CLEVELAND — Michael Brantley said Saturday night that it was too cold this time of year for Gatorade baths. Greg Allen now knows what he means.
In the bottom of the 11th, Allen singled to left field with the bases loaded to give the Indians a walk-off 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night at Progressive Field.
Jose Ramirez led off the bottom of the 11th by drawing a walk against Red Sox reliever William Cuevas. Rajai Davis advanced him to second base with a sacrifice bunt, putting the winning run in scoring position with one out.
Erik Gonzalez grounded a ball to shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin, but Lin booted it, putting runners at the corners. Reliever Robby Scott intentionally walked pinch-hitter Yandy Diaz.
That set the stage for Allen, who worked a full count against Scott before rifling a ball through the drawn-in infield to win it. Allen ended up sprinting into shallow left-center field to avoid the mobbing waiting for him.
It was the Indians’ second consecutive walk-off win and the third in the past five games. Jason Kipnis belted a grand slam on Thursday to beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1 and Michael Brantley singled to win Saturday night’s game over the Red Sox 5-4. It was also the third game in the past four that went to the 11th inning.
The Red Sox took an early lead against Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko.
Mookie Betts led off the first inning with a double to center field. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt, Betts scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0.
The Red Sox added on in the third. Christian Vazquez and Betts led off the inning with singles and, with one out, Xander Bogaerts drew a walk to load the bases. Rafael Devers scored one on a groundout to first base to make it 2-0. Plutko was able to avoid further damage, inducing another groundout to first baseman Yonder Alonso to end the inning.
The Indians grabbed the lead with a three-run fourth inning. With Red Sox starter Hector Velazquez on the mound, Brantley singled to open the inning. He advanced to second on an error by Velazquez and then to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Edwin Encarnacion singled to left field to score Brantley and cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Red Sox turned to knuckleballer Steven Wright, who struck out Josh Donaldson for the second out. Alonso singled to center field and Melky Cabrera followed with a two-out, two-run double to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
That lead lasted all of one batter. Betts, who could be the front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player award this season, led off the top of the fifth with a solo home run to center field to tie it 3-3.
Plutko lasted six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks and striking out two.
Roberto Perez exited the game with a right shoulder contusion. Perez was struck with a foul ball and originally stayed in the game.
The Indians finished the 2018 season with 80 home dates (due to the doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays in May) and a total Progressive Field attendance of 1,926,701, an average of 24,084 fans per game.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.