Indians win on Gomes' homer in 10th

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians have won five games in a row and 18 of their last 22, but this one was the most outrageous of all.
Cleveland's top three relievers each gave up a home run in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings on Monday, but the Indians still beat the Seattle Mariners 10-8 on a three-run walk-off home run by backup catcher Yan Gomes in the bottom of the 10th.
Asked if it was one of the weirdest games he's ever seen, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said, "Yeah. It's not often your opponents score runs in three straight innings at the end of the game any you win. That was interesting."
The win gives Cleveland a four-game sweep of the series with Seattle. Three of the four wins were walk-off wins, and two of those were on home runs.
"Another weird game," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "Cleveland is probably one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. Things are going their way and we're stuck on the south side of things now."
With Cleveland leading 6-5, Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano gave up a game-tying home run to Kyle Seager in the eighth inning.
Cleveland closer Chris Perez gave up a home run to pinch hitter Endy Chavez in the ninth inning to give Seattle a 7-6 lead. But an error by Mariners pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen allowed Cleveland to score the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Indians reliever Joe Smith then gave up a home run to Justin Smoak in the top of the 10th that gave Seattle an 8-7 lead.
However, in the bottom of the 10th, the Mariners made their third error of the game, which set the stage for Gomes' heroics.
The rally started when Michael Brantley led off the bottom of the 10th with a single.
Drew Stubbs, attempting to sacrifice Brantley to second, bunted the ball back to pitcher Charlie Furbush, who fumbled it, then threw to first baseman Smoak, who dropped the ball. It put Indians runners at first and second with no outs.
The next batter was Gomes, whose solo home run in the second inning contributed to a four-run Cleveland rally. Like Stubbs, Gomes tried to bunt, but he was unable to get a bunt down.
With the count at 3-2, the bunt sign was taken off, so Gomes swung away -- and ended the game. His towering fly ball landed in the left-field bleachers for a three-run walk-off game-winner.
"I knew it was out as soon as I hit it," said Gomes. "If it wasn't out I need to keep working out in the weight room. I felt I got it pretty good."
It was a wild finish to a wild game and a wild series for the Indians, who are in first place in the American League Central Division with a record of 26-17. Since April 20 the Indians are 21-7.
Monday was the Indians' fifth walk-off win of the season.
"Today was a bad day for me, but our guys don't stop fighting until the last out is made," said Pestano.
The star this time was Gomes, who has been outstanding as the backup to starting catcher Carlos Santana. Gomes was 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs.
"I'm just trying to do all I can to help the team, and it's working out," said Gomes, who in 53 at bats over 17 games is hitting .302 with four home runs and nine RBIs.
Seattle appeared to have the game won in the bottom of the ninth. With the Mariners leading 7-6 and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Kipnis reached on an infield single against Wilhelmsen. Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, but Nick Swisher's single sent Kipnis to third.
Carlos Santana hit a grounder to first baseman Smoak, but Wilhelmsen, covering first, dropped the throw from Smoak on what would have been the final out of the game. Instead, Santana was safe and Kipnis scored the tying run.
"I just took my eyes off the ball," Wilhelmsen said. "Smoakie made a great play. He threw a perfect ball right to me. I simply took my eyes off it."
Wilhelmsen's error was the second of three Seattle errors, including one in each of the last two innings.
"We kept coming back and kept taking the lead," Wedge said. "We weren't able to make plays or make pitches when we needed to late. We weren't able to finish things off."
The two teams traded runs and leads for most of the game. Cleveland starter Scott Kazmir gave up two runs in the first inning, but the Indians countered with a four-run second inning on back-to-back home runs by Ryan Raburn and Gomes to give Cleveland a 4-2 lead.
Kazmir continued to struggle in the third inning, giving up two more runs that tied the score at 4-4.
Cleveland scored a run to take the lead in the bottom of the third, but Seattle scored on in the top of the fourth to tie it at 5-5.
Notes: Mariners right-hander Aaron Harang, who missed his last start due to back stiffness, will make his sixth start of the season Tuesday night in Anaheim vs. the Angels. ... Jason Bay recorded his first stolen base of the season in the first inning. It was Bay's first stolen base since Sept. 9 of last year, when he was with the Mets. ... In addition to hitting two home runs, Indians catcher Gomes threw out two runners trying to steal second. For the season Gomes has thrown out six of nine attempted base stealers. ... Corey Kluber, who will start for the Indians Tuesday vs. Detroit, has yet to win a game at Progressive Field. In 11 career appearances, eight of them starts, at Progressive Field Kluber is 0-5 with a 5.09 ERA.

What to Read Next