Hendriks (8.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO) turned in masterful effort, falling just a single out from a complete game shutout while earning his fifth victory to improve to 5-0 on the season. The near complete-game shutout came just one start after Hendriks picked up a seven-inning shutout over Columbus on June 4, and the right-hander has now tossed 15.2 straight scoreless frames, striking out 18 during that stretch.
The Tribe's only three hits off Hendriks came on a pair of two-out singles by CF Starling Marte in the bottom of the first and bottom of the ninth and a one-out base knock by C Jose Morales in the bottom of the fifth. The base knock by Marte in the ninth prevented Hendriks from the complete game shutout as Rochester went to reliever Lester Oliveros (0.1 IP), who earned his fourth save of the season by inducing a game-ending lineout by DH Jeff Clement.
For the first six innings of the contest, Tribe starter Daniel Cabrera matched Hendriks with six scoreless frames of his own. However, Rochester would finally get to Cabrera (6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) in the top of the seventh, plating two runs with just one base hit, which would in turn pin Cabrera with the loss, dropping his record to 2-2.
Red Wings 3B Danny Valencia and LF Wilkin Ramirez led off the seventh with back-to-back bases-on-balls before RF Matt Carson was hit by a pitch while attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt, loading the bases. CF Clete Thomas then came to the plate and rolled a potential double play ball to first, but, because of a bobble, only Thomas would be tagged out and what turned out to be the game-winning run crossed the plate.
C Rene Rivera continued the seventh-inning rally with the only hit in the frame when he followed Thomas' RBI groundout with a base hit to right to plate Ramirez and extend the Red Wings advantage to 2-0. The base hit fell just out of the reach of Tribe RF Brandon Boggs and put runners on first and third, where they would be stranded after Indians reliever Duke Welker eventually struck out the final two batters to end the threat.
Despite three walks, Welker (1.2 IP, 3 BB, 3 SO) used three strikeouts to work 1.2 scoreless frames of relief, while fellow right handed reliever Bryan Morris (1.0 IP) tossed a perfect ninth in a losing effort.
After the defeat, the Indians are now 35-27 on the season and hold a 6.5-game lead in the IL West Division. The Tribe and Red Wings continue their four-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. Indianapolis expects to send LHP Rudy Owens (4-2, 2.35) to the mound while Rochester is expected to counter with RHP Cole DeVries (1-4, 4.23).
The contest will be televised on HTSN (Hometown Sports and News), available via cable or over-the-air on digital channel 6.2. The game will also 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 12:45 p.m.
Post-game quotes -- C Jose Morales
(On being able to get one of three hits off Red Wings starter Liam Hendriks)
"I've been struggling lately, so I've just been trying to keep it simple: see the ball, hit the ball. We've had a long day and I don't want to make any excuses, but on a day like that, we're just trying to keep it simple. On the other hand, I've got to give great props to (Indians starter Daniel) Cabrera. He did a great job and gave us six real strong innings. We needed that from him to save our bullpen."
(On working with reliever Duke Welker to escape a jam in the seventh inning)
"He has great stuff, but sometimes he has some troubles with his control, but he was able to come back and make some good pitches with his slider and we got out of that inning. It was a battle for him, but we got it done."
(On what the Indians need to do to take the next three games and the series from Rochester)
"Just rest today and come back tomorrow ready to go. We have a pretty good team here and there's no doubt in my mind we can do that. Just go home today, rest and come back tomorrow ready to play."