Walk away: Indians rally again, keep AL Central hopes alive

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Cleveland Indians' Cesar Hernandez, center, is mobbed by Austin Hedges (17), Carlos Santana (41) and Jose Ramirez (11) after hitting a winning single off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Chris Stratton during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND – Once again, the Indians grabbed water bottles, poured from the dugout and danced around the infield grass like little kids at recess.

Walk-off week rolls on.

César Hernández ripped an RBI double into the right-field corner with two outs in the ninth inning as Cleveland rallied for its third dramatic win in four days, a 4-3 victory Friday night over the Pittsburgh Pirates that kept the Indians' hopes alive for winning the AL Central.

“That's what we want,” said starter Carlos Carrasco. “We want to win the division.”

Down 3-1 and held to one hit for eight innings, the Indians found more of the late-inning magic that has carried them this week.

Tyler Naquin drew a leadoff walk off Chris Stratton (2-1) in the ninth and pinch-hitter Jordan Luplow, who hit a walk-off homer in the ninth on Wednesday night to beat the Chicago White Sox, pounded an RBI double high off the wall in left.

Delino DeShields — who broke up Pittsburgh's no-hit bid with a perfectly placed bunt single in the seventh — hit a one-out RBI single. After Francisco Lindor lined out, it was Hernández's turn at playing hero, and after he delivered on a 3-2 pitch, he was chased by his celebrating teammates.

Adam Plutko (2-2) picked up his first career win in relief for the Indians (34-25), who have clinched a playoff spot but want more. They they can improve their seed and still overtake Minnesota and the White Sox, still stinging from a four-game sweep by Cleveland.