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Indians lift AL Central lead with stroll-off HR – MLB.com

Indians lift AL Central lead with stroll-off HR – MLB.com

CLEVELAND — Did any individual inform deja vu?
The Indians entered all too familiar territory Monday night. After losing a two-stir lead within the ninth inning in Minnesota on Sunday, closer Brad Hand blew a one-stir lead within the Indians 6-5 bask in over the Red Sox at Innovative Field exact over

CLEVELAND — Did any individual inform deja vu?

The Indians entered all too familiar territory Monday night. After losing a two-stir lead within the ninth inning in Minnesota on Sunday, closer Brad Hand blew a one-stir lead within the Indians 6-5 bask in over the Red Sox at Innovative Field exact over 24 hours later. But both instances, Carlos Santana changed into there to verify the day and, on Monday, attach the Indians in sole possession of first direct within the American League Central.

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“To hand over the lead within the ninth is on occasion ever ultimate, however the previous two nights the offense has picked me up and scored a stir the following inning,” Hand said. “That’s what exact groups attain. They snatch every different up.”

With the game tied at 5 within the bottom of the ninth, Santana blasted a stroll-off solo homer a projected 410 toes a day after launching the plug-forward mountainous slam within the head of the 10th inning in opposition to the Twins. Basically primarily based on Elias, Santana grew to change into the first Indians player to hit a game-winning homer within the ninth inning or later in back-to-back games since Albert Belle on Aug. 30-31, 1995. Jim Thome also finished the identical feat earlier that yr in June.

“Yeah, if truth be told, it’s somebody in our lineup, we assume they might be able to attain it, especially him,” Indians starter Zach Plesac said. “He’s been [amazing], exact fancy our entire lineup. There’s never a doubt after we’re down a stir or two, even three. Our offense is so exact, you will seemingly be feeling assured that we’re gonna near back and rating these runs. There’s never a doubt we’re gonna lose a game.”

It’s laborious to doubt him when Santana has confirmed to be so snatch for his team your entire season. In 134 at-bats this season when the game is tied, Santana has hit .321 with six doubles, one triple, 10 homers, 27 RBIs and a 1.014 OPS.

“He has near up so unparalleled for us and has been so consistent,” Indians supervisor Terry Francona said. “Compatible whenever you salvage punched within the belly he takes a swing fancy that. I indicate, that changed into a truthful making an are trying swing. I do know the closing two days, but he’s been doing all of it yr.”

The long ball changed into Santana’s 200th in an Indians uniform, tying Travis Hafner for eighth-most in franchise history. The Tribe slugger has hit 12 plug-forward homers this season, including five within the seventh inning or later, which is the second-most within the Majors at the back of the Padres’ Hunter Renfroe.

“You guys know Carlos is a hurt guy,” outfielder Franmil Reyes, who hit his first homer in an Indians uniform on Monday, said. “A terribly harmful guy and it’s good to discover out at any time when he is up there.”

And whereas Santana has allowed Hand to stable the victories in consecutive contests, the closer has recorded his third and fourth blown saves of the season in back-to-back days.

“I felt exact. Every thing felt exact,” Hand said. “I exact can’t make the unparalleled pitch to salvage out of it. I had of endeavor the day gone by to salvage out of some stuff, two outs, runner on first this day, but I exact can’t make that pitch to salvage the job finished vivid now.”

With one out within the ninth, Hand walked Mookie Betts before hanging out Rafael Devers. But Xander Bogaerts knocked within the tying stir on a double off the vivid-discipline wall that changed into a engaging play for Tyler Naquin to make. Hand obtained out of the body by forcing Andrew Benintendi to fly out to vivid.

“I wouldn’t call it a inferior night,” Francona said. “As soon as in a while you gotta tip your hat to different team, too. The closing two, Minnesota and Boston, these offenses are ridiculous. If Naq will get back to it, if he catches it the game’s over. … I if truth be told conception he made a tantalizing exact pitch. He threw a fastball away, I wouldn’t second-wager that. These guys are tantalizing exact hitters.”

With the bask in, the Indians sit down alone atop the American League Central standings for the first time since getting into play on April 20 with an 11-7 epic.

“It says plenty about the fellows we’ve on this clubhouse,” Hand said. “No person threw within the towel. No person gave up and we all battled together and to be where we’re at this day, back in first direct is something we must all be tickled with, but we obtained a form of labor left to achieve and we obtained a form of season left. Now we exact gotta bask in it going and enact in first.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Apply her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.

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