CLEVELAND - Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis could hardly believe his eyes.
"As soon as he hit it, I threw all my stuff in the air," said Kipnis after pinch-hitter Jason Giambi belted a two-run, walkoff homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Indians a wild 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
"This is something you dream about. It doesn't get any better than this. I'm speechless," said Giambi.
The rally came after Indians closer Chris Perez blew a save by giving up two home runs in the top of the ninth.
"That's a lot of emotion in a one-inning span," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona. "That means no sleep tonight, but that's Ok. That would have been a really bad loss."
The win is Cleveland's fifth in a row and keeps the Indians in the second wild-card spot, one game ahead of Texas.
The Indians have beaten Chicago 13 consecutive times and are 16-2 against the White Sox this season.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Michael Brantley singled off White Sox closer Addison Reed. Mike Aviles struck out for the second out. Giambi, pinch-hitting for Matt Carson, then blasted a 1-1 pitch into the Chicago bullpen in right field for his ninth home run of the season.
"Boy, did he hit that ball. Wow!" said Francona.
"I don't think I touched the ground going around the bases. They might appeal," said Giambi with a laugh.
"It was a hanging slider. That's exactly what I did, and he hit it out of the park," said Reed.
Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (6-3), who got the last out of the top of the ninth, was the winning pitcher. Reed (5-4) took the loss.
Perez entered the game with the Indians leading 3-2, but Dayan Viciedo, the first batter against Perez, hit a 1-1 pitch into the seats in right field for his 14th home run of the season, tying the score at 3-3.
Perez struck out the next two batters but then gave up a home run to Alejandro De Aza, who belted an 0-1 pitch into the seats in right for his 17th homer of the year, giving Chicago a 4-3 lead.
"CP left a couple of pitches over the middle of the plate. When you pitch the ninth inning and give up runs, it's more glaring," said Francona.
It was a devastating loss for the White Sox after their ninth-inning rally.
"It stinks," Reed said. "We fought back and got us where we needed to be and I let them down."
Trailing 2-1, the Indians took a 3-2 lead with a two-run seventh. Brantley hit a pitch thrown by White Sox starter Hector Santiago into the seats in right field for his 10th home run of the season. Aviles followed with a single, and a sacrifice bunt by Michael Bourn moved Aviles to second. Nate Jones relieved Santiago and retired Nick Swisher on a flyout. But Kipnis lined a single to left field, scoring Aviles and giving Cleveland a 3-2 lead.
The White Sox broke a 1-1 tie and knocked Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez out of the game in the seventh on an RBI single by De Aza.
The Indians had taken a 1-0 lead in the second against Santiago. With one out and Asdrubal Cabrera on first, Yan Gomes, who came into the game hitting .378 against the White Sox this season, lined a single to left, moving Cabrera to second. Brantley followed that with a bloop single to center, scoring Cabrera for the Indians' first run.
Jimenez held Chicago scoreless on one hit through the first three innings but had trouble the second time through the lineup.
Conor Gillaspie walked and Paul Konerko singled to start the fourth inning, putting runners at first and third with one out. Adam Dunn struck out, but Avisail Garcia's sacrifice fly scored Gillaspie with the tying run. Viciedo doubled, but with runners at second and third, Jimenez retired Gordon Beckham on a ground ball to end the inning.
NOTES: White Sox 3B Jeff Keppinger will undergo shoulder surgery on Thursday and won't play again this season. ... Konerko leads all active players with 48 career home runs against Cleveland. ... Indians RHP Justin Masterson will be available to pitch in games out of the bullpen starting Wednesday. Masterson has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with a strained oblique. ... Brantley's RBI single in the second inning extended his hitting streak to eight games. Brantley came into the game hitting .333 (19-for-57) in September.
- Sports & Recreation
- Cleveland Indians
- Chicago White Sox
- Jason Giambi
- the Indians
- Terry Francona