Tonight's Interleague Top 5:
5. Carlos Santana Debuts: Acquired in the deal that sent Casey Blake to the LA Dodgers in July of 2008, catcher Carlos Santana was the top-rated prospect in the Indians' system according to Baseball American's lastest rankings this past January and the 24-year-old backstop hit for a .316/.447/.597 slash line in 57 games with Triple-A Columbus with 14 doubles, 13 HR's and 51 RBI's before getting the call to make his debut tonight. Santana throws Nyjer Morgan out in the first for the first CS of his career on the first base-runner who tried. 0 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in his debut, Santana doesn't look out of place, and Indians' right-hander Jake Westbrook seems fine throwing to the rookie catcher over 7.1 IP in which he allows 7 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB and strikes out 5, throwing 113 pitches, 56 strikes and getting 11 groundouts and 3 flyouts.
4. Kennedy's E's Extend Inning: League-leading E: 56 of 2010 is on Adam Kennedy, who had bobbled a grounder on the previous play but tossed to second in time for a force on what should have been a DP. Kennedy gives Cleveland another extra out when he runs around Russell Branyan's grounder to second and comes up empty. Austin Kearns up next and he launches a hanging curve from Nats' starter Luis Atilano to left for a 3-run HR and a 3-1 Indians' lead after one. Kennedy's 6th error of 2010 costs the Nats three runs...
3. Austin Kearns Goes Deep Twice? Kearns' last two-HR game? Tonight's 2-HR outburst is Kearns' first two-home-run game since June 4th 2006 when he was a Red playing the Houston Astros. Atilano hangs a full-count slider to Kearns in the first. It's a first-pitch fastball up high in the fourth that Kearns hits out for HR no.2, both to left...and then PRONK!! Travis Hafner launches a two-strike sinker inside to right and out for a solo HR and the first of three runs Cleveland scores in the sixth. Indians' first 5 runs come on 3 HR's. Atilano out in the fifth: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K's, 103 pitches, 58 strikes, 9 groundouts, 3 flyouts.
2. Morgan Back? Sure he almost collided with Roger Bernadina in right-center when both arrived at the wall on Austin Kearns' attempt at a third HR, but Morgan leaped and came down with it as Bernadina backed off, and the Nats' center fielder makes a nice catch at the wall to maybe calm some of the fears about his play and get the T-Plush talk going again...At the plate, Morgan's 2 for 4 with two singles, but he's caught stealing again after singling in the first, (CS in 10 of 22 attempts) and he lines into a double play with Bernadina running from first in the third.
1. Streaks End: Adam Dunn's streak of three-straight games with HR's ends. The Nats' longest win streak of the season ends at three-straight wins. The Indians win their third-straight HR. Dunn does for 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. Atilano loses his second-straight start. Uh...Washington-based teams' two-game winning streak ends at two-straight, breaking a winning-streak that had stood since September 22, 1971...that's all I got, this game was rough...
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• Final Score: Indians 7, Nationals 2.
Nationals now 30-32.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nyjer Morgan sneaks a grounder by Indians' first baseman Russell Branyan and Luis Valbuena drops it, so Morgan's safe. On the first pitch to Pudge, Morgan's running, and the debuting rookie catcher Carlos Santana has his first caught stealing when he makes a perfect throw. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez lines a single over first, and Adam Dunn goes the other way with a line drive double to the left-center gap. 1-0 Nats. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to Jason Donald at short. Josh Willingham swings over a sinking two-strike change...Trevor Crowe grounds out to Luis Atilano, who throws to first. Shin-Soo Choo singles over the mound and up the middle. Atilano gets a DP grounder to second, but Adam Kennedy bobbles it a second too long, so it's just a force. Russell Branyan reaches safely when Adam Kennedy makes a clean error on a grounder to second. Two on, two out for Austin Kearns. Hanging curve, GONE!! 3-run HR to left and over the Progressive Field's high left field wall. 3-1 Indians. Travis Hafner lines into the right field corner and beats Roger Bernadina's throw to second. Jhonny Peralta lines out to left field and Willie Harris makes the grab right where he's standing.
2 - Willie Harris grounds out to second on a 3-1 pitch from Jake Westbrook. Jhonny Peralta throws out Ian Desmond. Adam Kennedy chops one to short and Jason Donald makes the play and throw, 3-1 Cleveland in the second...Luis Valbuena lines out to Nyjer Morgan in short center. Jason Donald grounds out to Adam Kennedy at second. Luis Atilano gets another grounder to second to end the second.
3 - Roger Bernadina walks to start the Nats' third. With Bernadina running on a full-count pitch, Morgan lines to third, and Peralta doubles up Bernadina, double play. Pudge Rodriguez lines a single to right. Adam Dunn lines to right to move Pudge to third. Ryan Zimmerman K's swinging, 3-1 Indians...Shin-Soo Choo grounds out to Dunn at first. Carlos Santana grounds to first, Atilano covers. Two down. Russell Branyan K's swinging. 3-1 Indians.
4 - Josh Willingham takes a two-strike curve inside for a called strike three. Willie Harris grounds out, two down for Westbrook. Ian Desmond K's chasing a curve into the dirt, Carlos Santana has to tag him...Luis Atilano leaves another one up and Austin Kearns launches it to left and over the high wall again. Solo HR, 4-1 Indians. Atilano walks Travis Hafner. Jhonny Peralta doubles to left and Hafner takes third as Harris recovers it. Luis Valbuena grounds back to the mound. One out. Jason Donald grounds out to Adam Kennedy at second, and Atilano pops Trevor Crowe up to end the fourth.
5 - Westbrook walks Adam Kennedy to start the fifth. Roger Bernadina grounds to Jason Donald, to Valbuena to Russell Branyan, double play. Nyjer Morgan grounds out to short. Nats down quickly in the fifth, 4-1 Cleveland...Shin-Soo Choo grounds out to Dunn at first. Carlos Santana walks with one down. Russell Branyan pops out to Zim foul of third. Kearns K's this time, no HR. Still 4-1 Indians.
6 - Pudge Rodriguez grounds out to Jhonny Peralta at third. Adam Dunn goes down swinging. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out, where's all the offense the AL is supposed to have...4-1 Indians...5-1, Pronk!! Travis Hafner goes deep to right and out of the park. Hafner's 6th. Peralta singles to center. Atilano's done. Tyler Walker gives up a single to Valbuena singles to move Peralta to third, and both runners score on Trevor Crowe's single. 7-1 Indians. Shin-Soo Choo walks, but is forced out at second on a grounder by Carlos Santana. Russell Branyan flies out left, 7-1 Cleveland after six.
7 - Josh Willingham pops to Jason Donald at short. Willie Harris flies to right-center, and Crowe makes the catch while Choo slides to avoid him. Ian Desmond flies to center, 1-2-3 seventh...Nyjer Morgan and Roger Bernadina almost collide but Morgan makes a catch on the wall on another fly ball from Kearns. Travis Hafner grounds back to Walker near the mound. Jhonny Peralta K's looking, 7-1 Tribe after seven.
8 - Adam Kennedy singles through second and steals a bag on Westbrook. Bernadina grounds out unproductively. One down. Nyjer Morgan singles through short, first and third with one out. Pudge rolls one out to second, Valbuena blows it, Kennedy scores, 7-2 Indians. Westbrook's done. Tony Sipp on to face Adam Dunn, who walks. Manny Acta turns to Chris Perez, who gets a grounder to short, to second, to first, double play off Zim's bat, 7-2 Cleveland in the eighth...Doug Slaten vs Valbuena. Fly ball to left, one down. Jason Donald's hit on the shoe. Shin-Soo Choo grounds into a force at second.
9 - Austin Kearns catches Josh Willingham's fly ball to left. Willie Harris flies out to short center. Two down. Ian Desmond takes a two-out walk to get Adam Kennedy up. First-pitch swinging and he flies out to short right, Indians win, 7-2 final.