EditorsNote: updates third graf with Astros’ win; fixes “no outs” in fourth graf
Michael Brantley’s RBI single with no outs in the 11th inning Saturday night lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 win over the visiting Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field.
By winning the middle game of the three-game series, the American League Central champion Indians (86-68) delayed, perhaps only momentarily, the AL East champion Red Sox (105-50) clinching the top seed in the AL playoffs.
One more win by Boston or one more loss by Houston will lock the Red Sox into the top seed and ensure the Indians and Astros play each other in the AL Division Series. The Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-5 later Saturday.
The Indians, who put runners on first and second with no outs in the 10th but failed to score, capitalized on their opportunity in the 11th, when Yan Gomes and Greg Allen led the inning off with singles against Drew Pomeranz (2-6).
Rajai Davis, who pinch-ran for Gomes, and Allen then executed a double steal before Francisco Lindor was intentionally walked. Brantley followed with his third hit of the game.
Tyler Olson (2-1) earned the win by tossing two perfect innings.
Lindor had two run-scoring singles for the Indians while Gomes and Josh Donaldson each had two hits and an RBI.
Rafael Devers and Blake Swihart homered for the Red Sox, who tied the game on Andrew Benintendi’s two-run single in the eighth. Eight players had a hit apiece for Boston, which will break the franchise record for regular season wins with its next victory.
Starters Mike Clevinger and Rick Porcello each lasted five laborious innings.
Clevinger exited in line for the win for the Indians after surrendering two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out six. Porcello allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks while striking out one.
—Field Level Media