Indians storm back to shock White Sox, clinch playoff spot
In a season that saw the Cleveland Indians struggle to push across runs, their September 22 battle with the then AL Central leading Chicago White Sox looked like another painful loss.
After a first inning solo home run from Cesar Hernandez the Indians offense disappeared for eight innings and their 1-0 lead faded in the top of the sixth as Jose Abreu hit a solo shot off Adam Plutko.
The game would head to extra innings where in the top of the 10th, the White Sox hit what seemed to be the dagger as Adam Engel delivered an RBI triple and Nick Madrigal hit an RBI single to put the Sox on top 3-1.
Cleveland’s start to the bottom of the 10th went as many expected from their struggling offense as Josh Naylor popped out and Delino DeShields struck out putting the White Sox an out away from victory with a runner on second.
Instead of a loss that would’ve surprised nobody, the Indians rallied back. Francisco Lindor hit a two-out double to score Roberto Perez who was placed on second base as part of the 2020 extra inning rules and pull the Tribe within one.
Then, Hernandez walked setting up Jose Ramirez with a chance to win the ball game. Down to his final strike, Ramirez came up clutch as he delivered a stunning three-run walk-off home run to clinch a comeback 5-3 Indians win and clinch Cleveland’s fourth postseason berth in the last five years.
The win sparked a late-season hot streak from the Tribe as they went onto sweep four-games from the White Sox and jump-ahead of them in the final AL Central standings.
Honorable Mention: Santana’s three-run bomb in the 10th leads Cleveland past Pirates.