Tribe improves to 56-55
Contestant: I'll take awesome endings for $500.
Alex: Tie game in extra innings, this is the man you want at the plate.
Contestant: Who is Michael Brantley?
For most of Sunday's game, it didn't look like the Indians would be able to finish off the sweep. Trevor Bauer gave up one run in the 1st, and then two more in the 2nd, after hitting the first batter that inning and then walking the next two. It seemed like his day would be short, and with Yu Darvish on the mound for Texas, the Tribe weren't likely to score much.
Sure enough David Murphy continued his nice weekend with an RBI double in the bottom of the 2nd, but the offense never got much else going against Darvish. Bauer settled in though, and with some help from the defense (how often have we been able to say that this season???), he didn't allow any more scoring, and ended up going 7.1.
John Axford and Marc Rzepczynski did their part in the 8th and 9th innings, with Scrabble getting some serious help from a diving catch by Murphy. In the bottom of the 9th, after Chris Dickerson pinch hit for an apparently injured Nick Swisher (I don't know what happened, but I am certain he needs a stint on the DL!) and drew a walk, Murphy tied the game with a towering blast into the right-field seats, his 7th home run of the season.
After Cody Allen pitched a scoreless 10th, Brantley and Carlos Santana both got on base in the bottom half, but the Tribe couldn't capitalize. After Bryan Shaw pitched a scoreless 11th, Dickerson, Murphy, and Yan Gomes all got on base in the bottom half, but the Tribe couldn't capitalize. After Shaw, Kyle Crockett, and Scott Atchison pitched a scoreless 12th (which featured another great catch by Murphy), Brantley decided the whole "get a rally going by putting runners on base" thing that the offense had tried in the previous couple innings was a waste of time, so he smashed one down the right-field line and over the wall, sending what was left of the crowd into hysterics.
It was Brantley's 16th home run of the season, but his first in more than three weeks. He also hit his 29th double of the season today. Add on his 2 triples and he's now got 47 extra-base hits, compared to only 39 strikeouts. The last time a qualified Indians hitter had more XBH than K was 1996, when Albert Belle and Omar Vizquel both did it.
The win gives the Indians a sweep of Texas, and pushed the Tribe back above .500. They're currently 3 games back of Toronto for the second Wild Card spot.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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