The Indians were down but not out Wednesday afternoon at Target Field. Trailing 7-3 after seven innings the Tribe forced extra innings and beat the Twins 9-8 on Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly in the 12th. The Indians are 8-2 in extra innings this season. After blowing the save Chris Perez (5-2) pitched a scoreless 11th for the victory. Joe Smith pitched the 12th for his second save. Fittingly he struck out Joe Mauer for the final out. Mauer tied a career high with five hits (in seven at-bats) in the game. "This was a nice win for us" said manager Terry Francona. "It's a travel day and we've got an off day Thursday. Hopefully we can get our bullpen as much rest as possible." It was a game of surges by the Tribe. Carlos Santana gave them an 8-7 lead in the 10th with a leadoff homer off closer Glen Perkins. Santana hit a 1-0 pitch for his 14th homer of the season. Mauer however countered with a one-out homer off Perez in the bottom of the 10th to keep the game going. It Perez's fourth blown save of the season. "I hit a fastball for the homer and thought it was the game winner" said Santana "but Mauer came back and went the other way (left field) for his homer. This was a big win for us." Nick Swisher hitless in his first five at-bats singled off Ryan Pressly (3-3) to start the 12th. Jason Kipnis moved him to second with his fourth hit of the game a single to right. Santana moved Swisher to third on a fly ball to right and Brantley delivered him for the lead. "Swish had a frustrating day so that was good to see" said Francona. "Maybe he can build off that."
Brantley delivers in clutch as Indians beat Twins, 9-8, in 12 innings
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Aug 15