Indians Beat Gwinnett 10-2 for Fourth-Straight WinJune 20, 2012 - International League (IL) Indianapolis Indians
The Indians appeared to be cruising to an easy victory -- albeit one without a standout performance by any particular hitter -- until the ninth inning when the Tribe exploded for its final four runs. After a groundout, SS Yamaico Navarro doubled to right, his second extra-base hit of the game. Not to be outdone, Morales clubbed a double of his own -- his fourth hit of the game -- to drive in Navarro and RF Brandon Boggs, who had drawn a second walk and scored for the third time.
After a flyout, PH Jeff Larish drew a two-out walk and LF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases with an infield single before 2B Anderson Hernandez smacked a single -- his third hit of the game -- up the middle to score Morales and Larish and give the contest its final 10-2 score.
When all was said and done, Morales had gone 4-for-5 at the plate, driving in three runs and scoring a pair. It was the catcher's first four-hit game of the season and first multi-hit game since a 3-for-5 performance against Louisville on May 24. Additionally, Anderson Hernandez went 3-for-6 with two RBI and Navarro finished 2-for-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBI. Boggs led the Indians in the run-scoring department, crossing the plate three times.
The Indianapolis offense had provided all of the run support necessary in a three-run second inning that Boggs led off with his ninth double of the season. Morales followed with a single to right field to advance Boggs to third, where Boggs dropped anchor as he thought better of testing the arm of Gwinnett RF Felix Pie, who had already thrown out one Indians baserunner at the plate and would earn a second outfield assist on a 9-2-6 putout at second base later in the game.
Boggs did score on the next pitch, however, as 3B Brian Friday extended his hitting streak to nine games with a soft single to left field. After a sacrifice bunt by Indians starter Daniel Cabrera advanced the runners to second and third, Morales scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Gorkys Hernandez before Friday scored when Anderson Hernandez reached on an error.
Indianapolis extended its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Gorkys Hernandez and CF Starling Marte both scored on a triple by Navarro, who had been hitless in his prior three games. The sixth Tribe run scored in the top of the seventh when Boggs drew a two-out walk and took second on an errant pickoff throw before scoring on a single by Morales, making the score 6-2.
Cabrera (5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) had lost two straight starts but allowed only one run and issued no walks on Wednesday as he claimed his third win of the season. The only run Cabrera allowed came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when his Indians teammates had already spotted him a five-run lead. Gwinnett 1B Christian Marrero doubled to led off the frame and moved to third on Pie's infield single before eventually scoring on an RBI groundout by 2B Lane Zawadzki.
In support of Cabrera, the Indianapolis bullpen threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Braves as a quintet of Tribe relievers closed out the game. After Cabrera retired the first two batters of the sixth, the Indians turned to LHP Daniel Moskos (0.1 IP), who threw one pitch to retire switch-hitting 3B Ruben Gotay.
RHP Chris Leroux (0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER) took the mound in the seventh inning but struggled, allowing three two-out hits and a run before RHP Jose Diaz (0.1 IP) threw one pitch to induce a popout and end the inning and the Gwinnett rally. The run against Leroux scored when SS Tyler Pastornicky lifted a single to left to drive in PH Shawn McGill, who had singled and advanced to second on an infield single by CF Jose Constanza. The run cut the Indianapolis lead to 6-2 but would be the last one scored by the Braves.
RHP Daniel McCutchen (1.0 IP, 2 H) allowed two hits in the eighth inning but stranded both runners to became the first Indianapolis reliever to toss an entire inning before fellow RHP Duke Welker (1.0 IP, 1 K) tossed a perfect ninth to close out the win.
For Gwinnett, righty starter Eric Junge (4.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R,4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) took the loss, falling to 4-7 on the season. After the Tribe's offensive barrage in the ninth inning, former Indians INF Josh Wilson (0.1 IP) took the mound in an apparent lost cause and induced a deep flyout to end the inning, even touching 88 miles-per-hour with his fastball.
Indianapolis (43-29) and Gwinnett (37-37) will wrap up their four-game series on Thursday afternoon. With it being getaway day for both teams, the game will begin at 12:05 p.m. The Indians are likely to send LHP Rudy Owens (5-2, 2.34) to the mound, while the Braves have yet to name a starter.
The game will be carried on WNDE 1260 AM-WFBQ-HD2, WNDE.com and via iheartradio, a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones with Howard Kellman and Will Flemming on the call. The pre-game show begins at 11:45 a.m.
Post-game quotes --C Jose Morales
(On being ready when his name is called) "I just try to take it one day at a time, ya know, just thinking that I'm going to play every day. I just try to be ready and keep working hard and hopefully good things will happen."
(On setting the tone early with his first hit) "I've been working really hard lately on my hitting. I've been struggling, actually. When you're struggling, you're usually one hit away from feeling better and I guess I'm feeling pretty good today."
(On helping Tribe starter Daniel Cabrera overcome two straight losses) "Today was one of those days where I didn't really have to tell him anything from the get-go. I could tell from the [pre-game] bullpen that he was feeling real good today and he's a veteran, he works real hard in between starts and he did a really good job today. Like I said, from the time we started playing catch I could tell he was really locked in "
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