Lincoln gave up two more singles in the 3rd, to Montero and Laird, but left them stranded. The Indians’ fielders were shifted way to the left when Laird was batting, with Harrison playing on the left side of second base. That left a huge hole on the right side of the infield, and sure enough, that’s where Laird hit the ball. Lincoln settled down after that inning, and retired the last 10 batters he faced in order, taking the Tribe through the end of the 6th. Lincoln threw 98 pitches (64 strikes) in his 6 innings, and allowed those 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 7 strikeouts.
The Indians recorded 8 hits, three more than the Yankees. The Tribe put runners on base in each of the first 4 innings, but could not get any of them around to score. CF Gorkys Hernandez bunted for a single in the 1st inning, but was picked off first base. Hague and Marte both ripped line drives for singles in the 2nd inning, but C Dusty Brown bounced into an around-the-horn double play, to end the inning. DH Wyatt Toregas, (photo) who was playing in only his 7th game for the Indians, led off the top of the 3rd by working a walk. Picart dropped down a sacrifice bunt, moving Toregas to second base, but he was left there when a line out and a ground out ended the inning. RF John Bowker and Hague also hit back-to-back singles in the 4th inning, and they too were left on base.
Alex Presley (photo) gave the Indians their only run, which came in the top of the 6th. With one out, Presley raked a line drive into the right-center field gap. Yankees’ CF Maxwell raced over and made a desperate dive, but missed the ball by more than a foot. The ball kept going to the wall, where RF Brewer finally tracked it down. The speedy Presley raced around second, kept going, and saw manager Dean Treanor windmilling his arms as he approached third base. Presley kept going, as the throw in from Brewer reached the cut-off man (?Russo). But the cut-off man slipped on the wet grass, and his throw to C Montero had to go up the third base line to get the ball. Montero swiped at Presley, but when he went for the tag, the ball fell out of his hand, and Presley jumped around the tag and landed safely for the homer.
Hague picked up his third hit of the game moments after the homer. He lined a double to almost the same part of the outfield as Presley’s homer for a double, but was left on base when Marte grounded out.
The Indians had only one hit over the last three innings of the game. Harrison led off the 8th with a single lined into center field, extending his hitting streak to 8 games. Hernandez bunted Harrison to second base, but reliever Randy Flores took over for Yankees’ starter David Phelps, and two pitches ended the inning. Presley hit the first pitch he saw back to the mound, where Flores made a leaping catch of the high bounce, and threw Presley out at first. Bowker slashed the first pitch he saw into center field for a fly out. The Tribe went down in order in the 9th.
Chris Leroux took over for Lincoln to begin the 7th. He faced 6 batters and retired them all in order, with one strikeout. That was the last 16 Yankees batters put down in order by Leroux and Lincoln.
The win broke the Yankees’ losing streak ( 6 games), and gave the Indians their third loss in the last 12 games.
Tomorrow’s game, the final game of this 4-game series with the Yankees, will begin at 10:30 am.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: How can you beat an inside-the-park home run? It was Presley’s 5th homer of the season.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: Two long runs for two great catches. In the 3rd, Gorkys Hernandez ended the inning with by running full-tilt for a sinking fly ball by Kevin Russo, making the catch, then sliding and falling on the wet grass. If he hadn’t made the catch, at least one of the two runners on base would have scored, and maybe both of them. In the 7th, Dan Brewer lifted a foul to the right side of the infield, drifting into foul territory. Matt Hague made the long run back and toward the seats, and made an over-the-shoulder catch for the first out of the inning.
Inf Chase d’Arnaud has been placed on the DL with a groin strain. D’Arnaud has been on a hot streak, with hits in all but one of his last 13 games. He’s hitting .329 for the month of May, with 2 homers and 12 RBI.
Inf Brian Friday is still not playing, due to issues with his back. That leaves the Indians short on infielders….
Greg Picart was added to the Indians’ roster, taking d’Arnaud’s spot, from Extended Spring Training. This was Picart’s AAA debut, and in fact, he has never before played above the A+ level. The 25-year-old hit .245 for Bradenton in 2010, with 5 doubles, 2 triples, and 25 RBI. Picart is not a particularly big guy (5′ 11″, 155 lb) and does not have a lot of power, but he has been an excellent defensive middle infielder in the Pirates’ organization since he was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2003 draft. Picart became a free agent after the 2010 season and resigned with the Pirates. He flew up from Florida to join the Tribe in Scranton, and was helped out by the rain delay — he didn’t even arrive at the field until after the game’s original start time. Apparently manager Dean Treanor was considering having one of the pitchers start in the outfield, but the delay made that unnecessary.
Evan Meek has completed his rehab assignment and was reactivated by the Pirates. In order to make room on the active roster, reliever Danny Moskos was optioned back to the Indians. He has not yet joined the team.
Former Indy Indian (2004) Corey Hart hit three home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers tonight. He blasted a 2-run homer in the 1st, a 2-run homer in the 5th, and a 3-run homer in the 8th, for a total of 7 RBI. He also walked and stole second base in another at-bat. All three homers came off another former Indy Indian (2006, 2008-09), Tom Gorzelanny, now pitching for the Washington Nationals.
Former Indy Indian (2009-10) Steven Jackson was released by the Dodgers last week. He had been pitching at AAA Albuquerque, but was struggling. In two games with Albuquerque, Jackson allowed 11 runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings. Jackson was picked up by the Reds and has been assigned to AAA Louisville, so we’ll be seeing him again.
(Photos by Nancy)