If the Indians and Red Sox meet this October, suffice to say it won’t lack in action.
Cleveland claimed the middle contest of a three-game set in exciting fashion Saturday night, beating Boston 5-4 in 11 innings at Progressive Field.
With the bases loaded in the 11th, Michael Brantley singled to left, putting the game to bed in walk-off fashion.
With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 105-50, while the Indians climb to 86-68.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Though there wasn’t much at stake for either side, that wasn’t apparent based on the way both sides were competing.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff, and though he didn’t get shelled, the Indians certainly took what the righty was giving them. Porcello finished his five innings of work having allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits with two walks and one strikeout.
The Indians scored a pair in the second. Josh Donaldson began the inning with a single, then moved to third two batters later on a Melky Cabrera single. Donaldson came home when Yan Gomes drilled a one-out double, then with two down Cabrera scored on a Francisco Lindor single. Gomes tried to score on the play as well, but was thrown out at home.
With Jose Ramirez standing on second base with two down in the third, Donaldson laced a single to plate him, making it 3-1 Indians.
After Boston cut the lead to one, Cleveland added one more on Porcello, with Lindor driving in Gomes from second with a single.
Porcello finished his night on a high note, tossing his lone 1-2-3 inning of the game in the fifth, which was his final frame of the night.
— Robby Scott took over in the sixth and retired the side in order with one strikeout. He returned for the seventh and allowed a leadoff single to Jason Kipnis before getting pulled.
— Brian Johnson entered with a runner on first and no outs in the seventh, and though he eventually walked the bases loaded, he got out of the inning without allowing a run.
The southpaw also pitched the eighth and threw a 1-2-3 stanza with one punch out. Johnson also handled the ninth and retired the side in order. He returned once more in the tenth, but walked two to begin the inning and got pulled.
— With no one out and runners on first and second, Sox manager Alex Cora turned to Joe Kelly. The right-hander struck out Donaldson and Yonder Alonso back-to-back for the first two outs, then ended the inning without any damage by getting Yandy Diaz to ground out.
— Drew Pomeranz got the 11th and immediately allowed Gomes to reach first on an infield single due to an errant throw from Rafael Devers. Rajai Davis, pinch-running for Gomes, made it to second the next at-bat on a Greg Allen single. The Indians then pulled off a double steal, moving runners to second and third with no one out. After an intentional walk to Lindor, Brantley then lofted a ball to left, scoring Davis to give the Indians the win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Devers was responsible for Boston’s first run. With one down and the bases empty in the third, Tribe starter Mike Clevinger left a full-count changeup over the plate to Devers, who drilled it into the right-field seats, cutting the Sox’s deficit to 2-1.
— Trailing 3-1 in the fourth, Blake Swihart brought the Red Sox back within one, lining a 1-0 changeup over the fence in right.
— Down 4-2 in the eighth, the Red Sox made things interesting. Mitch Moreland began the inning with a single, but after the ensuing two hitters got out, Jackie Bradley Jr. roped a double that moved Moreland to third. Andrew Benintendi then drove in a pair with a single to tie the game at four, but ended the inning when he inexplicably tried stretching his hit to a double.
— Benintendi, Devers, Moreland, Swihart, Bradley, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt all had one hit.
— Ian Kinsler went hitless, as did Steve Pearce in his two at-bats off the bench and Sam Travis in his lone pinch-hit at-bat.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Looks like the assistance paid off a little bit.
The Red Sox and Indians will play the series finale of their three-game set Sunday night. The Red Sox will send Hector Velazquez to the mound, while the Indians will send out Adam Plutko. First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports Images