Mercado delivers RBI single in 10th, Indians beat Reds 2-1
CLEVELAND (AP) — Oscar Mercado admitted it wasn’t easy to stay calm when he came to the plate in the 10th inning.
The Indians rookie outfielder did, and the result was another clutch hit.
Mercado’s bases-loaded single with one out in the 10th gave Cleveland a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the intrastate matchup Tuesday night.
“That was pretty incredible,” Mercado said. “I’m not going to lie. Just breathing is the biggest thing at that time in those at-bats, but it’s hard. The game’s on the line.”
Mercado lined a 1-2 pitch from Raisel Iglesias (1-6) to left field and was mobbed by his teammates after rounding first base.
Mercado was doused with water buckets as he did a postgame interview in front of the dugout.
Mike Freeman drew a one-out walk and took third on a single by Leonys Martín. Francisco Lindor was intentionally walked, setting the stage for Mercado, who glanced toward Cleveland’s star shortstop before he stepped in.
“The first thing I did was look at him,” Mercado said. “He’s one of the most selfless guys I’ve been around. He was sort of walking me through some things to do, like stay calm.”
Mercado, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus on May 14, hit a tie-breaking home run off CC Sabathia in a win over the New York Yankees on Saturday.
Brad Hand (3-2) pitched two scoreless innings and struck out the side in the 10th.
Reds manager David Bell still has confidence in Iglesias, despite his high loss total.
“He’s going to be out there in key spots, so things like that are going to happen,” Bell said. “It didn’t work out tonight, but he’s going to continue to get big opportunities in games.”
Cleveland has won five of seven on its homestand, taking two of three from Minnesota and the Yankees.
Bauer walked Derek Dietrich with two outs in the eighth and was replaced by Oliver Pérez. Pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer singled to deep short and Nick Wittgren retired Yasiel Puig on a fly ball to right.
Bauer worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh that started with a double by Puig. Bauer issued one-out walks to José Iglesias and Tucker Barnhart — the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters.
Bauer fielded Nick Senzel’s tapper in front of the mound and threw home to start an inning-ending double play. Catcher Roberto Pérez stepped on the plate and threw to first, retiring Senzel.
Bauer pumped his right fist and jumped over the third-base foul line on his way to the dugout.
Senzel had an RBI double in the fifth.
Cleveland loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Castillo struck out José Ramirez and Jake Bauers.
“Luis was tired, but he got the job done in the sixth,” Bell said. “He was very impressive. So was Bauer. Bauer pitched a great game, as well.”
Santana hit a one-out homer in the fourth, his team-leading 15th.
David Hernandez entered the game in the eighth for the Reds and struck out five of the six batters he faced.
Reds: 2B Scooter Gennett (strained right groin) is taking batting practice through Saturday at Cincinnati’s training facility in Goodyear, Arizona. He was injured on March 22.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis (sore hip) was out of the lineup. … RHP Mike Clevinger (strained back muscle) pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings Wednesday on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron. … RHP Corey Kluber will undergo further scans on his broken arm Thursday. He was hit by a line drive May 1
Dietrich, who grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, would love to take part in the Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star Game festivities next month.
“I’m a Cleveland kid and I’ve played a long time in the major leagues,” he said. “I’m hoping to get an opportunity to represent the Cincinnati Reds in my hometown. It would be a dream come true.”
Dietrich has 17 homers this season. He won a high school home run contest at the ballpark in 2006.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-3, 4.70 ERA) makes his third career start at Progressive Field, where he is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA over 14 career innings.
Indians: RHP Zach Plesac (1-1, 1.86 ERA) earned his first major league victory in his last start, holding the Yankees to two runs in seven innings on June 7.