Pinch hitter Jason Giambi homered over the center-field wall leading off the ninth inning to give the Indians their fifth straight win, 3-2, Monday night over the Chicago White Sox in Cleveland.
Giambi, batting for struggling Mark Reynolds, belted a 1-1 pitch from Ramon Troncoso (1-3) high over the wall and into the bushes in center. It was the 436th career homer and ninth career walkoff shot for the slugger, who had a bucket of water dumped over his head by teammates after the game.
‘‘I might catch pneumonia,’’ he joked. ‘‘I'm a little old to be dunked with water. I love it. I've been preaching all year one guy is not more important than another and it’s going to take all 25 of us, even more than that, to win ballgames and we've done it all year. It’s just exciting to be a part of it.’’
Chris Perez (3-1) pitched the ninth, allowing a two-out triple to Dayan Viciedo. He got out of the inning when left fielder Michael Brantley made a nice catch for the third out.
The Indians moved within 2½ games of the idle Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
The sinking White Sox have lost four straight and 10 of 13.
Pirates 9, Cardinals 2 — Francisco Liriano allowed one run over seven dominant innings, Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run, and host Pittsburgh pulled within a half-game of the lead in the NL Central.
Liriano (11-4) struck out eight and walked just two to win his fifth straight start. The Pirates kicked off the key series at PNC Park by sending the Cardinals to their fourth straight loss.
Clint Barmes doubled twice and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen added two hits and an RBI.
Rangers 4, Angels 3 — Geovany Soto hit a game-ending homer, the second long ball in the ninth inning for host Texas off Los Angeles closer Ernesto Frieri, and the Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak.
A.J. Pierzynski led off the Texas ninth with a homer to right. Nelson Cruz followed with a single off Frieri (0-3) before David Murphy grounded into a double play. Soto then pulled a full-count pitch into the left-field seats.
Jason Frasor (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the Rangers, three days after he gave up a game-ending homer in an 11-inning loss at Cleveland.
Braves 9, Rockies 8 — Andrelton Simmons drove in Dan Uggla from first base with a triple off Edgmer Escalona in the 10th inning, and host Atlanta won its fourth straight game.
Scott Downs (1-0) earned the win after being acquired in a trade with the Angels earlier in the day and arriving at Turner Field not long before the first pitch. The lefthander allowed one hit and struck out one in 1⅓ innings.
Padres 2, Reds 1 — Chris Denorfia hit a walkoff homer with Will Venable aboard off Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth to give San Diego the victory.
Athletics 9, Blue Jays 4 — Yoenis Cespedes homered and hit a two-run triple, Josh Reddick added a two-run double and had three RBIs, and host Oakland cruised past Toronto.
Mets 6, Marlins 5 — Ike Davis had a go-ahead RBI double in a three-run seventh, Daniel Murphy drove in three runs, and New York snapped a five-game skid against host Miami.
Brewers 5, Cubs 0 — Carlos Gomez broke a scoreless tie in the ninth inning with an RBI single and Jeff Bianchi added a two-run double to lift Milwaukee at Chicago.