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LA Angels squeeze past Cleveland on Kendrick’s bunt single in 9th

compiled from staff and wire reports

Howie Kendrick (mlb)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim star Howie Kendrick has had only a handful of sacrifice bunts in 379 major league baseball games, four to be exact.

Wednesday afternoon, Kendrick shocked the Cleveland Indians and everyone else in Angels Stadium when he put down a bunt with two outs in the ninth inning to score Torii Hunter with the winning run as the Angels rallied for a 4-3 win.

The Angels, who generally lead the majors in bunt hits each season, began the game winning rally when Hunter used his speed to leg out a double  leading off the ninth inning against Joe Smith (o-1). Hidecki Matsui was walked intentionally and reliever Rafael Perez got Kendry Morales to ground into a double play, moving Hunter to third base.

An intentional walk to Juan Rivera set the stage for Kendrick’s shocking ending to a very closely played game.

Indians starter Jake Westbrook allowed three runs and four hits over six innings. The 32 -year-old right-hander is still looking for his first victory since undergoing Tommy John surgery on June 12, 2008, and sitting out the entire 2009 season. He is 0-2 with a 5.53 ERA in five starts this year.

Indians outfielder Austin Kearns finished the team’s 3-6 road trip batting 12 for 29 with 2 homers and 9 RBI’s.

Reds rookie Mike Leake continues to win; beats Houston 6-4

compiled from staff and wire reports

Reds rookie Mike Leake was  in college in April 2009.

Currently in April 2010, he’s pitching with confidence, poise and guile which takes many years to develop on the professional level.

Leake, from Arizona State University, the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft, is the 21st player since the draft started in 1965 to play in the majors without spending a day in the minors.

Mike Leake Reds (Arizona State photo)

The 22-year-old Leake hurled seven sharp innings and the Cincinnati Reds scored three runs on a blunder by right fielder Hunter Pence  to beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Wednesday night.

Leake (2-0), who has never pitched in the minors, gave up five hits and struck out five as Cincinnati won its third in a row.

Mike Leake said he has been helped by being around veterans on the Reds pitching staff, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Arthur Rhodes, Francisco Cordero and Micah Owings.

Leake gave up a single with one out in the first inning before the Reds turned a double play to get out of the inning. He then retired 10 straight over the next few innings.

Not a bad hitter for a pitcher, Mike Leake got his fourth career hit with a single in the sixth inning.

Astros 1b Lance Berkman homered off of Nick Masset in the ninth inning. It was the 315th in Berkman’s career, moving him ahead of Reggie Smith and into sole possession of fifth place on the career list for switch hitters.

The Reds were up 2-0 in the fourth inning when Pence lost the ball in the sky at dusk with the Minute Maid Park roof open on a high fly ball hit off the bat of Brandon Phillips. The ball dropped just beyond his glove for an error that cleared the bases.

Double plays and clutch hitting help Clippers defeat Charlotte

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

Dan Hock, megasportsnews.com staff writer also contributed to this story.

Huntington Park grounds crew works on field (megasportsnews.com)

Chris Gimenez came off the bench for the Clippers Wednesday afternoon at Huntington Park, and his double and two-run homer proved to be the difference in a 4-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights on Ohio Tourism Day.

The teams exchanged runs in the third inning and Columbus added another in the fifth inning, when Gimenez scored on a Shelley Duncan double. Gimenez hit a home run an inning later to put the Clippers up by three.

Shelley Duncan was a star of the game (megasportsnews.com)

Josh Tomlin made a spot start for Columbus, he’s 2-1. He made his second start of the year (in place of the injured Scott Lewis), going five innings to get the win. Jeremy Sowers, who took Lewis’ spot on the roster, threw two scoreless innings in relief for the Clippers.

Clippers pitcher Josh Tomlin (megasportsnews.com)

Robert Hudson of Charlotte scores the game's first run (megasportsnews.com)

Steven Wright gave up a solo home run to Charlotte’s Robert Hudson in the eighth inning. It was a strange home run because Hudson took a half golfing swing and the ball traveled 328 feet into the left field seats.

Saul Rivera closed the door in the ninth to pick up his third save of 2010. The double play ball was the best friend of the Clippers during Wednesday afternoons 11:30 a.m. game. Charlotte grounded into four twin-killings which snuffed out potential scoring chances.

Indians mascot Slider visited on Wednesday (megasportsnews.com)

Game three of the four game series will be played Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. with Carlos Carrasco getting the ball for the Clippers. the game will be carried live on SportsTime Ohio.

GAME NOTES:

* By beating Scott Elarton on Wednesday, the Clippers are now 10-6 against righthanders in 2010.

* Wednesday was the fourth game of a season-long 10 game home stand for the Clippers. They are currently 2-2. Still to come are the Syracuse Chiefs.

* The Clippers have won six of the last eight against Charlotte, including five straight at Huntington Park.

* Columbus overcame their largest deficit of the season to win Tuesday’s game, scoring 12 unanswered runs after Charlotte took a 4-0 lead. The win was Columbus’ 7th come from behind win.

* Having Michael Brantley on the team means the Clippers have the reigning International League stolen base champion to go along with the 2009 Eastern League base stealing leader in Jose Constanza.

* Three of Midwest cities ballparks are listed in the top 10 of the Minor League top 10 attendance list. 2. The Dayton Dragons, Fifth Third Field in 10 games is averaging 8,157 fans per game; 4. Louisville, Slugger Field in 9 games is averaging 7,955 fans per game; 10. Columbus Clippers, Huntington Park in 11 games, 6.584 fans are showing up to cheer on the Clippers.

* The Clippers are hitting .288 which is 2nd in the IL and the ERA is 4.14 which is 9th.

* Columbus is 9-3 when scoring more than 4 runs.

* 16 Consecutive days in first place.

* Are 3-0 on Wednesday.

* Are 7-5 at home.

* Are 13-8 in the month of April.

* Charlotte Knights outfielder/first baseman Josh Kroeger had hit safely in 13 of 14 prior to going 0-3 on Wednesday’s game.

* The Knights roster has three players who played their college ball at the University of  Texas. Outfielder Jordan Danks, Infielder Rob Hudson and RHP  Kyle McCulloch all played for the respected college program. Hudson and McCulloch played on the 2005 College World Series Championship team. Danks and McCulloch were All-Americans during their time in Austin.

Columbus' Brian Bixler leads off first (megasportnews.com)

Charlotte Knights vs. Columbus Clippers (megasportsnews.com)

Austin Kearns leads Tribe over Angels with 5 RBI’s and HR (Tuesday)

compiled from staff and wire reports

Austin Kearns and Manny Acta have been reunited in Cleveland this season. Both say that the reunion has been beneficial for both.

Kearns homered for the second straight game and drove in five runs, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. The nine-year veteran outfielder missed the last two months of the 2009 season with the Washington Nationals after having surgery on his right thumb, and was given a tryout contract by the Indians on January 5 and invited him to spring training.

Austin Kearns (mlb)

Kearns has homered in consecutive games for the first time since September 24-25, 2007. His homer in the eighth inning on Monday night against Brian Stokes was his first since April 26, 2009.

Rookie Mitch Talbot (3-1) won his third straight start, allowing a run and six hits over 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander, who earned his first big league win with a complete game against the Chicago White Sox on April 16, has allowed two earned runs in 21 1-3 innings over his last three outings.

Aaron Harang is sharp as the Reds beat Houston 6-2 (Tuesday)

compiled from staff and wire reports

For most of this 2010 baseball season, Reds pitcher Aaron Harang hasn’t been pitching aggresive enough.

On Tuesday, the 6’7 pitcher got his first win of the season.

Harang pitched six solid  innings and Ryan Hanigan drove in a career-high-tying three runs to give the Reds a 6-2 win over the Astros. The win breaks a five-game road skid for  the Reds and halts Houston’s winning streak at  three.

Aaron Harang Reds (mlb)

Harang allowed eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings. Daniel Ray Herrera pitched a perfect seventh before Nick Masset threw shutout ball in the eighth and Francisco Cordero finished the game off in the ninth.

The Astros are playing 22 of its first 31 games at home.

Harang (1-3) allowed a season-low two runs, Houston scored in the first inning, before he settled down after his two starts where he allowed a combined 14 earned runs.

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