CLEVELAND (AP) — Santana’s HR in 10th lifts Indians over White Sox 6-5
The Cleveland Indians can seemingly do nothing wrong.
The Indians rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth inning Wednesday night and Carlos Santana hit a leadoff home run in the 10th to give Cleveland its seventh straight victory, a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Santana hit a 3-2 pitch from Dylan Axelrod (3-7) into the right field seats for Cleveland’s ninth walkoff win of the season. The crowd of 22,258 roared when the ball reached the seats and Santana threw his helmet in the air as he reached home plate and was mobbed his teammates.
“I love that situation,” said Santana, who dashed toward the infield after being doused with water. “All the time I was looking for a fastball and I made contact.”
It looked like Cleveland’s winning streak was about to end when Chicago scored twice in the ninth to break a 3-3 tie, but sacrifice flies by Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis off White Sox closer Addison Reed tied the game.
“We played hard all the time,” Santana said. “When they went ahead I didn’t see any player with their head down.”
The Indians won Monday on Jason Giambi’s ninth-inning homer and used a four-run eighth inning to overtake the White Sox on Tuesday.
“Winning and the way you’re winning breeds confidence,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I always think we have a chance.”
The Indians, who remain 2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central, have won 12 of 16. The White Sox have dropped sixth straight and 12 of 15. Chicago is 25 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 11, 1989.
The frustration continues to build for the White Sox. Chicago, picked to contend for the playoffs, is last in the division and trails the Tigers by 21 games.
“None of us have the answer for what’s going on,” Axelrod said. “It’s puzzling. I wish I knew how to fix it and get us out of this. When things are going bad, things are going bad.”
Chris Perez (4-1) hit Adam Dunn with a pitch with two outs in the 10th, but struck out Paul Konerko to end the inning.
Both teams scored two runs in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger’s two-run single with the bases loaded gave Chicago a 5-3 lead. Cleveland tied the game on sacrifice flies by Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis.
Keppinger, who was in a 3-for-31 slump, lined a 3-2 pitch from Cody Allen to right-center to break the tie in the ninth, but Reed couldn’t lock down his 27th save.
Corey Kluber pitched a career-high 8 2-3 innings but was pulled after Conor Gillaspie’s two-out single in the ninth. Dayan Viciedo’s single off Allen moved Gillaspie to third. Gordon Beckham walked to load the bases. Keppinger, batting for Josh Phegley, got ahead in the count 3-0. He took the next two pitches for strikes before delivering.
Michael Brantley started the Indians’ ninth with a double. After pinch-hitter Giambi was hit by a pitch, Drew Stubbs laid down a bunt in front of the plate. Reed fielded the ball and fired to first but Stubbs beat the throw, which was in the dirt and had to be scooped by Dunn.
Bourn’s sacrifice fly made it 5-4 and both runners advanced a base. Nick Swisher was intentionally walked and Kipnis tied the game with another sacrifice fly. Asdrubal Cabrera struck out to end the inning.
Kluber allowed three runs, all coming in the sixth when the White Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit.
White Sox starter Carlos Quintana recorded his major-league leading 14th no-decision, allowing three runs in five innings.
Kipnis’ groundout scored a run in the first. Brantley added an RBI double in the fourth while Santana’s fifth-inning double stretched the lead to 3-0.
Chicago tied the game in the sixth on Alexei Ramirez’s RBI double and run-scoring singles by Alex Rios and Dunn.
A day after pulling off trades, both teams were quiet as the 4 p.m. EDT deadline came and went without either making another deal. Chicago sent pitcher Jake Peavy to Boston and acquired four minor leaguers in a three-team trade with Detroit on Tuesday. The Indians acquired left-hander Marc Rzepczynski from St. Louis and optioned right-hander Vinnie Pestano to Triple-A Columbus.
Rios, another subject of trade speculation, sustained a bruised left foot after fouling off a pitch Tuesday but X-rays were negative. He was in the lineup Wednesday and had an RBI single.
NOTES: Cleveland hasn’t been 11 games over .500 since June 5, 2011. … The Indians have beaten the White Sox seven straight times. … White Sox manager Robin Ventura said RHP Andre Rienzo will remain in the starting rotation in Peavy’s former spot. Rienzo became the first Brazilian-born pitcher in major league history when he went seven innings Tuesday. … Indians RHP Justin Masterson (12-7) takes on White Sox LHP Chris Sale (6-10) in the four-game series finale Thursday at 12:05 p.m.