Carlos Santana blasted a three-run moonshot over the foul pole in left to push the Cleveland Indians past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-3, in extra innings.
With the score knotted at 3-3 in the tenth inning, Santana stepped to the plate with Francisco Lindor and César Hernández at first and second, respectively, and one out. He turned on a fastball on the inside of the zone and sent it packing 442 feet, straddling the foul line the whole way. The replay crew gave it a look but upheld the home run, and Santana proceeded to dance with his teammates in the dugout in celebration of the go-ahead homer.
Welcome back, Slamtana.
Brad Hand struck out three in the bottom of the tenth to sew it up for the Tribe.
Carlos Carrasco did not have a great night on the mound. Walks continue to be an issue for the Indians’ right-hander. Adding in the three free passes he distributed to the Pirates on Tuesday night, Carrasco has walked a total of 12 batters in his last three starts combined. His change-up was his most effective pitch against the Pirates, but his slider wasn’t fooling anyone and he had trouble consistently locating his fastball. Carrasco surrendered two hits and a run in a 25-pitch first inning, spotting Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead, before settling in for the next two innings.
The Tribe’s lineup did their part while Carrasco held serve, roughing up Pirates starter J.T. Brubaker in the third inning. César Hernández doubled off the wall in center field to get things rolling, before Brubaker gave up back-to-back walks to José Ramírez and Francisco Lindor to load the bases with no outs. Carlos Santana declined to complete the hat trick, opting against drawing a walk and instead lining a two-run single into center field to give the Indians the lead. Franmil Reyes pushed that lead to 3-1 with a sac fly to center, scoring Lindor.
Unfortunately, Carrasco could not hold serve for long. The seams started to show with two walks in the fourth inning before he came undone in the fifth. Adam Frazier reached on an infield single with one out. Carrasco got ahead of Kevin Newman but let a 1-2 count turn into a walk to bring Josh Bell to the plate with two runners on, both of whom would advance on a wild pitch. Bell drilled a changeup over the plate into right center to tie the game, sending Carrasco to the showers.
From there, the game devolved into a struggle between two of the worst lineups in Major League Baseball. Neither bullpen had much reason to sweat. The Tribe used four different relievers, allowing only one Pirate to reach base over 3.2 innings of work (prior to Nick Wittgren’s adventurous ninth inning). Pittsburgh saw similar results, limiting Cleveland to three baserunners over the last six frames of regulation after the Indians roughed up Brubaker in the third.
The ninth inning was a near disaster for the Indians. With Nick Wittgren on the mound, Jarrod Dyson reached on an infield single to first base that Carlos Santana could not corral. Stallings laid down a bunt and Wittgren fielded it but made the split-second decision to throw to second, and both runners ended up being safe. Cleveland caught a break when Roberto Pérez and Lindor teamed up to catch Dyson wandering at second for the first out of the inning. Frazier lined out before Kevin Newman shot a single into left to get a runner back in scoring position with two outs. But then Wittgren managed to strike out Josh Bell to take the game into extra innings.