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Carlos Santana’s grand slam puts Indians back in tie for first place

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With less than two months left in the regular season, playoff races are starting to heat up. While most of the division races aren’t terribly interesting, the AL Central has become a tight battle between the Twins and Indians. The Twins have held onto first place since mid-April, but the Indians have been surging since June and recently claimed a share of first place after defeating the Twins on Friday.

Sunday marked the series finale in Minnesota. Appropriately, the game went to extra innings thanks, in part, to a tremendous relay from left fielder Tyler Naquin to shortstop Francisco Lindor to cut down Luis Arraez at the plate, representing the winning run.

In the top of the 10th, All-Star Carlos Santana hit a grand slam off of Taylor Rogers to put the Indians up 7-3, proving to be the game-winning hit. The Indians are back in a tie for first place in the AL Central.

The two clubs have two more three-game series remaining. The Twins will host the Indians again September 6-8, then the Indians will host the Twins September 13-15.

Chris Archer exits start after one inning due to apparent injury

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Pirates starter Chris Archer exited Tuesday night’s start against the Pirates while warming up ahead of the second inning. He was examined by the Pirates’ training staff before walking off the field. The reason is currently unknown but an update should be forthcoming.

Archer allowed a pair of singles before getting consecutive strikeouts to see his way out of the first inning. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a forgettable year in Pittsburgh, entering Tuesday’s action 3-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 141/55 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings.

The Pirates, overall, are in rough shape, losing 22 of their last 27 games dating back to July 21. They are 51-73, 15.5 games out of first place in the NL Central cellar. It may behoove them to play it safe with Archer since they don’t have anything to play for over the remainder of the regular season. The club holds options for his 2020 and ’21 seasons at $9 million and $11 million, respectively.