Cleveland – The Indians are thriving under the pressure of playoff-race baseball. Philadelphia? Not so much.
Carlos Carrasco got his first save in five years, and Cleveland beat the Phillies 5-2 Friday night to remain tied with Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card at 91-63.
"It's what we come to the ballpark to do and what we play for," All-Star pitcher Shane Bieber said. "It's a special time of the year. I know I'm one of the guys to be truly extremely excited about the position we're in."
Bieber (15-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in 7⅓ innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Rookie Oscar Mercado drove in a first-inning run with a double and added an RBI single in the seventh.
"You're so many games in, guys tend to feel a little tired, but you go out there and every game is important," Mercado said. "That adrenaline kicks in. It's awesome to be a part of this, especially in my first year."
Cleveland's fifth straight win dropped Philadelphia five games behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card with 10 games left. The Phillies lost for the fourth time in six games.
"Got to win. Period," Phillies DH Jay Bruce said. "Can't worry about anything else. You listen, you read and concern yourself too much about it, it doesn't do you any good. So we have to win and see what happens. There are no promises, but we know we can't get where we want to go if we don't win."
Carrasco retired Bruce with two on to end the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth for his second big league save; his first was on June 16, 2014, against the Los Angeles Angels. Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia in June and made his eighth appearance with the Indians since returning Sept. 1.
"He went out in the ninth and was really efficient," manager Terry Francona said. "If you can get a multi-inning reliever with that kind of stuff, that's a big lift for us."