Josh Tomlin put down the Bucs routinely to open the contest; Kevin Correia gave up a couple of long flies, but did the same. Neil Walker singled to start the second, and was stranded there. Three up, three down, all on grounders, for the Tribe.
But trouble brewed for KC in the third. A Walker throw-away put Matt LaPorta at second; he was nailed at third on a grounder to short after a rundown; he left the game limping. But a single and walk juiced the sacks with one away. He lucked out with a liner to third for the second out, but luck ran out when he balked all the runners up a station when he and Mike McKenry appeared to have a communication breakdown. After three, it was 1-0, Cleveland.
Tomlin had a strong fourth inning, whiffing Xavier Paul and Walker sandwiched around a McCutch roller to second. With two away, Corriea fell behind Carlos Santana 2-0; he fed him a pair of four seamers, and the second one left the yard, the catcher's eighth bomb of the season. After four, it's 2-0 Cleveland.
Jones lined a single to center to start the fifth frame. Josh Harrison K'ed after a Lyle Overbay fly out, and McKenry's bouncer ended the frame. The Bucs aren't very disciplined so far against Tomlin; they're hacking away at pitches outside the zone, making his job that much easier. KC also made it look easy, putting down the Tribe cleanly.
Ronny Cedeno became the third leadoff hitter for the Pirates in six innings to get aboard when he doubled into left. JT lined one into center, but Grady Sizemore was there for the grab. Paul roped a singled to right to score Jose Tabata, but was gunned down easily at second when the throw home was cut off. But at least the Bucs are on the board.
With an out, Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to right. Travis Hafner walked on four pitches; KC wasn't going to fool with the hot-hitting (.339) lefty with first base open. Cabrera tried to swipe third; McKenry said no; the baserunning today has been less than textbook. Shin-Soo Choo walked to put runners at first and second. KC gave Santana another fastball, this time on a 2-2 count, and he lined a single to right to load the bases, with a strong peg in by Paul freezing the runners after ninety feet.
Clint Hurdle took the ball from Correia, and called on Chris Resop. Correia went 5-2/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits with two K's and three walks; he was already up to 94 pitches. It was a solid enough outing for the righty, who was left on the hook by the bats today, a rare happenstance for KC. Resop got a bouncer to end the frame without any damage done.
Jones singled to right with one away in the seventh. Overbay struck out swinging; the curve he missed may have been the only strike in the six pitch sequence that he saw. Harrison had a knock up the middle, and that was enough for
- Cleveland is taking a page out of Pittsburgh promotions this weekend - they have fireworks tonight, Donny Iris will play a post-game concert tomorrow, and Sunday is "Kids' Fun Day" - they get to run the bases.
- George Guido of the Valley News reports that Leechburg's Mickey Morandini has landed a managing gig for Philly's Class A Williamsport team. MM was a former All-Star second baseman who wore the uniforms of the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Toronto Blue Jays. He played in the Olympics and had an eleven year MLB career with an overall BA of .268. Morandini had been coaching at Valpo HS and helping out at extended spring training for the Phils.
- Behind Nick Pollio's arm and Ryan Finnegan's bat, Riverside claimed its third State Class AA crown since 2005 today by a 5-2 tally over Sunbury Township from the Allentown area.
- Serra Catholic's Alain Girman pitched a three-hitter and struck out 13 to prime a 4-0 victory over Reading Central Catholic in the State Class A championship. The Eagles were runner-ups in 2009-10, so today's win was especially sweet.