Oscar Mercado had two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice to help lift the Cleveland Indians to a 5-2 win against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.
Francisco Lindor contributed an RBI single and two walks, and Carlos Santana and Yasiel Puig also drove in runs for the Indians (91-63), who remained tied with Tampa Bay for the second American League wild card after the Rays beat the Boston Red Sox in 11 innings.
Shane Bieber (15-7) bounced back from a rough outing his last time out and allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. The reigning All-Star Game MVP struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.
Drew Smyly (4-7) started for the Phillies and went just two-plus innings, allowing four runs and five hits. He walked three and did not record a strikeout.
Maikel Franco hit a two-run double for the Phillies (78-74), who were coming off winning two of three at Atlanta, which clinched the National League East title Friday. Philadelphia fell five games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the second NL wild card with 10 games remaining.
The Indians remained two games behind the Oakland Athletics for the first wild-card position.
Smyly walked Lindor to start the first inning, and Mercado immediately followed with an RBI double for a 1-0 lead. Santana then singled to put runners on the corners, and Puig made it 2-0 with an RBI single to left.
Smyly got into trouble again in the second after walking No. 9 hitter Andrew Velazquez with one out. Velazquez stole second and came home on Lindor's single to make it 3-0.
After grounding into a fielder's choice, Mercado stole second, and he scored on single by Santana for a 4-0 lead.
Bieber retired the first nine batters before giving up a single to Cesar Hernandez to start the fourth.
Bieber avoided trouble that inning, but Brad Miller doubled to deep center to start the fifth and went to third on a one-out single by Adam Haseley. Franco then blasted a double to deep center to cut the deficit to 4-2.
A seventh-inning double by Cleveland's Yu Chang preceded an RBI single by Mercado that capped the scoring.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco got the last four outs for his first save of the season and the second of his 10-year career.
--Field Level Media