Brantley’s HR in 12th gives Indians 4-3 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — With a 2-51 record when trailing after eight innings, things looked bleak for the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Two dramatic swings changed that in a 4-3 win over Texas.
Michael Brantley hit a leadoff homer in the 12th inning to touch off a celebration at home plate, but a big moment three innings earlier made that possible.
David Murphy’s two-run homer with one out in the ninth off Neftali Feliz tied the game and set the stage for the Indians’ seventh win of the season on a game-ending hit.
“Dramatic moments like that are the best things about baseball,” Murphy said of his ninth-inning blast. “It’s an awesome feeling.”
Brantley, a first-time All-Star this season, belted a 3-2 pitch from rookie Phil Klein (0-1) into Texas’ bullpen in right field, but gave credit to his teammate.
“Without Murph hitting his home run, I don’t get a chance to hit mine,” he said.
The win gave the Indians (56-55) a three-game sweep and moved them over .500 for the first time since July 23 as they try to stay in playoff contention.
“There’s something to be said for keeping on playing,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “There wasn’t a lot to yell about in the game, but our pitching kept us close, and then Murph hit one out of the park.”
Murphy, who played for Texas from 2007-13 before signing with the Indians, batted .480 (12 for 25) with seven RBIs in seven games against his former team. He had an RBI double in the second, and was 4 for 4 with two RBIs Friday.
“It’s fun to play against your friends,” he said. “You like to have some bragging rights.”
Murphy also robbed Chris Gimenez of two hits with a diving grab in the ninth and a catch at the wall in the 12th.
Scott Atchison (5-0), the Indians’ seventh pitcher, retired the final batter in the 12th.
Texas has lost six straight on the road and has dropped 19 of 22 away from home. The Rangers (43-68) have the worst record in baseball.
Yu Darvish allowed one in seven innings, but saw an opportunity for his 11th win go down the drain. The All-Star right-hander held the Indians to four hits and struck out eight.
Trevor Bauer gave up three runs in a career-high 7 1-3 innings for Cleveland.
Chisenhall batted .452 (14 for 31) with five homers and 15 RBIs against the Rangers this season.
QUITE A DAY
Murphy had several reasons to be happy, including the fact his daughter, Madison, celebrated her seventh birthday. “I love a double anytime, but I was kind of mad at myself because I wanted to hit a home run on her birthday,” he said. “It was fun to do that for her. That made it even more special.”
ON THE WAY DOWN
Indians right-hander Zach McAllister was assigned to Triple-A Columbus, two days after being designated for assignment and placed on optional waivers. McAllister went 3-6 with a 5.91 ERA in 14 starts for Cleveland. Right-hander Josh Tomlin will be recalled to start Tuesday.
Rangers: Left-hander Derek Holland, who has yet to pitch this season because of surgery on his left knee, will make his second minor league rehab start Monday at Triple-A Round Rock. He pitched two scoreless innings for Double-A Frisco on Wednesday.
Indians: Designated hitter Nick Swisher was removed from the game in the ninth inning due to a strained right wrist. Swisher, who was wearing a brace after the game, struck out in all three of his plate appearances. Francona said he would be evaluated Monday.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (1-7) will start the opener of a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox on Monday night. He allowed six runs in 5 2-3 innings against the Yankees in his last start. RHP Hector Noesi (5-8) will start for Chicago.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (11-6), coming off his first career complete game shutout, will start the opener of a two-game interleague series against Cincinnati at Progressive Field on Monday night. RHP Alfredo Simon (12-6) will start for the Reds.