Amid a close AL wild-card race with the A’s and Rays, the Indians could not afford to lose a second straight home game to the White Sox.
But they were headed in that direction when, with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Eloy Jimenez launched what looked to be a bases-clearing double to give Chicago the lead. Indians center fielder Oscar Mercado prevented that hit by breaking back immediately on the ball before snaring it at full stretch. Right-hander Nick Wittgren then closed the game with a strikeout.
Mercado’s athletic play saved the game and stunned Jimenez. It also kept Cleveland moving in the right direction with the A’s in action against the Angels and the Rays getting the day off.
This has been an exciting rookie campaign for Mercado, who, in addition to his solid defense, has shown promise at the plate. He’s slashing .265/.314/.418 and has racked up 13 stolen bases in 93 games.
His catch Wednesday certainly helped him and his team inch closer to a playoff appearance.
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