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Cleveland at Washington

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Cleveland (43-30) «000001003471
Washington (31-43)0010011003100

Indians 4, Nationals 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The soldier had taken a bullet in his temple from a sniper, and the Cleveland Indians who visited him early Saturday were so taken by his story that they vowed to try to get him a victory.

When the Indians finally delivered -- in an improbable ninth inning that included a homer to straightaway center field and an unusual double play -- they remembered the wounded private as they celebrated the win.

Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer over the 410-foot mark in the top of the ninth, and the Indians capitalized on a baserunning error to turn a 1-2-5 game-ending double play in Saturday night's 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals.

As with most teams who have road trips to the nation's capital, the Indians visited wounded servicemen at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital. Martinez and starter Paul Byrd were particularly touched by the soldier who had taken the bullet in the head and lived to tell about it.

"He was in good spirits and we said: 'We'll try and win one for you tonight,"' Byrd said. "And he said: 'Don't worry, it's a done deal. You've just shaken the hand of a lucky, lucky man. I got shot in the head and I lived.' I didn't know whether to go over there and rub him and get some of that or what, but we shook his hand."

Martinez proved the man prophetic with his drive off closer Chad Cordero.

"And as soon as he hit it, it was way more than coincidence," Byrd said. "His words came true."

The home run ended 17 innings of offensive doldrums for the Indians against the Nationals pitching staff. Cleveland scored only one run in Friday night's loss and appeared on course to do the same Saturday until the big ninth.

Then the Nationals almost pulled it out in the bottom of the inning against Cleveland closer Joe Borowski before running themselves out of the inning.

Brian Schneider led off with a single to center. After Brandon Watson popped to the catcher trying to bunt, Nook Logan doubled to left-center, advancing Schneider to third. Cristian Guzman was then intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing up Felipe Lopez.

Lopez hit a sharp grounder back to Borowski, who threw home to force Schneider. Catcher Kelly Shoppach then alertly noticed that Logan had been overaggressive when rounding third. Shoppach threw to third baseman Casey Blake to complete the double play.

"I was anticipating a throw to first," Logan said. "I was full-speed, being aggressive. One time I was not being aggressive probably cost us the ball game; this time I was being aggressive and it probably cost us the ballgame."

Tom Mastny (5-2) pitched the eighth inning to get the victory, and Borowski was credited with his 21st save despite the shaky ninth.

The Indians were trailing 3-1 when Franklin Gutierrez and Blake both singled to left with none out in the top of the ninth. That set up Martinez, who hit his 14th homer and has 62 RBI.

It was only the second blown save for Cordero since he returned from the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother last month. Cordero had converted eight of nine opportunities and had an ERA of 0.92 in his last 19 games before Saturday.

"I was trying to get ahead of him, that's all it was. I was trying to get it down, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get it down far enough and far enough out," Cordero said. "Everybody went out there and battled so hard, and for me to come out there and blow it, it's a tough thing to take."

The win keeps the Indians a game behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

Matt Chico allowed one run over six innings for the Nationals, following the worst start of his young career with one of his best. The rookie left-hander made his only mistake when he allowed Grady Sizemore's home run to lead off the sixth.

Watson continued to play well after getting a midweek promotion following a 43-game hitting streak in Triple-A that set the International League record. Watson, who got two hits Friday night, went 2-for-3 with a stolen base on Saturday and scored two runs.

Byrd pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Indians, allowing three runs and seven hits.

But all he wanted to talk about was the wounded soldiers.

"I like to read about some of the old pitchers," Byrd said. "And Warren Spahn said after he went to World War II and he had a bad outing, he would say: 'Well it could be worse. They could be shooting at me.' And we kind of saw that come to life when we were over there today."

Notes

Two members of the Washington's projected starting rotation will seek second opinions because their respective injuries aren't healing as hoped. RHP John Patterson (elbow and muscle soreness) said his arm starts "aching and throbbing" when he throws his fastball and will see as many as four doctors next week. RHP Shawn Hill (sore right elbow) will see a specialist on Monday. ... The attendance of 32,539 was the largest crowd at RFK Stadium since opening day (40,389) and included the largest number of walk-up fans (6,863) since baseball returned to Washington in 2005.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Cleveland

V. Martinez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Washington

B. Watson
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Grady Sizemore, CF4111000 .286
Franklin Gutierrez, RF-LF^RF3120110 .289
Casey Blake, 3B4110022 .279
Victor Martinez, 1B4113001 .318
Jhonny Peralta, SS3000100 .285
Jason Michaels, LF2020000 .294
   a- Trot Nixon, PH-RF1000001 .244
    Rafael Perez, P0000000 .000
    Thomas Mastny, P0000000 .000
   b- Travis Hafner, PH1000000 .254
    Joe Borowski, P0000000 .000
Kelly Shoppach, C3000101 .373
Josh Barfield, 2B3000002 .259
Paul Byrd, P2000000 .000
    Ben Francisco, LF1000010 .000
Totals3147434  
a-grounded into a double play for Michaels in the 7th
b-popped out for Mastny in the 9th
Batting
HR - Grady Sizemore (12, Chico), Victor Martinez (14, C. Cordero)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (34), Victor Martinez 3 (62)
CS - Jason Michaels (3, 2nd base by Chico/Schneider)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Borowski-Shoppach-Blake
E - Grady Sizemore (2, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd 6.2733140 4.74
Rafael Perez 0.1000010 0.96
Thomas Mastny (W,5-2) 1100000 5.16
Joe Borowski (H,1) 1200100 6.11
IBB - Watson by Paul Byrd, Guzman by Joe Borowski
WP - Rafael Perez (2), Thomas Mastny (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 94-65, Rafael Perez 3-3, Thomas Mastny 15-10, Joe Borowski 11-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 8-8, Thomas Mastny 2-1, Joe Borowski 1-1
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 28, Rafael Perez 1, Thomas Mastny 4, Joe Borowski 5
Washington Nationals
Cristian Guzman, SS3011102 .337
Felipe Lopez, 2B5110024 .236
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4000001 .247
Dmitri Young, 1B3011000 .335
    Ronnie Belliard, 1B1000000 .286
Austin Kearns, RF4020011 .261
Ryan Church, LF4000013 .261
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Brian Schneider, C4020001 .242
Brandon Watson, CF-LF3220101 .400
Matt Chico, P2000013 .174
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Langerhans, PH1000001 .173
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
    Nook Logan, CF1010000 .212
Totals35310225  
a-popped out for Colome in the 7th
Batting
2B - Nook Logan (5, Borowski)
SF - Cristian Guzman (2)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (14), Dmitri Young (36)
SB - Felipe Lopez (8, 2nd base off Byrd/Shoppach), Brandon Watson (1, 2nd base off Byrd/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 8
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DP - Guzman-F. Lopez-Young, F. Lopez-Guzman-Young
Washington Nationals
Matt Chico 6411331 5.08
Jesus Colome (H,8) 1000000 2.76
Jon Rauch (H,14) 1000010 4.38
Chad Cordero (BS,6; L,1-2) 1333001 3.25
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Chico 86-55, Jesus Colome 6-3, Jon Rauch 12-8, Chad Cordero 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Chico 7-6, Jesus Colome 1-1, Chad Cordero 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Chico 23, Jesus Colome 2, Jon Rauch 3, Chad Cordero 6
Game Information
Attendance - 32539
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Bill Welke