• Tribe drop 3rd straight against PawSox

    June 08, 2012 No comments

    Despite first baseman Jeff Clement’s International-League-lead-tying 17th double of the season, Indianapolis fell for a third straight game to the Red Sox last night as Pawtucket rallied for five-straight runs to beat the Indians 5-3 at McCoy Stadium.

    The Pawtucket rally was completed in the bottom of the sixth inning when one swing of the bat turned a one-run deficit into a two-run advantage. With one out, LF Lars Anderson drew a walk and 1B Mauro Gomez was hit by a pitch before DH Josh Kroeger launched his eighth home run of the season over the right-field fence. The three-run blast gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead, their first of the game.

    Indianapolis had rolled behind starter Jeff Karstens, who was making his third rehab start for the Tribe, expecting to throw around 100 pitches. With one out and one on in the bottom of the fifth, however, Karstens allowed a single up the middle to RF Alex Hassan that drove in Kroeger. Karstens left the game following the hit having thrown just 63 pitches, 45 for strikes.

    After Karstens left the game, RF Nate Spears singled to put runners on first and second before C Mike Rivera singled to drive in Hassan and cut the Indianapolis lead to 3-2. However, reliever Duke Welker settled in and induced back-to-back ground outs to end the threat until Kroeger’s sixth-inning home run proved to be the game-winning hit and gave Welker his first loss of the season.

    For the third night in a row, the Indians had taken an early lead in Pawtucket. Clement led off the top of the second inning with his 17th double of the season and was driven home by the first double of the season from 2B Yamaico Navarro, giving Indianapolis a 1-0 lead.

    The Tribe added a run in the top of the third on a rally started by SS Chase d’Arnaud’s one-out single to center and later scored on an RBI groundout by LF Gorkys Hernandez to make it 2-0. Indianapolis extended its lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth when DH Jake Fox scored on a sac fly by d’Arnaud.

    Despite allowing all three Indians run, Red Sox starter Brandon Duckworth won his sixth game of the season while recording a season-high eight strikeouts. RHP Mark Melancon threw a perfect ninth inning to earn his eleventh save of the year.

    Indianapolis (34-26) and Pawtucket (39-22) will wrap up their four-game series at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night. Looking to avoid the sweep, the Tribe is expected to send LHP Jeff Locke (4-3, 3.10) to the mound. The Red Sox are expected to counter with RHP Doug Mathis (4-3, 4.66).

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