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Houston at Cleveland

Scoreboard
Houston (51-102)1000000000190
Cleveland (83-70) «00000000012120

Indians win in 11, half-game behind wild-card leaders

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Terry Francona knows style points don't matter when a team is chasing a playoff spot.

Even though Thursday night's 2-1 victory against Houston took 11 innings and featured several twists and turns, the Cleveland Indians manager wasn't about to be picky.

"We'll take any win any way we can get it," he said.

Matt Carson hit a winning single with two outs and the bases loaded and the Indians closed within a half-game in the AL wild card race. The fact the heroics came from an unlikely source made the victory even more special. Carson has spent most of his 12-year career in the minors, but came through at a crucial moment.

"That's the pinnacle for me at this point in my career," said Carson, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 28.

"That's nice to see," Francona said. "He spent the whole year at Triple-A, and comes up here and impacts the major league team. It's rewarding to see a kid get rewarded like that."

Yan Gomes singled with one out against Rhiner Cruz (0-2), and Asdrubal Cabrera reached on an infield single, beating the throw after third baseman Marwin Gonzalez charged and barehanded his slow roller.

Trevor Crowe caught Michael Brantley's liner to center and nearly doubled Gomes off second, and Mike Aviles loaded the bases with a walk.

Carson, who entered the game as a defensive replacement the previous inning, hit a grounder under the glove of second baseman Jose Altuve for Cleveland's 10th walkoff win this season.

"It wasn't do or die," he said. "If I get a hit we win. If I don't we're still in the ballgame. I was trying to get a good solid swing. It wasn't a pressure at-bat."

Carson was mobbed by his teammates who poured out of the dugout and doused the reserve outfielder with water.

"It's the greatest feeling," he said. "I have done it plenty of times with other guys. To be the guy getting mobbed, it feels good."

Tampa Bay and Texas (83-69) are tied for the two wild cards.

Cleveland (83-70), trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007, has three more games against the major league-worst Astros (51-102), who have had seven losing streaks of six games or more. The Indians then host the Chicago White Sox for two games and finish with four at Minnesota.

Bryan Shaw (5-3) pitched the 11th for the victory.

The Astros not only came to town with a five-game losing streak, they were also weary. The players checked into their downtown Cleveland hotel at 6:30 a.m. following a 13-inning home game Wednesday night. Houston lost to Cincinnati 6-5 at Minute Maid Park in a contest that lasted 5 hours, 13 minutes.

Astros manager Bo Porter was unhappy following the game.

"It's one thing to get beat, but it's another thing to beat yourself," he said. "We just squandered opportunity after opportunity with poor at-bats and bad baserunning. It's extremely frustrating because this is basic baseball. We should have won these last two games."

The Indians' playoff chase hasn't caught on with Cleveland fans, with only 12,607 in attendance Thursday night.

Both teams missed scoring chances in the ninth. Chris Perez worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half by striking out Brett Wallace and L.J. Hoes.

Brantley walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but was thrown out trying to steal second. After Aviles walked, Jason Giambi batted for Drew Stubbs. The 42-year-old veteran lined a 1-1 pitch from Josh Zeid into the right field corner that was foul by a couple of feet. Giambi then popped out to end the inning.

A baserunning blunder by pinch-runner Jake Elmore ended Houston's scoring threat in the 10th. Cody Clark led off with a double, but Elmore was picked off second by the catcher Gomes on the first pitch to Jonathan Villa. Cody Allen retired the next two hitters.

Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run and struck out nine in seven innings. The right-hander has fanned 59 in his last 47 innings. Dallas Keuchel matched Jimenez, also allowing one run with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

The Indians were coming off a 5-2 road trip, sweeping four games in Chicago before losing two of three in Kansas City.

Jason Kipnis, snapping an 0-for-11 slump, gave Cleveland the lead with an RBI single in the first. Hoes tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the second.

Nick Swisher, who matched a career high with four hits, started the first-inning rally with a one-out double and scored when Kipnis, who was 4 for 21 on Cleveland's trip, lined a hit to center.

Houston loaded the bases on three singles with nobody out in the second, but scored only once. After Jimenez struck out Wallace, Hoes' fly ball to right was deep enough to score Marc Krauss.

Notes

RHP Justin Masterson (strained left oblique) will throw a bullpen session Friday, his first time since being injured on Sept. 2. It's still uncertain if he will return this season. ... OF Trevor Crowe, the Indians' No. 1 pick in 2005, batted third and played center field for the Astros. ... Cleveland 3B coach Brad Mills managed the Astros from 2010-2012 before being fired late last season. ... Indians RHP Zach McAllister (8-9) takes on Astros LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-3) in the second game of the four-game series Friday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Indians teammates mob Matt Carson after he delivers a walk-off single in the 11th inning.  (USATSI)
Indians teammates mob Matt Carson after he delivers a walk-off single in the 11th inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

U. Jimenez
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 0
K 9
Houston

D. Keuchel
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jonathan Villar, SS5000031 .272
Jose Altuve, 2B5010001 .285
Trevor Crowe, CF5000040 .234
Marc Krauss, LF4130000 .212
   Jimmy Paredes, PR-RF1000000 .200
Matt Dominguez, 3B3010011 .244
   Marwin Gonzalez, PR-3B1000000 .222
Chris Carter, 1B3010101 .221
Brett Wallace, DH4000047 .222
L.J. Hoes, RF-LF3011013 .278
Cody Clark, C4020002 .091
   Jake Elmore, PR0000000 .248
   Carlos Corporan, C0000000 .235
Dallas Keuchel, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Chapman, P0000000 .000
   Josh Zeid, P0000000 .000
   Rhiner Cruz, P0000000 .000
Totals38191113  
Batting
2B - Marc Krauss 2 (7, Jimenez), Cody Clark (1, Allen)
SF - L.J. Hoes (1)
RBI - L.J. Hoes (10)
CS - Jose Altuve (12, 2nd base by Jimenez/Gomes)
PK - Jake Elmore (1, Allen)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Villar-Altuve-Carter, Villar-Altuve-Carter-Altuve-Villar-Carter
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dallas Keuchel 7711170 4.99
Kevin Chapman 1200030 2.00
Josh Zeid 2000220 4.24
Rhiner Cruz (L,0-2) 0.2311100 3.79
WP - Dallas Keuchel (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Keuchel 112-66, Kevin Chapman 20-15, Josh Zeid 36-19, Rhiner Cruz 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Keuchel 7-5
Batters Faced - Dallas Keuchel 27, Kevin Chapman 5, Josh Zeid 7, Rhiner Cruz 6
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF5000030 .259
Nick Swisher, 1B4140000 .251
   Jose Ramirez, PR0000000 .333
   Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
   Cody Allen, P0000000 .000
   a-Lonnie Chisenhall, PH1000010 .226
   Bryan Shaw, P0000000 .000
Jason Kipnis, 2B5021002 .277
Carlos Santana, DH-1B4000113 .267
Yan Gomes, C5120034 .293
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS5020011 .237
Michael Brantley, LF4010114 .276
Mike Aviles, 3B3000212 .252
Drew Stubbs, RF3000012 .232
   b-Jason Giambi, PH1000001 .180
   Matt Carson, RF1011000 .778
Ubaldo Jimenez, P0000000 .000
   Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
Totals412122412  
a-struck out for Allen in the 10th
b-popped out for Stubbs in the 9th
Batting
2B - Nick Swisher (25, Keuchel)
RBI - Jason Kipnis (79), Matt Carson (3)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Carson (2)
CS - Michael Brantley (4, 2nd base by Zeid/Clark)
Team LOB - 11
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez 7611090 3.39
Joe Smith 1100000 2.26
Chris Perez 1100130 3.42
Cody Allen 1100000 2.59
Bryan Shaw (W,5-3) 1000010 3.49
HBP - Dominguez (by Chris Perez)
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 98-64, Joe Smith 11-8, Chris Perez 23-14, Cody Allen 10-7, Bryan Shaw 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 5-5, Joe Smith 3-0, Cody Allen 1-1, Bryan Shaw 2-0
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 25, Joe Smith 4, Chris Perez 6, Cody Allen 3, Bryan Shaw 3
Game Information
Attendance - 12607
Game Time - 3:38
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Jordan Baker, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor