Cleveland, OH – Matt Carson's RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a four-game set.
Back-to-back base hits by Yan Gomes and Asdrubal Cabrera preceded Michael Brantley's line out against Rhiner Cruz (0-2) in the 11th. Mike Aviles walked to load the bases with one out and Carson, who was a defensive replacement for Jason Giambi in the top of the 10th, deposited a single into right-center to bring home Gomes for the winning run.
The Indians are one-half game behind the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, who are tied for the AL's two wild-card spots.
Nick Swisher went 4-of-4 with a run scored for Cleveland, which has won six of its last eight contests.
Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez fanned nine and surrendered just a run on six hits over seven frames, while Bryan Shaw (5-3) registered the win with a perfect top of the 11th.
"If we didn't win, it wouldn't be fun at all," Jimenez said. "Houston, they played really hard today. They're not chasing anything right now, but they came out and they played hard."
Houston starter Dallas Keuchel fanned seven and allowed a run on seven hits and a walk over seven innings for the Astros, who have dropped six straight tilts.
"We've had some frustrating stretches," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "A tremendous job by our pitching staff, our bullpen has done a great job and we just squander opportunity after opportunity with poor at-bats and bad baserunning."
The Tribe opened the scoring in the first when Swisher smacked a one-out double to left and scored on Jason Kipnis' single to center.
The Astros countered in the second as L.J. Hoes' sacrifice fly knotted the game.
The Indians were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base, while Houston finished 1-for-8 with RISP ... Swisher's double was his 25th of the season.