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Cleveland Indians hold on in 9th for 1-0 victory over Detroit Tigers

Zach Plesac picked up the win after pitching more than seven strong innings.
Credit: Paul Sancya/AP
Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach Plesac throws against the Detroit Tigers in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

DETROIT — DETROIT (AP) — Zach Plesac pitched impressively into the eighth inning, and Brad Hand worked out of a jam in the ninth to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Francisco Lindor drove in the game's only run with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly, and Plesac rebounded after allowing a season-high five runs at Minnesota in his previous outing. In the ninth, Hand allowed a one-out triple by Daz Cameron but struck out Jorge Bonifacio and Niko Goodrum to end it.

In the second, Plesac accomplished a rare "immaculate inning" when he struck out the side on nine pitches. He's only the 94th player in Major League history to do so.

With the win and a later loss by the Seattle Mariners, the Tribe's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to four. The club currently holds the American League's seventh seed, a two games in front of the No. 8 Toronto Blue Jays and two behind the Minnesota Twins for the fifth spot.

Detroit is still clinging to its postseason hopes, but sits four and a half games behind Toronto. Ron Gardenhire's team has now lost three in a row and 13 of 17.

The Indians and Tigers will play the third of this four-game series Saturday at 6:10 p.m., with Cleveland's Triston McKenzie (2-1, 3.91 ERA) facing off against Detroit's Spencer Turnbull (4-3, 3.94).