Cabrera swats game-winner in 12th

Sometimes, the best things are worth waiting for.

And wait is exactly what the Cleveland Indians did before shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera gave the team a 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field with a two-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning at 2:03 a.m. Thursday.

Before Cabrera could hit the game-winner by taking an 0-1 split-fingered fastball from former Indian Edward Mujica over the wall in right field for a three-run home run, the Indians and Red Sox had to withstand a two-and-a-half hour rain delay after Cleveland saw a heavy rain blanket the area all day.

"It was a great swing," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Cabrera's game-winner.

"He actually took a great swing the at-bat before against (Koji) Uehara. He lined out. They were playing no-doubles (defense) and he hit a line drive that gets to the warning track, but they were playing deep. Last night, I think he saw 29 pitches in his at-bats, so he's been having good at-bats."

Francona felt "communication was really good" between the coaching staffs because delaying the start of the game by two hours allowed each club to use their intended starting pitchers instead of turning to their bullpens early in the game should the rains have returned.

"I talked to the umpires and to (Boston manager) John (Farrell) and those guys over there," Francona said. "When we went out at 8:30, it wasn't really raining, so it was getting close to where you're trying to be fair to the fans and the teams. It's a hard one.

"They had the right to not play tomorrow. I think we would've played it in August."

With the series sweep of the Red Sox and Detroit's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Indians have pulled to within 3.5 games of the American League Central Division-leading Tigers and evened their overall record to 30-30.

The Indians have won six straight games, including nine in a row at Progressive Field, where they have swept three consecutive series against the Tigers, baseball's hottest-hitting team in the Colorado Rockies, and a Red Sox squad that had won seven straight coming into Cleveland.

Following the six-game home stand, the Indians will now head out on a 10-game, three-city road trip that takes them to Arlington, Texas for four games with the Rangers starting Friday night, then, Kansas City for a quick two-day set, and lastly, to Boston for a four-game series against the Red Sox at famed Fenway Park.

"Right now, we're coming hard, pitcher Carlos Carrasco said. "We're leaving for Texas, so we're going to have 10 games on the road. I hope we continue that."

While Cabrera won the game, the Indians' sixth walk-off win of the season, Francona relied on the bullpen to relieve starter Corey Kluber, who gave up four earned runs, five hits, two walks and two hit batsmen in 6.1 innings of work.

All told, the Indians' relievers allowed two hits and no walks, and struck out 10 hitters over a combined 5.2 innings.

Carrasco, a former starter, went the final two innings of Wednesday's game, and struck out four hitters during his first appearance in the center of the diamond since a 6-2 loss at the Chicago White Sox on Memorial Day.

"We did a great job," Carrasco said. "Every time we go out there, we try to do our best. I don't worry about (not pitching often). I just worry about, when they give me the ball, of just doing my job.

"When we started playing the first game, I just watched the hitters, what he can hit, what he cannot hit and I just did it today. I was in the bullpen and I looked at everything, what I can throw to this guy. I had (catcher Yan) Gomes behind the plate, so he called everything for me. We did a good job."


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