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Total Tribe effort bodes well for postseason push

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Tribe outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall flung his helmet into the sky as he welcomed the rest of his teammates with open arms on the edge of the infield grass near second base.

Jason Kipnis was the first of the mob to reach the game's hero and immediately tackled him to the ground. Though, it was evident Chisenhall didn't put up much of a fight after Cleveland's 6-5 walk-off win over Miami on Sunday at Progressive Field.

Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Tribe outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall flung his helmet into the sky as he welcomed the rest of his teammates with open arms on the edge of the infield grass near second base.

Jason Kipnis was the first of the mob to reach the game's hero and immediately tackled him to the ground. Though, it was evident Chisenhall didn't put up much of a fight after Cleveland's 6-5 walk-off win over Miami on Sunday at Progressive Field.

Full Game Coverage

"You try to be aggressive and get on the ground quick," Chisenhall said. "They get their punches in and things like that. It's totally worth it for the win, especially with how we won it."

Even though Chisenhall flashed his expertise after the team's ninth walk-off win of the season, it marked only the second of his career. The first came on an RBI single against Detroit on Sept. 9, 2012.

"You get a lot of opportunities and you try to come through as much as you can," Chisenhall said. "Today was a great day, a great team win."

After a near four-year hiatus from being the hero, Chisenhall came through to cap a three-run ninth inning in a series-sweeping win. After Miami closer Fernando Rodney loaded the bases with three walks, Jose Ramirez set the stage with a two-run single to left to even the score.

Video: MIA@CLE: Ramirez plates two to tie it at 5 in the 9th

Chisenhall dug in and watched a changeup go by him for a strike to start the at-bat. He then fouled off the next four pitches, before lifting an 0-2 changeup into right. The ball hung in the air for a bit and dropped just before Ichiro Suzuki could slide over and make the grab for the final out.

"Ichiro, he's still moving very well out there," Chisenhall said. "He gets good reads. He came really close. I was hoping. You never know, but I was hoping."

Chisenhall, who entered Sunday on an 0-for-17 skid, not only snapped a recent funk with his heroics but also overcame a rare blunder by the bullpen. The big three of Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen each faltered down the stretch to cough up the lead.

"Guys are going to give up runs. It happens," Tribe manager Terry Francona said. "Bryan was trying to go down and away and actually missed by a lot. Miller, actually, I thought made a pretty good pitch to Suzuki. He just went down and got it, too. And that's going to happen."

Video: MIA@CLE: Ichiro gives the Marlins a late 4-3 lead

The team's latest effort mirrored this season as a whole. The Indians have shown the ability overcome adversity throughout the summer -- and not just in the form of come-from-behind wins. Cleveland boasts one of the best offenses in the American League despite playing without Michael Brantley for much of the season.

The Tribe's rotation has been viewed as one of the best but has dealt with some inconsistencies of late. Yet, Cleveland still sealed its sixth straight win to sit atop the AL Central by 5 1/2 games. And, of course, 30 come-from-behind wins is one of the most telling numbers to never count this team out.

"In the dugout, we're never down," Chisenhall said. "We never feel like we're behind. That's a huge thing to have, even if you don't win the game, to come back and fight and claw and make them work, even in a loss. That's something we have on this team, and it's fun to be part of it."

It's certainly not a bad trait to have for a team going through the home stretch in a postseason push.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cleveland Indians, Lonnie Chisenhall