Michael Brantley singled in Greg Allen with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Indians their second consecutive walk-off victory, 5-4 over the visiting Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Aug 9, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (23) hits a game-winning single in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Allen opened the inning with a single off reliever Addison Reed (1-6), stole second and went to third on groundout by Francisco Lindor — who had won Wednesday night’s contest with a three-run, walk-off homer. Brantley followed the game-winning single through a drawn-in infield into right field.
It was 12th walk-off loss for Minnesota, the most for the Twins since their 1987 World Series winning squad.
Lindor had two hits — his American League-leading 47th multi-hit game — and drove in three runs, and Yonder Alonso homered for Cleveland, which increased its lead to 11 games over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central. Jason Kipnis walked three times and scored two runs for the Indians, who improved to 21-6 at home against AL Central opponents.
Andrew Miller (2-3) picked up the win in relief with a hitless ninth inning.
Jorge Polanco hit a three-run homer to lead Minnesota.
Alonso started a three-run second inning for the Indians with a leadoff 400-foot homer to right off Jose Berrios, his 20th of the season. Cleveland became the first team in the major leagues this season to have four players with 20 or more home runs. Alonso joined Jose Ramirez (33), Lindor (29) and Edwin Encarnacion (25) in the 20-homer club.
Melky Cabrera and Kipnis followed Alonso’s blast with walks and were sacrificed to second and third by catcher Roberto Perez. After Allen struck out, Lindor lined a sharp single to right to drive in Cabrera and Kipnis.
The Indians made it 4-0 in the fourth on Lindor’s AL-leading 38th double of the season that drove in Kipnis, who had walked.
The Twins cut it to 4-1 in the fifth when Max Kepler led off with a double to center, advanced to third on a flyout by Ehire Adrianza and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jake Cave.
Polanco then tied it an inning later with his first homer of the year, a three-run shot into the front row in right-center off starter Corey Kluber, driving in Bobby Wilson and Eddie Rosario, who had both singled earlier.
Kluber allowed four runs and seven hits over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked none.
Berrios was touched up for four runs and four hits in four innings. He walked six and fanned five.
—Field Level Media