Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque was called for a balk with the bases loaded in the 13th inning, resulting in an 11-10 win for the Cleveland Indians on May 21.
The Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 11-10 on a walk-off balk on May 21.
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MLB.com's Jordan Bastian writes Detroit reliever Al Alburquerque was called for a balk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th inning, which resulted in the wild win by the Indians:
"It was a fitting way for the Indians' wildest game of the year to end.
"Ryan Rayburn thurst his arms into the air in the batter's box, grinning wide after Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque was called for a balk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th inning.
"Cleveland's players poured from the dugout to meet Asdrubal Cabrera as he crossed the plate, completing an improbable 11-10 walk-off Detroit on Wednesday at Progressive Field.
"The victory also finished off a sweep of a three-game series with the Tigers, cutting Cleveland's deficit to 7 1/2 games in the division standings.
"This is still a considerable hill to climb for the Tribe, but slowing Detroit's high-powered lineup and potent pitching was an encouraging step for a team trying to find its footing.
"It took nine pitches and 13 innings, but the Indians notched their first three-game sweep of the season against any opponent. Heading into the series, Cleveland has dropped five of six and endured an overwhelming brooming at the hands of the A's.
"The Indians proceeded to use their meeting with their rivals from the Motor City as a way to hopefully revive their season."
Make no mistake about it, it was very entertaining until the very end.
Indians manager Terry Francona told Zach Meisel of The Northeast Ohio Media Group after the five-hour, sixteen-minute contest it was "one of the most fun games I've been a part of."
Cleveland right fielder David Murphy said,"I don't even know where to start with that game. I don't really know if that was a baseball game or a marathon combined with a circus," per the same update.
Meisel adds more details about the slugfest, beginning with a short stint on the mound by Indians starter Zach McAllister, who allowed five runs on five hits.
"McAllister lastted two innings -- his second consecutive abbreviated start. The right-hander yielded five runs (four earned) on five hits. He has compiled a 32.40 ERA over his last two outings and a 19.96 ERA over his last three.
"The Indians' bats, however, heated up on a warm, sunny day beside Lake Erie. (Detroit starter Max) Scherzer entered the matinee with a 6-1 record and 1.83 ERA. He lasted seven innings, but surrendered seven runs on 12 hits. A day earlier, the Tribe scratched five runs and 11 hits off Justin Verlander.
"Mike Rzepczynski allowed a pair of runs in the fifth, as Nick Castellanos tied the game at seven on an RBI double. Deposed closer John Axford gave up a single and a walk to begin the eighth. Victor Martinez then slapped a grounder to second, but Cabrera whiffed when attempting to catch a throw from Mike Aviles.
"As a result, Ian Kinsler scored, Don Kelly advanced to third and Martinez reached first. J.D. Martinez followed with an RBI single to push the Tigers' cushion to two runs. The Indians have now committed 47 errors in 47 games.
"Murphy rescued the Tribe from the jaws of defeat in the ninth. He tagged Joe Nathan, the Tigers' closer, with a game-tying, two-run shot to right-center. At that point, Tomlin was alerted to begin warming up.
"He ran down to the clubhouse, put his cleats on and retreated to the bullpen to start tossing."
Mesiel also notes that Detroit Tigers first baseman and two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera and his manager, Brad Ausmus, in the top of the sixth inning after Cabrera protested a check-swing call against him.
In spite of the victory, the Indians remained in the American League Central cellar with a 22-25 (.468) win-loss record through May 21. They are seven-and-a-half games behind the division-leading Tigers, who currently sport a 27-15 (.643) record.
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