Pedro Ciriaco makes the play at shortstop:
For the second game in a row, the Indians’ batters jumped out to a great start with a rally in the bottom of the 1st inning. D’Arnaud led off with a grounder to short. Buffalo’s SS Hernandez made the scoop and throw, but the speedy d’Arnaud beat the ball to the bag. Ciriaco dropped down a bunt, and then beat that out for another infield single. LF Alex Presley drove a liner into center field for an RBI double, as d’Arnaud raced home from second base. A ground out by 1B Matt Hague brought in Ciriaco, who had moved to third on d’Arnaud’s double. After another grounder by Harrison, C Jason Jaramillo zipped a line drive into right field, to plate Presley and give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Buffalo starter Casey Fossum held the Indians to one hit over the next three innings. That was a line drive single into left field by Harrison in the 4th. Moments later, Harrison was picked off and caught in a run-down (which he almost escaped) : 1-3-1-4.
The Tribe picked up some insurance runs in the 5th inning. CF Gorkys Hernandez got this rally started with a huge double off the top of the left field scoreboard — missing a home run by about a foot. Brad Lincoln sacrifice bunted Hernandez to third base. D’Arnaud followed with his third home run of the season, a long rising blast over the left field wall, just a few feet further back from where Hernandez’s ball had landed (photo, as Hernandez celebrates with d’Arnaud). The 2-run homer boosted the Tribe’s lead to 5-0.
Hague led off the bottom of the 6th with a single that bounced through the hole and into left field. That send Fossum to the showers, and brought on Buffalo’s Bobby Parnell. Harrison greeted Parnell with a hard line drive double inside the left field line and all the way into the corner. Hague tore around from first base, and crossed the plate just before the throw from LF Feliciano came in to the plate. Buffalo C Chavez snatched the hight throw and immediately fired back to third base, in hopes of getting Harrison who was trying to advance from second on the throw in from the outfield. But Chavez’s throw to third base was also high and out of the reach of 3B Fisher, though the SS Hernandez was there to back him up, and Harrison slid in safely. After a strikeout, RF Andrew Lambo grounded to second, where another former Indy Indian (2004) Luis Figueroa made the fielder’s choice throw to the plate. That throw was in time and on target. Chavez blocked the plate and applied the tag to Harrison for the second out of the inning. Hernandez also singled in the inning, but was left on base.
D’Arnaud collected his third hit of the game in the 7th inning, off a new Bison reliever, Dylan Owen. It was another infield hit, with d’Arnaud beating out a throw from 3B Fisher. He was forced out at second base on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Presley.
Cesar Valdez (photo) relieved Brad Lincoln to begin the top of the 8th. Valdez gave up a lead-off double to Chavez, just inside the third base bag and down into the Indians’ bullpen, scattering the rest of the relievers. Valdez left Chavez standing on base, though, with two ground outs and a fly out.
Tim Wood took the mound for the top of the 9th, and he gave up the only Buffalo run of the game. Nieuwenhuis led off with a single into right field, then advanced to second base on a ground out and to third on a wild pitch. Wood struck out Pascucci, but then Fisher singled up the middle, scoring Nieuwenhuis. Another strikeout ended the inning and the game.
The win ensures the Indians of at least a split of this 4-game series with the Bison. Thursday’s game will be another 11 am start, for the last Baseball In Education day of the season.
Brad Lincoln got to hit — a strikeout, a sacrifice bunt, and a fly out; Tim Wood
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: Chase d’Arnaud’s home run in the 5th inning, and his 3-for-4 afternoon.
Indians’ Defensive Gems of the Game: Two infield plays where charging the ball was a big part of the job: in the 4th inning, with a runner on first, Bubba Bell grounded a slow roller toward 2B Chase d’Arnaud. D’Arnaud had to wait for the base runner to get out of the way so that he had a clear view and path to the ball, then had to charge in. He made the throw to first, going across his body while still moving forward, just nabbing Bell at first. In the 8th, with a runner on second, pinch-hitter Jonathan Malo grounded toward third base. Josh Harrison charged in, making the flying scoop and firing on to first base just in time.
NOTES FOR STAT RATS:
In the International League:
Batting average: #1– Jerad Head (Columbus) .353; #3 — Alex Presley .346
Number of games played: #1 — Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Buffalo) 41 of 41; tied for #2 — Chase d’Arnaud, Matt Hague, Alex Presley (plus 2 others) 40 of 41
Hits: #1 — Alex Presley 54; #2 — Mauro Gomez (Gwinnett) 51
Triples: Tied for #1 — Chase d’Arnaud and 3 others 3
For the Indians:
Batting average: #1– Alex Presley .346; #2– Josh Harrison and John Bowker .333
Runs: #1 — Alex Presley 27; #2– Chase d’Arnaud 24
Hits: #1 — Alex Presley 54 ; #2 — Matt Hague 44
Doubles: #1 — Alex Presley and Dusty Brown 9; Chase d’Arnaud, and Andrew Lambo 8
Triples: #1 — Chase d’Arnaud 3; #2 — Alex Presley, Matt Hague, Josh Harrison, and Corey Wimberly 2
Homers: #1 — Dusty Brown 5; #2 — Alex Presley 4
RBI: #1 — Matt Hague 24; #2 –Chase d’Arnaud 19
Walks: #1 –Alex Presley 14; #2 –Chase d’Arnaud 13
Strikeouts: #1 — Andrew Lambo 33; #2– Alex Presley and Chase d’Arnaud 28
Stolen Bases: #1 — Alex Presley 11; #2– Gorkys Hernandez 10
(photos by Nancy)