It was a scoreless game for the first 5 innings. Syracuse starter Ross Detwiler was scheduled to pitch only 2 innings. He breezed through those, retiring the Indians in order in the 1st, then allowing only a walk to Hague in the 2nd. Hague was forced out at second base moments later. When Detwiler was finished with his innings, Brad Meyers piggy-backed with him, and went on to pitch 6 innings.
The Tribe’s first hits came in the 4th — back-to-back one-out singles by LF John Bowker and Hague. The inning ended when Hague was again forced out at second base on a grounder by RF Miles Durham. Watts picked up the Indians’ third hit of the game with a double into right field to lead off the 5th inning, but he was left on base.
Indians’ starter Garrett Olson (photo) earned his second win of the season (2-0 record). He pitched 7 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 5 Chiefs. He threw 93 pitches, 56 of which were strikes. The first hit Olson allowed was a single in the bottom of the 1st by Chiefs’ 2B Steve Lombardozzi, and 1B Chris Marrero also walked in that inning — the only inning in which Olson had to work with more than one runner on base. He walked rehabbing CF Rick Ankiel in the 3rd and gave up a double to SS Seth Bynum in the 5th. After the double, Olson retired the next 8 batters he faced.
SS Brian Friday began the 6th inning with a looper into right field for a single. Bowker grounded to third, allowing Friday to move to second base. Hague picked up his first RBI with a single up the middle, scoring Friday with the first run of the game. Hague was thrown out trying to steal second base. 3B Andy Marte singled next, but a fly out ended the rally.
Watts began the 7th inning with a strange play. He blasted a high fly ball to center field, and almost everyone in the park thought the ball had sailed over the wall for a home run. But the ball hit some kind of metal bar behind the wall and bounced back onto the field of play. Thinking he had homered, Watts was in a home-run trot and had passed second base but was not yet to third. He was unaware that it was not a home run until he was tagged out between the bases on the throw in from center field. Manager Dean Treanor did not argue the play. CF Gorkys Hernandez was up next, and he took a double (uncontested) into center field, but was left stranded.
The Tribe rallied again in the 8th. Friday walked to lead off, and advanced to second base on a delayed steal after a wild pitch. The throw to second base was high over Bynum’s head, and it would have been into center field if not for back-up by Lombardozzi. Friday scored from second when Hague lined a double into the left-center field gap. Hague scored from second on Durham’s RBI single. Durham had grounded wide of first base, and should have been out to end the inning. Syracuse pitcher Meyers was late in getting over to cover first base, so 1B Marrero had to wait a second to toss the ball to first. That second was enough for Durham to get to the bag safely. With his back to the plate, Meyers was not quick to pick up on the fact that Hague had rounded third and was still running. Meyer’s throw to the plate was late, and Hague scored easily to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Olson began the bottom of the 8th inning with a walk to Bynum. At that point he was relieved by Steven Jackson (photo above). Jackson got out of that inning with two grounder force outs and a strikeout. Jackson made a rare plate appearance in the top of the 9th — and doubled into center field. 2B Pedro Ciriaco singled, moving Jackson to third, but they were left on the corners after two fly outs. Jackson gave up a 2-out walk in the bottom of the 9th, but ended the game with a strikeout.
Indians’ Hitting Gem of the Game: #1– Three hits by All-Star Matt Hague. He drove in two of the Indians’ runs and scored the other run himself. #2 — A double by pitcher Steven Jackson. It was his 2nd career double and his 8th career hit (now he’s 8-for-40).
Indians’ Defensive Gem of the Game: A long running catch by RF Miles Durham in the 5th inning. Seth Bynum was standing on second base at the time, so if the ball had gotten past Durham, another run would have scored.
More All-Star notes: Fan votes counted for a third of the overall vote for players in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. Indians OF Alex Presley received the most votes of the IL outfielders. SS Chase d’Arnaud, 3B Brian Friday, and DH Andy Marte were all runner-ups in their positions. Presley, d’Arnaud, and relief pitcher Tim Wood would have been named to the IL All-Star team, if they hadn’t been promoted to the majors.
Matt Hague has hit .402 in the month of June (after hitting .308 in May). This month alone, he has hit 11 doubles and 5 homers, with 17 RBI. He’s had a hit in all but one of his last 10 games and has hit .500 (19-for-38) in that time.
C Dusty Brown and LHP Aaron Thompson have both cleared waivers. Brown will be heading back to Indianapolis, and Thompson will be going back to the Altoona Curve.
(photos by Nancy)