Santana hits walk-off home run, Indians beat Red Sox 6-5

The Indians improve to 72-47 on the season

James Rapien
August 12, 2019 - 10:44 pm
Aug 12, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Franmil Reyes (32) celebrates his two-run home run with first baseman Carlos Santana (41) in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Ri

© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


CLEVELAND, OH – The Indians’ journey from an 11½ game deficit is now complete. The Tribe beat the Red Sox 6-5 to take a ½ game lead over the Twins in the American League Central. The Indians have sole possession of first place for the first time since April 19. The Twins led by 11½ games on June 2.

The Indians gave up a 5-1 lead, as closer Brad Hand blew the save in the ninth inning for the second time in two days. Fortunately for the Tribe, Carlos Santana hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth, to guide the Tribe to victory. 

“He has come up so big for us and has been so consistent," manager Terry Francona said. "Right when you get punched in the stomach he takes a swing like that. I mean, that was a gorgeous swing. I know the last two days, but he’s been doing it all year.”

Santana hit a grand slam in the 10th inning to help the Indians beat the Twins 7-3. The last Indians player to hit a game-winning home run in the 9th inning or later in back-to-back games was Albert Belle on 8/30/1995 and 8/31/1995. It was Santana's 26th home run of the season.

Franmil Reyes had his best game for Cleveland, finishing 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a single. It was his first homer with the Indians.

José Ramírez gave the Indians a 5-1 lead in the third inning with a 3-run homer to left field. Ramírez has 12 home runs since July 1 after having just five in the first three months of the year.

Starter Zach Plesac allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. The rookie struggled at times, but found a way to limit the damage. He threw 78 pitches (46 strikes), issued two walks and finished with two strikeouts.

The Indians left nine runners on base. They had multiple chances to extend their lead, but could never get the hit they needed. The Tribe had runners in scoring position in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to score.  

The Indians’ defense helped their cause, as Tyler Naquin robbed J.D. Martinez of extra bases with a leaping grab at the right field wall in the eighth inning. The Indians stranded two runners in the eighth, as they were clinging to a one run lead.

Cleveland improves to 72-47 on the season. They’re 44-18 since June 1, which is the best record in baseball. It was the Indians sixth walk-off win this season.

Injury Update

Hunter Wood left the game with a right calf contusion after being hit in the leg by a batted ball in the sixth inning. He threw a few pitches on the mound before leaving with head trainer James Quinlan. The Indians traded for the 26-year-old last month.

Bradley Zimmer continues to make progress in Arizona. He was a designated hitter on Sunday. Zimmer is expected to play in the outfielder later this week.

He’s been out since having shoulder surgery last July.

Corey Kluber will make his second rehab start of Tuesday night for Double-A Akron. The two-time Cy Young Award winner allowed two runs in three innings last week for Columbus. Kluber is expected to throw between 60-65 pitches.

Up Next

Mike Clevinger is on the mound for the Indians. He enters with a 7-2 record and a 3.02 ERA on the season. Chris Sale will start for Boston. He has a 6-11 record and a 4.41 ERA.