BOSTON (AP) — Nick Swisher finally has something to savor in a tough season — a game-winning homer.
He had spent 16 days on the disabled list before being activated Thursday. He was batting just .203 when he came to bat in the 11th inning on Sunday.
Then he led off the inning with his fourth homer of the season, giving the Cleveland Indians their second straight 3-2 comeback win over the Boston Red Sox.
“This year’s been kind of crazy for me, personally,” Swisher said. “Just to come up with a hit like that to help this team win a ballgame, I was so stoked, man. I wanted to smile all the way around the bases.”
Cleveland manager Terry Francona was pretty excited by the good view he had from the third base dugout of the homer just inside the right field foul pole.
“At that point it’s not relief,” he said, “it’s elation.”
The Red Sox wasted an excellent opportunity to win the game in the ninth when they loaded the bases with three walks by John Axford. Then Scott Atchison came in and got Brock Holt to end the threat with a groundout to second.
“He throws strikes,” Francona said. “That’s why he’s out there.”
The Red Sox left eight runners on base.
“We had opportunities,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We walked the bases loaded in the ninth and (were) a base hit away, or a swing away from ending it right there. It’s been elusive.”
Cody Allen (3-1) ended the game with two perfect innings, striking out three.
Junichi Tazawa (1-1) took the loss one day after walking in the winning run.
Swisher had been 1 for 8 in two of the first three games of the series after recovering from a hyperextended right knee and was 0 for 4 Sunday before his homer.
“He obviously has that (home run) capability, but we’re challenging him given his four previous at-bats on the day and maybe some of the inconsistencies he’s had during the season,” Farrell said, “and got beat on it.”
The win was the Indians’ second straight after four consecutive losses.
Michael Brantley gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the first with his 11th homer. But in the next five innings, Brandon Workman allowed just three hits, a walk and a hit batsman.
Boston tied the game in the first on a single by leadoff hitter Holt, a wild pitch and an RBI single by David Ortiz.
The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the fifth against Corey Kluber after a walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. and a single by Holt put runners at first and third with one out. Dustin Pedroia then grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the forceout. But Pedroia hustled to beat the throw to first, avoiding a double play and allowing Bradley to score.
Just as they did in Saturday night’s loss, the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead into the seventh and lost it. David Murphy walked and reached third on a single by Carlos Santana with no outs. Workman was replaced by Burke Badenhop, who allowed a tying sacrifice fly by Yan Gomes.
“All we can do is keep going out there and keep getting guys on base and working,” Boston’s A.J. Pierzynski said. “Guys hit some balls hard. They made some good plays. There’s nothing you can do.”
Cleveland threatened in the 10th when Craig Breslow issued two-out walks to Brantley and Kipnis, but Lonnie Chisenhall grounded into a forceout.
Tigers 4, Twins 3
DETROIT — J.D. Martinez’s ninth-inning sacrifice fly scored Torii Hunter with the winning run and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Sunday.
Hunter led off the ninth with a single off Casey Fein (3-3), and Miguel Cabrera rifled a line drive that almost knocked over shortstop Dany Santana as he made a leaping catch.
Victor Martinez then hit a fly ball to the right-field wall, and Oswaldo Arcia dropped it for an error. That put runners on the corners, and J.D. Martinez followed with a fly to medium-depth center. Hunter never hesitated, and scored easily when Sam Fuld’s throw was badly off line.
Joe Nathan (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth.
Reds 13, Brewers 4
MILWAUKEE — Billy Hamilton led off the game with a home run, Brandon Phillips added a two-run shot in the first inning and Todd Frazier later hit his team-high 15th homer as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 13-4 Sunday.
Hamilton homered for the second straight day, connecting off Marco Estrada (5-4).
Ryan Ludwick hit three doubles and had four of the Reds’ season-high 19 hits. Frazier also doubled and drove in four runs.
Estrada’s infield single with the bases loaded in the fourth helped tie the game at 3.
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