CLEVELAND — Lonnie Chisenhall ended the day with a bucket on top of his head — a reward for helping the Cleveland Indians to another comeback win.
Chisenhall capped a three-run rally with a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning against Fernando Rodney, leading the Indians over the Miami Marlins 6-5 on Sunday.
Chisenhall’s hit dropped in front of a sliding Ichiro Suzuki in right field and scored pinch-runner Michael Martinez, giving the AL Central leaders their sixth straight win.
Jose Ramirez’s two-run single — also with two outs — tied it and set up the decisive at-bat.
Chisenhall watched his game-ending hit fall safely, rounded first base and was pounded by teammates in the middle of the infield. He was doused with ice water and left with the large bucket resting on his shoulders.
“It’s totally worth it for the win, especially with how we won it,” he said.
Chisenhall held his breath as Suzuki attempted to make the catch.
“Ichiro, he’s still moving very well out there,” he said. “He gets good reads. He came really close. I was hoping. You never know, but I was hoping.”
Rodney (2-4) allowed three runs, two hits, three walks and threw two wild pitches in two-thirds of an inning.
“There are different kinds of losses and this one stings,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s a tough one to take.”
Indians manager Terry Francona was ejected earlier in the inning for arguing when Jason Kipnis struck out on a check-swing call.
Cody Allen (3-5) pitched two-thirds of an inning to help the Indians complete a three-game sweep and maintain a 5 1/2-game lead over Detroit.
Suzuki’s ninth-inning double off Andrew Miller broke a 3-all tie. Martin Prado added a sacrifice fly, giving Miami a two-run lead.
Miami has dropped eight of nine.
Rodney walked pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer and Carlos Santana on eight pitches to start the inning. Kipnis couldn’t check his swing on an 0-2 count when Rodney threw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to move up a base.
Third base umpire Mark Ripperger ruled Kipnis went around and Francona was ejected by plate umpire Joe West.
Rodney walked Mike Napoli before Ramirez singled to left and tied the game.
“We never feel like we’re behind,” Chisenhall said. “In the dugout we’re never down. That’s a huge thing to have and it’s fun to be part of it.”
“Those are easy game to kind of let the air come out when they took the lead, we keep playing,” Francona said.
Kipnis’ two-run single in the seventh gave Cleveland a 3-2 lead, but J.T. Realmuto tied the game with a leadoff homer in the eighth off Bryan Shaw.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits.
Danny Salazar matched a career high with 11 strikeouts and allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings. The run scored in the third when catcher Chris Gimenez was charged with an error after missing a throw home.
The Indians open a four-game series with Houston on Monday. Right-hander Mike Clevinger will start but is expected to go only a couple of innings in what will be a game pitched by relievers. Right-hander Josh Tomlin, who has been removed from the rotation, could also be used early in the game.
Marlins: OF Marcell Ozuna (sore left wrist) was out of the lineup again and is considered day-to-day.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (separated right shoulder) has begun throwing to bases. The team hopes to activate him later this month.
Marlins: RHP Jake Esch will make his second major league start in the opener of a three-game home series against Philadelphia.
Indians: Clevinger is 2-1 with a 5.30 ERA in 11 appearances. His last six outings have been as a reliever.