September 23, 2019 / 1:59 AM / a month ago

Indians tied for wild card after ripping Phillies

EditorsNote: Adds Realmuto’s first name in graf 10; other minor edits

Sep 22, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Philadelphia Phillies tinfielder Sean Rodriguez (13) looks on at the batting cage before playing the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Oscar Mercado hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning to help lift the Cleveland Indians to a 10-1 win in the rubber game of their three-game series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday evening.

The win pulled the Indians (92-64) back into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot from the American League with six games left. The Oakland A’s have a two-game lead for the top wild card.

Yasiel Puig had a three-run double and Franmil Reyes added a two-run homer as the Indians added six runs in the seventh inning. Carlos Santana finished with three hits and two runs.

Indians starter Adam Plutko went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run and four hits. He struck out three and walked two. Carlos Carrasco (6-7) followed with 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief.

Scott Kingery had two hits and a run for Philadelphia (79-75).

Phillies shortstop Jean Segura couldn’t bare hand a slow roller to begin the fifth inning, and starting pitcher Vince Velasquez then failed to bare hand a bunt, resulting in back-to-back errors.

Velasquez nearly escaped the inning unscathed, but Mercado slammed an 0-2 fastball midway up the grandstands in left for a 4-1 lead.

Velasquez (7-8) went 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (one earned) and five hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

The Phillies failed to score in their half of the fifth after putting runners on first and third with no outs. Plutko got Cesar Hernandez to pop out to third for the first out, before Carrasco came on to get an inning-ending double play to keep the score tied.

The Phils took the early lead when Kingery led off the third inning with a walk, moved to second on a ground out and then to third on a fly out. Catcher J.T. Realmuto then doubled to deep left-center field to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.

The Indians tied the score in the fourth.

Santana and Puig delivered back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on the corners, and Santana came home on a fielder’s choice ground out by Mike Freeman.

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