In 11 innings, the Indians were able to salvage their road trip woes thanks to a late-inning home run from an unlikely hero. With no outs in the top of the eleventh, with the game tied at 2-2 against the Boston Red Sox, Nick Swisher delivered a solo home run to give the Indians the go-ahead run in their 3-2 win.
Corey Kluber started the game for the Tribe and did not appear to be in his traditional lights-out form. He threw five and one third innings, walking four batters and allowing four hits. Brandon Workman pitched for the Red Sox, allowing five hits in just over six innings of work.
With two outs in the first inning, Michael Brantley delivered a solo home run to put the Indians ahead 1-0. The Red Sox responded with a lead-off single from Brock Holt, who advanced to second on a wild pitch by Kluber. After moving to third following a ground out from Dustin Pedroia, Holt scored on a single hit by David Ortiz, tying the game at 1-1. Kluber then gave up a single to Mike Napoli and walked Daniel Nava, prompting a visit to the mound from Mickey Callaway. Following Callaway’s visit, Kluber struck out his first batter of the game, A.J. Pierzynski.
The game remained tied at one, despite the Indians putting runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings. Brantley sinked in the fourth and advanced to second on a single from Kipnis, though Lonnie Chisenhall and Swisher could not send either runner home. Carlos Santana doubled in the top of the fifth, and Yan Gomes got to first after being hit by a pitch. Michael Bourn and Asdrubal Cabrera were yet again unsuccessful in advancing either runner, stranding Santana and Gomes on base to end the top half of the inning.
Nava was walked again in the bottom of the fourth inning, though he was caught stealing second and was thrown out by Gomes to remove him from the bases. In the bottom of the fifth, Kluber walked Jackie Bradley Jr. and gave up a single to Holt on a 2-2 count, despite having thrown two strikes to start Holt’s at-bat. Bradley advanced to third on Holt’s single, putting runners at the corners for Pedroia. Pedroia grounded into a force out that should have been a double play ball, though the Indians turned the play too slowly to throw Pedroia out in time at first. Bradley scored on the play, putting the Red Sox ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
Nava walked for a third time in the bottom of the sixth and was the last batter Kluber faced before being replaced by Marc Rzepczynski. Rzepczynski faced Pierzynski, who hit into a double play to end the inning. David Murphy walked to start the seventh inning and advanced to third on a single from Santana with no outs. Workman was then removed from the game and was replaced by Burke Badenhop. Gomes hit a sac fly to left field, which scored Murphy and tied the game 2-2. Rzepczynski gave up a single to Stephen Drew in the bottom of the second, who then stole second with Bradley at the plate. The Red Sox were unable to send Drew home, keeping the game tied at two going into the eighth inning.
Andrew Miller replaced Badenhop in the eighth for the Red Sox, facing Brantley to start the inning. Brantley was called out on strikes, and was followed by Kipnis, who got to first on a strikeout and wild pitch. Chisenhall struck out swinging, and Swisher ground out to end the inning.
Bryan Shaw pitched the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order to bring the game into the ninth inning. Koji Uehara came in to pitch for the Red Sox in the ninth, also retiring the side and keeping the game tied at two. John Axford struck Nava out for the first time in the game in the bottom of the ninth, and walked both Pierzynski and Grady Sizemore with one out. Drew struck out swinging, bringing Bradley to the plate with two outs. The runners advanced on a wild pitch, putting runners at second and third for Bradley. Axford issued a walk to Bradley, loading the bases with two out. Scott Atchison relieved Axford, and the inning ended when Holt was thrown out at first for the third out.
Craig Breslow came on for Boston in the tenth, walking Brantley with two outs to then face Kipnis, who walked as well. Mike Aviles came in to pitch hit for Chisenhall against the leftie, hitting into a force out at second. The game went into the bottom of the tenth inning still deadlocked at two. Cody Allen pitched a scoreless tenth for the Tribe, sending them into the eleventh with Junichi Tazawa coming in to pitch.
Swisher delivered his solo home run to start the eleventh inning, giving the Indians their 3-2 lead.
Allen returned to the mound to close the game for the Indians in the bottom of the eleventh, and was named the winning pitcher. The Indians are now back at 35-35 on the season, and split their road trip 5-5.
The team will return home tomorrow for seven days, playing a four-game series with the Angels and three games against the Tigers. Tomorrow night, Trevor Bauer (1-3, 4.24) will face Jered Weaver (7-5, 3.51) of the Angels as the Indians attempt to continue their at-home winning streak.
Photo: Steven Senne/AP Photo