CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes sent a pitch from lefty Alex Claudio bouncing up the middle and into center field, scoring Lonnie Chisenhall and sending the Indians to a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Rangers in 11 innings on Wednesday night.Cleveland's players poured from the dugout to celebrate the team's first
CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes sent a pitch from lefty Alex Claudio bouncing up the middle and into center field, scoring Lonnie Chisenhall and sending the Indians to a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Rangers in 11 innings on Wednesday night.
Cleveland's players poured from the dugout to celebrate the team's first walk-off win of the season. The victory helped the Tribe avoid a sweep of the three-game series.
"It is big, man," Gomes said. "We haven't done so well in the late innings. The team that's coming in right now [Kansas City], they have done well. So we're just excited to play well against a first-place team like the Rangers, just come in and get the momentum going after this game."
• Gomes' walk-off provides just what Indians need
Indians starter Trevor Bauer picked up a no-decision after yielding three runs on four hits in seven innings, in which he struck out six and walked three. The right-hander allowed a run in both the first and third innings, and then gave up a game-tying solo home run to Texas left fielder -- and Cleveland native -- Ryan Rua in the seventh.
Rangers lefty Cole Hamels also exited without a decision, but turned in a solid effort one outing after a rough performance against the Pirates. Over seven innings, Hamels struck out five and limited Cleveland to three runs on six hits, including a two-run home run off the bat of Mike Napoli in the first inning. That shot was projected to land 411 feet away from home plate with an exit velocity of 108 mph, per Statcast™.
In the eighth inning, Juan Uribe plated Jose Ramirez from second base with an RBI single off Texas reliever Luke Jackson, giving Cleveland a short-lived, 4-3 advantage. Texas countered in the ninth against Tribe closer Cody Allen, who issued a leadoff walk to Mitch Moreland and eventually gave up a game-tying fielder's-choice groundout to Jared Hoying.
"Our guys played well," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Our guys fought back and tied the game. We had some opportunities. We just couldn't get the big hit."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Napoli delivers -- again: After the Rangers scored one in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Prince Fielder, Napoli came through with a two-run homer in the home half of the frame. The shot to left field carried a little extra meaning, too. Napoli homered in front of season-ticket holder Kat Heintzelman, who just began chemotherapy for Stage 3 colon cancer. On Monday, Heintzelman came with a sign, asking for "a hug and a homer" from Napoli. He delivered on both accounts on Monday, and homered again with her in the stands on Wednesday.
"It was pretty cool," Napoli said. "I got to talk to her for a little bit. She started chemo. We just talked about how awesome it worked out. It was a cool moment." More >
Costly spin throws off Andrus:Rajai Davis, in a 2-2 game, got an infield single with two outs in the fifth inning when his grounder took a wicked spin on Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. Forced to barehand the ball, Andrus bounced his throw to first, Moreland couldn't handle it and Davis was safe. He scored on a double by Jason Kipnis.
"He's a fast runner and I wasn't in a good position to throw it," Andrus said.
Scout sees Rua go deep: Rangers scout Roger Coryell was on hand to see Rua hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning. Coryell was the scout who found Rua at Lake Erie College and recommended him. The Rangers took him in the 17th round of the 2011 Draft. Coryell was joined by many of Rua's friends and family.
"Definitely pretty cool to have all those people here who supported me growing up," Rua said. "To be able to put a good swing on the ball here, it was a good experience."
Jackson can't keep it tied: The Rangers brought Jackson into a 3-3 game in the eighth inning. They are hoping that he can handle late-inning stress situations and take the load off other relievers. But Jackson gave up a two-out double to Ramirez and a go-ahead RBI single to Uribe. Jackson did throw a scoreless ninth and got the first out in the 10th before he was relieved by Claudio. More >
"I'm exhausted tonight. It's a good end to a really long day. You can't help but have emotions when you're dealing with some of the stuff we did. It's a nice way to end the day. I think we're all going to sleep good."
-- Indians manager Terry Francona, on pulling off an extra-innings win after losing Marlon Byrd to a 162-game suspension earlier in the dayMore >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With runners on the corners and no outs in the ninth, Allen induced a grounder to short off the bat of Hoying. Shortstop Francisco Lindor got the out at second, but Kipnis could not relay the ball to first in time for a double play. Francona challenged the play to check that Andrus did not violate MLB's sliding guidelines at second. After a quick instant-replay review, the out call was confirmed.
"I thought he slid late," Francona said. "It's so gray that I can't see why we wouldn't challenge."
Rangers: The Rangers open a three-game series against the Mariners at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Globe Life Park. Right-hander Yu Darvish will be making his second start in his return from Tommy John surgery.
Indians: Cleveland is expected to activate right-hander Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 2.45 ERA) from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday, when the Indians face the Royals in a 7:10 p.m. ET affair at Progressive Field. The Tribe will host Kansas City in a four-game set.
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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.