CLEVELAND, Ohio (KDKA/AP) — The Pirates were looking to salvage something from their weekend trip to Cleveland. After dropping a pair of 5-1 losses the last two nights, Jeff Karstens got the start Sunday for the Bucs hoping to avoid the three-game sweep.
The game went into extra innings, but the Indians’ Cord Phelps hit his very first major league homer in the 11th inning, a three-run shot, to give Cleveland a 5-2 victory and the sweep.
The game was delayed by rain in the eighth inning for one hour and 57 minutes.
Neil Walker and Matt Diaz drove in first-inning runs off Justin Masterson to put the Pirates ahead 2-0.
Walker followed a one-out triple by Xavier Paul with an RBI single. Walker took third on a single by Garrett Jones and scored as Diaz grounded into a forceout at second.
Santana hit Jeff Karstens’ first pitch of the second inning into the right-field seats for his ninth homer. Phelps doubled on the next pitch, moved up on a passed ball and later scored when Lou Marson bounced into a double play, tying it at 2.
Masterson, 0-5 in 10 starts since opening the season 5-0, gave up two runs and seven hits over five innings. He ran up his pitch count early, though he walked only one and struck out five. He threw 69 of 110 pitches for strikes.
Karstens was lifted after the delay in the middle of the eighth. Jose Veras, who was warming up before the field was covered, came on and retired the side.
Karstens gave up one earned run and five hits over seven innings. The right-hander has not allowed more than two earned run in a game since May 3, a stretch of nine starts.
In the fourth, Pirates first base coach Luis Silverio was hit in the inner thigh by a foul line drive off the bat of Jones, but stayed in the game.
Once the game went into extra innings, Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera got a standing ovation for making a barehand stop on the outfield grass to throw out Brandon Wood in the top of the 10th.
Shin-Soo Choo singled off Tim Wood (0-1) with one out in the 11th for his third hit and stole second. Wood intentionally walked Santana to bring up Phelps, who came to bat hitting .100 (2 for 20) since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on June 8.
Tony Sipp (3-0) worked a scoreless 11th to help the Indians win for the fifth time in seven games and move to 6-0 in interleague play.
Their sweep extended the Pirates’ losing streak to 13 games in AL ballparks. They have not won a road interleague game since June 17, 2009, at Minnesota.
Up next, the Pirates return home to begin a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles Monday at 7:05 p.m.