With one out in the 4th inning, LF Alex Presley (photo), 1B Matt Hague, and 3B Josh Harrison (just off the DL) hit three consecutive singles. Presley’s single dropped into short left field, Hague lined a single into right, and Harrison lined into left field, scoring Presley from second base. Lambo was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, but they were all left stranded when 2B Pedro Ciriaco flied out. The Indians were on the scoreboard, with a 3-1 score.
Justin Wilson had thrown 95 pitches (62 strikes) at the end of 5 innings. Tony Watson came on to pitch the 6th inning. He walked Bell to begin the inning, and Bell stole second base. DH Rhyme Hughes smacked a hard bouncer to deep short, which SS Chase d’Arnaud was able to keep from skipping into left field, but his throw (across his body as he was still moving away) was not in time, as Hughes beat out the infield single. That moved Bell to third base, and 2B Brendan Harris brought him in with a sacrifice fly.
The Tides added another run off reliever Garrett Olson in the 7th. Olson walked Henson to get started, then committed a balk to put Henson on second base. Two fly outs might have made Olson think he was almost out of the inning, but 1B Brandon Snyder extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a ground ball that slipped just past the diving d’Arnaud and into left field for an RBI single, scoring Henson from third.
Tim Wood pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th, with one strikeout.
After the one-run rally in the 4th, the Indians went down in order in the 5th. Alex Presley singled for the second time in the 6th, but was eliminated when Hague bounced right to SS Hardy. Hardy just needed a few steps to reach second base and force out Presley, then made the double play with a throw to first for the out on Hague. Two Indians’ batters reached base in the 7th. With two outs, Ciriaco reached on a fielding error at first base, and Hernandez lined a single into center field. A grounder to second base by Wimberly ended the inning, with both still on base. Presley singled again in the 8th, but was doubled off first base when Hague lifted a sinking line drive into short center field, and CF Henson fired back to first base faster than Presley could get back to the bag.
The Tribe had one more chance in the 9th, and they started a last-minute rally with a walk by Harrison. C Dusty Brown lined a single into left field, moving Harrison to third. Lambo’s sacrifice fly let Harrison score, cutting the lead to 5-2. With a new pitcher on the mound, Ciriaco blooped a single just behind second base, moving Brown to second base. That brought the tying run to the plate — Gorkys Hernandez. Hernandez bounced to third, where Bell tried to start an around-the-horn double play. He got the force out on Ciriaco at second base, but the speedy Hernandez beat out the throw to first base, putting runners on the corners. Hernandez advanced to second base on defensive indifference, but it didn’t matter, because pinch-hitter Andy Marte struck out to end the inning and the game.
Indians’ Hitting Gems of the Game: Three more hits for Alex Presley, who raised his batting average to .367. Sooner or later, the Pirates are going to think that they would like to have someone get that many hits for them, so we’d best enjoy Presley’s contributions while we can.
As expected, Josh Harrison was activated off the disabled list for this game. Harrison said after the game that he was happy to be back on the field, after being out of action for “… I don’t know how long, but it felt like forever… It always feels good to be out there.”
C Wyatt Toregas was placed on the DL to make room on the roster for Harrison. Look for another roster move to be made tomorrow, when John Bowker is expected to join the team and be activated.
Alex Presley’s three hits tonight move him into first place in the International League with 40 hits. He is tied at 7th in the league with 61 Total Bases. His .367 batting average is 5th in the IL.
(photos by Nancy)