Indians Win Third In A Row

After Olson left, Sean Gallagher (photo) was brought on in relief.  In a move opposite to Olson’s situation, Gallagher had been in the Indians’ starting rotation, but has been moved to the bullpen.  He has made 6 starts for the Indians so far this season, earning an 0-5 record and a 8.78 ERA in 27.2 innings.  His longest and best start was on April 18th in Louisville, when he pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits, with 7 strikeouts.  Today’s outing turned out even better — Gallagher pitched 4 scoreless innings of relief, allowing 3 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts.  The righty started the top of the 3rd by striking out the first two batters he faced.  He walked 3B Luis Valbuena, then gave up a smash double down the third base line, just out of reach of the diving 3B Josh Harrison.  Valbuena stopped at third, and the Clippers had two runners in scoring position.  Gallagher left them both there, though, ending the inning with a fly out by SS Cord Phelps.  

Gallagher worked around a single by Head in the 4th and a bloopy single by former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin in the 5th.  He retired the side in order in the 6th, with a strikeout in each of those innings.  Ciriaco helped Gallagher with a fine play on a grounder off the bat of 1B Chad Huffman in the 4th.  Huffman grounded towards second base, forcing Ciriaco to charge over and make a back-handed catch behind the bag, then make a leap and an off-balance throw across his body.  The ball reached first base after a couple of bounces, but Hague was able to stretch out and dig it out of the dirt in time for the out.  

(Photo:  Everyone huddled in the dugout, even the relievers, staying out of the rain.)

RF Andrew Lambo gave the Indians their second run in the bottom of the 3rd.  With one out, he sent the first pitch from Mitch Talbot (on a rehab assignment from the Cleveland Indians) on a rising course down the right field line and over the wall, just barely fair.  Ciriaco had his second hit of the game in that inning also, a line drive single into right-center field.  Ciriaco was thrown out trying to steal second base, for the third out of the inning.  

IMG_5542(Photo:  Josh Harrison at third)

The Indians threatened in the 4th inning, when LF John Bowker blooped a single into short center field with one out.  Hague grounded to third, where 3B Valbuena’s feet slipped a bit as he made the scoop and turn.  The throw to second was in time to force out Bowker, but Bowker’s slide disrupted 2B Kipnis enough so that he could not throw on to first.  Harrison followed with an infield single, beating out a throw from SS Phelps, who had to go deep into the hole to make the play.  But C Jason Jaramillo struck out, leaving the two runners on base.  

Another double play eliminated Ciriaco after his third hit of the game int he 6th inning.  Ciriaco led off the inning with a liner into right field.  Reliever Scott Barnes struck out Presley, then struck out Bowker.  Ciriaco took off for second base on the last pitch to Bowker, and was thrown out stealing by Carlin for the second time in the game — a strike ’em out/throw ’em out double play.  

The Tribe scored again in the 7th with a 2-out rally.  Jaramillo got things going with a single through the hole into left field.  DH Andy Marte lifted a double into left field, and Jaramillo raced around to score from first base, as the throw to the plate came in a little too late.  Lambo grounded a single into right field, scoring Marte from second base.  The throw in from right field was short, and Carlin had to step out several feet in front of the plate to make the catch, as Marte was crossing the plate behind him.  Carlin fired over to second base, to try for the out on Lambo, who was advancing on thr throw in from the outfield.  Carlin’s throw to second was in time, and Lambo was tagged out.  The run had scored, and that should have been the end of the inning — but the first base umpire Jordan Baker sent Lambo back to second base.  His call was interference by 1B Huffman (an error), making Lambo safe at second.  The interference was not clear.  Radio guys Howard Kellman and Scott McCauley reported that on the video replay there was no obvious interference, and that Huffman did not seem to be even standing that close to where Lambo was running.  Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh came out and argued, and eventually was ejected by Baker.  It turned out to not matter, since Marte’s run was going to count anyway, and since Lambo was left on second base.  D’Arnaud walked on four pitches, then Ciriaco tapped back to the mound to end the inning.  

IMG_5555(Photo:  The ground crew repaired both the mound and the area around home plate in the middle innings.)

Hague singled in the 8th ininng, but was left on base.  The Indians recorded 11 hits in the game, giving them 41 hits over the last three games.  The only Indian to not have a hit in today’s game was hot-hitter Alex Presley, dropping his average to “only” .343.  Ciriaco went 3-for-4, raising his average to .185.  Lambo went 2-for-3, lifting his average to .241.

Cesar Valdez continued his scoreless streak, coming on to pitch the 7th inning.  He walked lead-off hitter Head, then retired the next three batters in order, giving him 19.1 consecutive innings without allowing a run.  

Tony Watson took the mound to begin the 8th.  He buzzed through that inning, with two strikeouts and a one-hopper back to the mound.  But, like in the past two games, things got dicey in the 9th.  Huffman led off with a liner into right field for a single.  A wild pitch moved Huffman to second base, then Watson got the first out of the inning when DH Travis Buck lined out to Presley in center field.  Another wild pitch advanced Huffman to third base, and Head walked to give the Clippers runners on the corners.  Kipnis drove a long fly to the left field wall, and both Huffman and Head scored.  Kipnis rounded second and raced for third — a base-running mistake.  The throw in from Bowker to d’Arnaud to Harrison was in time to tag out Kipnis at third base for the second out of the inning.  If Kipnis had held up at second, he would have reached third soon enough, as Travis Wood, who relieved Watson, threw a pitch that got away from Jaramillo.  Instead, the Clippers lost the chance to have the tying run at the plate and possibly extend the inning.  Wood ended the game with a ground out by LF Josh Rodriguez, and the Indians had the win.

Sean Gallagher was credited with the win, his first of the season.  Wood earned his 7th Save.  

IMG_5541(Photo:  Garrett Olson and Jason Jaramillo)

Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game:  It was an Andrew thing:  Andrew Lambo hit the solo home run in the 3rd inning, just inside the foul pole in right field.  It was his 3rd home run and 12th RBI of the seaso
n.  Andy Marte doubled into left field in the 7th inning, driving in Jason Jaramillo with what would turn out to be the winning run.

Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game:  A play you don’t see often, the reverse-force double play in the 2nd inning.  Matt Hague picked up Jason Kipnis’s grounder just a few feet from first base, so he made a quick step to touch first, then threw to second base.  The out at first means that is no longer a force play at second base, so not only did the ball have to reach second in time, but Chase d’Arnaud also had to tag out Jerad Head as he slid in.  

Corey Wimberly, who left last night’s game in the 4th inning, has been placed on the DL with a hamstring injury.  That opened up the roster spot for Andy Marte, who had been (on paper) transfered to the State College roster.  

Remember how Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle benched Andrew McCutchen a couple of days ago because he did not run to first on a a dropped third strike?  Last night, Columbus’ Lonnie Chisenhall committed the same faux pas, and he was out of the Clippers’ line up tonight.  

The Pirates have released pitcher Scott Olsen.  They had signed Olsen as a free agent, but after a hamstring injury in spring training, and has been on the DL for all of this season.  

Pirates’ Director of Player Development, Kyle Stark, is in Indianapolis for a few days.

Columbus’ Josh Rodriguez was the Pirates’ Rule 5 Draft pick from last December.  He started the season on the Pirates’ bench, but did not get a lot of playing time, and when it was clear that Rodriguez was not going to be able to stick at the major league level for the season, he was offered back to the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians assigned him to Columbus.  In 5 games with the Clippers (counting today), Rodriguez is 2-for-17 at the plate (.118).  One of those hits (two days ago) was a 2-run homer.

Go Tribe!

(photos by Nancy)

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