CLEVELAND (WJW)– With one swing, José Ramírez pushed the Cleveland Indians in the playoffs and strengthened his case for the AL MVP award.
Ramírez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, giving Cleveland a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox that clinched a postseason berth Tuesday night.
Ramírez’s drive to right off José Ruiz scored César Hernández and Francisco Lindor, setting off a wild celebration at home plate as the Indians reached the postseason for the fourth time in five years.
Lindor had pulled Cleveland within one on a two-out double that plated Roberto Perez, who began the inning on second base. After Matt Foster (5-1) walked Hernández, Ruiz entered and gave up the game-ending drive.
In preparation for the playoffs, the Indians bumped Shane Bieber’s start back from Tuesday to Wednesday so he’ll be in line to pitch Game 1. Bieber, who is favored to win the AL Cy Young, leads the league in nearly every major stat category.
It’s possible Cleveland will take on the White Sox in the opening round of the postseason. Chicago is poised to win its first AL Central title since 2008 and the Indians are 6-2 against the White Sox this season.
MLB implemented an expanded 16-team format for this postseason. It’s made up of the top two teams in each division, plus the two remaining teams with the best records in each league.
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