CLEVELAND (CBSMiami) – Lonnie Chisenhall saw the celebratory mob coming.
“I just tried to get on the ground and cover myself from the punches,” he said. “But it was totally worth it for the win, especially with how we did it,”
Chisenhall was the last of a long cast of heroes for the Cleveland Indians. His two-out, walk-off RBI single capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Indians a wild 6-5 victory over the Miami Marlins Sunday at Progressive Field.
The Indians swept the three-game series to extend their winning streak to six games.
The teams combined to score 11 runs and all but one of them came in the last three innings.
“We never feel like we’re behind,” Chisenhall said. “Everyone got into the game and everyone contributed. That’s the kind of group of guys we have. We never give up.”
Chisenhall’s hit, on an 0-2 pitch from Marlins closer Fernando Rodney (2-4), was preceded by a two-out, two-run single by Jose Ramirez on a 1-2 pitch that tied the game at 5-5.
“There are different kinds of losses, and this one stings,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said.
With the Indians trailing 5-3, pinch hitter Brandon Guyer led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing a walk from Rodney. The next hitter, Carlos Santana, also drew a walk.
“We caught a break. He (Rodney) was struggling with his command,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Rodney then struck out Jason Kipnis, who tried to check his swing on the pitch, but it was ruled a swing. However, it was also a wild pitch, which allowed the runners to move to second and third.
Francona was ejected from the game for arguing the checked swing.
“I still don’t think Kip swung,” Francona said. “They say things even out. Maybe they do.”
Francisco Lindor flied out for the second out, but Mike Napoli drew a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Michael Martinez.
Ramirez then slapped a single through the left side of the infield, his fourth hit of the game, scoring Guyer and Santana, tying it at 5. Chisenhall then hit a sinking liner to right field that fell in for a single, just out of the reach of diving right fielder Ichiro Suzuki.
“I was hoping it would fall,” Chisenhall said. “Ichiro still moves well and gets good reads, but I was hoping.”
Martinez, who went to second on Ramirez’s hit, scored the winning run as Chisenhall was mobbed by his teammates.
“Seems like it’s a different guy each night,” Chisenhall said. “This is fun.”
Not for the Marlins, who went 1-6 on their trip to New York and Cleveland, and have lost eight of their last nine games.
“Obviously the end of the game is frustrating, at a tough time of the year,” Mattingly said. “That kind of game ends a really bad trip for us. That’s a tough one to take.”
Indians reliever Cody Allen (3-5) got the win.
Miami scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take the lead.
With the score 3-3, Miguel Rojas led off the Marlins’ ninth with a double to left field off Andrew Miller. Dee Gordon pinch ran for Rojas and Gordon scored on a double into the right field corner by Suzuki, giving Miami a 4-3 lead.
“It was a good pitch. Suzuki just went down and got it,” Francona said.
Suzuki went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Martin Prado to make it 5-3, setting the stage for the dramatic bottom of the ninth.
After being held scoreless on three hits through the first six innings by Miami starter Tom Koehler, the Indians finally broke through against the Marlins’ bullpen. Reliever Kyle Barraclough came in to start the seventh inning, and was greeted by a double from Ramirez.
Chisenhall grounded out. Abraham Almonte reached on an infield single that allowed Ramirez to score Cleveland’s first run. Rajai Davis, pinch running for Almonte, stole second and went to third on a groundout to first by Tyler Naquin.
Coco Crisp pinch hitting for Chris Gimenez, drew a four-pitch walk, and Santana drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases with two outs.
Kipnis then singled to center field, scoring Davis and Crisp to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
The lead quickly vanished, however, as T.J. Realmuto, leading off the eighth inning against reliever Bryan Shaw, hit a home run into the center-field bleachers, to tie the score at 3.
“Bryan was trying to go down and away and he missed by a lot,” Francona said.
The home run was the first run allowed by Shaw since July 18, a span of 18 appearances and 17 innings pitched.
By The Sports Xchange