CLEVELAND, Ohio — Bobby Bradley kept walking past manager Terry Francona in the dugout with a bat his hands.
“He was ready to hit for about two hours,” said Francona.
What about catcher Rene Rivera? He was in the fight from the first pitch.
He tried to steer Triston McKenzie out of the first inning, but Dr. Sticks didn’t make it. Then he handled six relievers as the Indians trailed Seattle 1-0, 3-0 and finally 4-0. They were never completely out of the game, but it still looked like a lost cause. A Saturday afternoon spent trying to hit lefty Yusei Kikuchi without success.
Then Kikuchi left after seven and Cesar Hernandez homered off Kendall Graveman in the eighth to make it 4-1. It was Hernandez’s 10th of the season and the first allowed by Graveman this year.
A stirring perhaps, but Seattle closer Rafael Montero retired the first two batters in the ninth on grounders. Bradley Zimmer came off the bench and drew a pinch-hit walk. Josh Naylor followed with a walk as well to give Bradley a chance to put his bat to use as he pinch-hit for Owen Miller.
Bradley, ahead in the count 1-2, broke his bat on a 97 mph fastball that found grass in semi-deep right field for a single. Zimmer scored to make it 4-2 as Naylor stopped at third. Now things were getting interesting.
“I was happy for him,” said Francona. “You…