Indians rally for 3 in 9th to stun Nationals 7-6
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 27, 2016 06:41 PM
Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor (12) throws to first after forcing out Washington Nationals' Trea Turner (7) at second base on a ball hit by Bryce Harper, who was safe at first during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor watched his hit squirt into the outfield and then danced his way down the first-base line before being engulfed by a wave of elated teammates.
Three outs from defeat, the Indians pulled out an unlikely victory that felt bigger than one win.
Lindor pushed an RBI single through Washington's drawn-in infield with one out in the ninth inning, and Cleveland rallied for three runs in its final at-bat to stun closer Jonathan Papelbon and the Washington Nationals 7-6 on Tuesday night in a matchup of first-place teams with sights on October.
Down two runs and in danger of their losing streak reaching a season-high four games, the Indians rallied against Papelbon (2-4), who did not get an out before he was pulled by manager Dusty Baker.
"That's an ugly way to lose one," Baker said. "I'm at a loss for words."
With the bases loaded, Lindor fisted his hit into right field to cap an inning that included a clutch double by rookie pinch-hitter Tyler Naquin, a pair of well-executed bunts by the Indians, a throwing error by Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and another big highlight by Lindor, one of the AL's rising stars.
"You never know," said Indians backup catcher Chris Gimenez, whose hustle to first might have rushed Zimmerman's throw.
Bryan Shaw (2-4) got two outs in the ninth and picked up the win as Cleveland won its first home game since July 10. The Indians had been on the road since then because of the All-Star break and the Republican National Convention.
"It's huge," Lindor said. "We've been on the road for a while. It's nice to be home with our families, get that little off day and be in this clubhouse. It changes everything a little bit."
Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer and Wilson Ramos added a solo shot for the NL East-leading Nationals, just 4-6 since the All-Star break.
At New York, Bartolo Colon pitched three-hit ball for seven sharp innings as New York overcame another home run by Jedd Gyorko to beat St. Louis 3-1 for a doubleheader split.
Gyorko homered in both ends and has connected seven times in nine games. His two-run shot helped the Cardinals win the opener 3-2.
In other NL games, Ichiro Suzuki made his first start in five games and went 1 for 5, giving him 2,997 career hits, as Miami beat Philadelphia 5-0, Milwaukee beat Arizona 9-4 and San Francisco had a 9-7 win over Cincinnati.
At Toronto, Devon Travis scored the winning run on a wild pitch as the Blue Jays rallied for three runs in the 12th inning to beat San Diego 7-6.
Matt Kemp put the Padres in front with a two-run homer off Jesse Chavez (1-2) in the top of the 12th, but San Diego's bullpen couldn't hold the lead.
Travis drew a 14-pitch walk to load the bases, bringing Paul Clemens on in relief of Carlos Villanueva (1-2). Clemens walked Jose Bautista to make it 6-5 before Josh Donaldson tied it with a fielder's choice grounder.
With Edwin Encarnacion batting, a pitch bounced away from catcher Derek Norris, and Travis slid in just ahead of the tag as his teammates stormed out of the dugout to celebrate.
The Yankees had a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros, the White Sox beat the Cubs 3-0 in the Chicago showdown, and Colorado ended the AL-leading Baltimore Orioles five-game winning streak with a 6-3 defeat.
The Detroit Tigers roughed up knuckleballer Steven Wright to edge the Boston Red Sox 9-8, the Los Angeles Angels matched their season-high 22 hits in a 13-0 rout against the Kansas City Royals, and Seattle ace Felix Hernandez settled down after a shaky start and picked up his first victory in more than two months as the Mariners beat the Pirates 7-4.
Lucas Harrell pitched six innings and Adonis Garcia homered as the Atlanta Braves beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 in a matchup of the worst teams in the majors.
This untimely meeting came nearly 25 years after the Twins beat the Braves in a World Series that's often been mentioned among the most dramatic in history. The 1991 anniversary celebration was marked by Gene Larkin, who had the winning hit in the 10th inning of Game 7, throwing the ceremonial first pitch.
Elsewhere, the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 6-3 and the Los Angeles Dodgers held off Tampa Bay 3-2.