|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 20, 2019
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio Attendance: 26,329
Indians beat Phillies 5-2, remain tied for 2nd AL wild card
By STEVE HERRICK
CLEVELAND (AP) The Indians are thriving under the pressure of playoff-race baseball.
Philadelphia? Not so much.
Carlos Carrasco got his first save in five years, and Cleveland beat the Phillies 5-2 Friday night to remain tied with Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card at 91-63.
Cleveland trails AL Central-leading Minnesota by four games.
"It's what we come to the ballpark to do and what we play for," All-Star MVP Shane Bieber said. "It's a special time of the year. I know I'm one of the guys to be truly extremely excited about the position we're in."
Bieber (15-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Rookie Oscar Mercado drove in a first-inning run with a double and added an RBI single in the seventh.
"You're so many games in, guys tend to feel a little tired, but you go out there and every game is important," he said. "That adrenaline kicks in. It's awesome to be a part of this especially in my first year."
Cleveland's fifth straight win eliminated the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox from postseason contention and dropped Philadelphia five games behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card with 10 games left. The Phillies lost for the fourth time in six games.
"Got to win. Period," Jay Bruce said. "Can't worry about anything else. You listen, you read and concern yourself too much about it, it doesn't do you any good. So we have to win and see what happens. There are no promises, but we know we can't get where we want to go if we don't win."
Carrasco retired Bruce with two on to end the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth for his second big league save, his first since June 16, 2014 against the Los Angeles Angels. Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia in June and made his eighth appearance with the Indians since returning Sept. 1.
"In the eighth inning he threw some really good pitches that he didn't get," manager Terry Francona said. "He didn't give in. He went out in the ninth and was really efficient. If you can get a multi-inning reliever with that kind of stuff, that's a big lift for us."
Drew Smyly (4-7) allowed four runs, five hits and three walks in two-plus innings. The left-hander gave up five hits, walked three and was pulled following a leadoff walk to Puig in the third.
Makiel Franco hit a two-run double in the fifth.
Puig fouled a ball off his lower left leg in the sixth. He went to the ground but remained in the game after talking with Francona and a team athletic trainer.
TAKE A BREAK
Phillies C J.T. Realmuto was given the day off by manager Gabe Kapler.
"He has worked incredibly hard and it is a grind mentally and physically and after doing a lot of homework on it my decision was to give him an entire day off," Kapler said.
Francona didn't use Brad Hand, but the All-Star closer was available. Hand hasn't pitched since Sept. 8 because of a tired arm.
Phillies: SS Jean Segura (sore left ankle) was scratched from the lineup about an hour before game time. He was removed from Thursday's game in Atlanta after beating out an infield hit in the sixth inning.
Indians: Francona said he was stunned how well 3B Jose Ramirez looked Thursday in his first batting practice session since breaking his right hand last month. Ramirez, who had surgery Aug. 26, will take BP again Saturday. It's unclear if he will return before the regular season ends.
Phillies: LHP Jason Vargas (9-5, 4.24 ERA) has pitched three innings in each of his last two starts, allowing nine runs - six earned - with nine strikeouts.
Indians: Rookie RHP Zach Plesac (8-6, 3.64 ERA) is coming off his first big league shutout, against the Los Angeles Angels.
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Updated September 21, 2019