorg put runners on the corners, but Thomas got out of the inning with an easy grounder to 1B Matt Hague.
The Tribe picked up an insurance run in the 8th inning. Wimberly began the inning by reaching base on a fielding error by Iorg at short. Wimberly stole second base, easily in under a high throw. After two strikeouts, Presley doubled just inside the left field line, and the speedy Wimberly came around to score.
Danny Moskos took the mound to begin the bottom of the 8th, and he got right into a jam. Dirks beat out a grounder to second, and 2B Scott Sizemore doubled into the left field corner. Presley came up throwing quickly, and Dirks was held at third base. DH Timo Perez brought Dirks in with an RBI grounder to second, which moved Sizemore to third base. 1B Ryan Strieby dribbled a little grounder to the left of the mound, which Moskos fielded cleanly. He looked Sizemore back to third, then threw out Strieby at first for the second out. It looked like Moskos had a chance to get out of the inning, but instead, the next batter LF Scott Thorman slipped a grounder through the hole into right field, scoring Sizemore from third. Tim Wood (photo) came in to relieve Moskos. He finished the inning with a strikeout, but the Indians’ lead had been cut to 4-2.
The Indians went down in order in the top of the 9th. Wood came back out to pitch the bottom of the 9th. He set the Hens down in order too, though he had to dodge a broken bat barrel when Thomas lined out to Ciriaco for the first out of the frame. After that danger, a quick strikeout and a fly out ended the game. Wood earned his first Save of the season.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: The big blast by Andy Marte (photo below) in the second inning, for his second homer of the season. It got up into the wind, but that doesn’t mean that it was a cheap homer for Marte.
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: Justin Wilson’s superb six innings of shutout pitching. He had the Mud Hens under control. And, in the 5th inning, when Cale Iorg worked a walk, Wilson turned and picked Iorg off first base. In the post-game interview, Wilson gave credit to both his catcher Jason Jaramillo, who called a great game, and his defense who made the plays behind him. “I just tried to make pitches when I needed them,” he said. “It all worked out.”
Jose Ascanio has joined the Indians on his rehab assignment. He is scheduled to start the second game of Thursdays’ double-header, though he is likely to only pitch one inning. The bullpen will tag-team the rest of the second game.
Catcher Wyatt Toregas was removed from the Indians’ active roster when Jason Jaramillo was sent to the Indians over the weekend. Toregas has been placed on the State College Spikes’ roster. Of course, the Spikes don’t begin their season for several more weeks. This is a paper move –and I think I saw Toregas warming up pitchers for the Indians on Sunday.
(photos by Nancy)