July 30, 2014

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Indians’ playoff push draws fans to Progressive Field

Cleveland Indians fans cheer after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-2 in a baseball game on Wednesday in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland Indians fans cheer after the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-2 in a baseball game on Wednesday in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

If you keep winning, apparently they will come.

Indians fans have failed to support their team at the turnstiles for much of the season, but with the Tribe in the thick of the American League wild-card race, they slowly but surely began flocking to Progressive Field.

After beginning the final homestand with sparse crowds, attendance rose steadily, culminating with 30,942 fans showing up for the final home game of the regular season Wednesday night. The crowd was bolstered by a walk-up of 5,181 fans — the third-largest walk-up contingent of the season.

It was the largest crowd at Progressive Field since Aug. 10 and accounted for just the fifth time since the home opener (Cleveland’s only sellout) that the Indians drew more than 30,000 fans.

Tribe fans were rewarded with a 7-2 victory — the Indians’ sixth straight win — over the White Sox in a game that had a playoff feel.

“It was really kind of electric, and that’s pretty cool,” manager Tito Francona said. “Hopefully we’ll play more games here. I think they showed their appreciation of our team’s effort. They seemed very excited, and it’s a lot of fun when it’s like that here.”

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.