PITTSBURGH (AP) — Carlos Santana hit a towering, three-run homer in the 10th inning and drove in a career high-tying five runs to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
With one out and the score tied at 3, Santana’s drive sailed high over the foul pole and landed at the top of the left field rotunda at PNC Park. The Pirates argued that the ball had curved foul, but the umpire’s call stood following a video review.
Santana used some body English in hopes the ball stayed fair.
“Yeah, I waited for the umpire to say fair,” Santana said. “When he said fair, I was happy with that.”
The review took two minutes and 35 seconds, making for some anxious moments in the Indians’ dugout.
“The ball was hit so far over the pole that you couldn’t tell,” said first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., serving as acting manager while Terry Francona is sidelined by a gastrointestinal illness. “It could have gone either way. The way I saw it, it looked like it was hugging the foul pole. Too far up there to tell. But it seemed to me like it was a fair ball.”
The Pirates felt the umpires in the replay center in New York got the call wrong.
“I definitely didn’t have as good as angle as the umpire did, but from my angle it definitely looked foul,” shortstop Kevin Newman said.
Cleveland won its fourth straight game and for the ninth time in 12 games. At 4-15, Pittsburgh has the worst record in the major leagues.
Cesar Hernandez began in the inning as the automatic runner at second base. One out later, Francisco Lindor walked and then Santana connected off Sam Howard (1-1) for his second home run of the season.
The Pirates had a chance to win it in the ninth when they put runners and first and second with no outs. But speedy Jarrod Dyson was picked off second base by catcher Roberto Perez and the inning eventually ended when Nick Wittgren (1-0) struck out Josh Bell with two on.
“That’s what our team does,” Wittgren said. “(Perez) picked me up. He gunned the guy down at second and it changed the whole scenario. It changes the way I pitched to the next two guys.”
Brad Hand pitched a scoreless 10th for his sixth save in as many chances. Six Indians relievers combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
Bell made it 3-all in the sixth with a two-run double that chased Carlos Carrasco. Oliver Perez came on and avoided further trouble by striking out Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds to end the inning.
Santana hit a two-run single and Franmil Reyes followed with a sacrifice fly to put Cleveland ahead 3-1 in the third.
The Pirates, who got three hits from Newman, were playing for just the third time in nine days.
They had a three-game series at St. Louis postponed last week because of the Cardinals’ COVID-19 outbreak. Pittsburgh then split two games at Cincinnati before the last two games of the scheduled series were called off because a Reds player tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Pirates also had a regularly scheduled off day Monday.
“I would say it’s probably more challenging mentally,” catcher Jacob Stallings said of the uneven schedule. “It’s been obviously a very weird season and continues to be a weird season.”
Carrasco needed 91 pitches to get through 4 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs, five hits and three walks while striking out five.
Pittsburgh rookie JT Brubaker went just three innings and allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in his second career start.
Francona will miss the series and, according to GM Mike Chernoff, undergo a medical procedure this week. Francona also missed seven games from Aug. 3-9 before returning to the dugout last week.
Indians: Perez was activated from the injury list, C Sandy Leon was placed on the family emergency leave list and OF Greg Allen was recalled from the alternate training site in Eastlake, Ohio.
Allen takes the roster spot of OF Oscar Mercado, who was optioned Monday to the alternate site. Mercado hit just .111 in 17 games and lost his starting center fielder’s job to OF Delino DeShields.
Pirates: RHPs Tyler Bashlor and Nick Mears were recalled from the alternate training site in Altoona, Pennsylvania, RHP Cody Ponce was optioned there and RHP Yacksel Rios was placed on the 10-day IL.
Bashlor was acquired from the New York Mets for cash considerations Aug. 2. He made 24 relief appearances for the Mets each of the past two seasons.