Tribe Bats Deal Humber a Not-So-Perfect Afternoon; Indians 8, White Sox 6
Barely over two weeks ago, Chicago starter Philip Humber was busy becoming just the 21st pitcher in baseball history to toss a perfect game. At that time, a young prospect named Zach McAllister was busy working his way to the majors at Cleveland’s AAA affiliate in Columbus.
On Monday, McAllister, making a spot start in the first game of a day-night doubleheader, outdueled Humber as the Indians improved to 16-11 with an 8-6 victory. It was McAllister’s first Major League win in just his fifth big league start. On a day of firsts, young reliever Nick Hagadone earned his first save in the 16th outing of his career. It was a day McAllister struggled at times, but got plenty of help from his offensive friends as the Indians knocked off the White Sox – in the afternoon contest.
Another small crowd of 9,196 fans at Progressive Field saw Chicago take a 1-0 lead in the top first. The run was unearned as a McAllister throwing error played a huge part in the Sox’s early lead. The lead would not last long as the Tribe put up crooked numbers against Humber in the second and third innings.
Tribe DH Travis Hafner led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run, tying the game. After a Carlos Santana double and Shin-Soo Choo single and steal, Michael Brantley delivered a two-run single to center. It put Cleveland up 3-1. It was a lead the home team would never relinquish.
Brantley, who has quietly been working himself out of an early-season batting funk, was not finished, nor were the Tribe bats. Brantley delivered a huge, bases loaded, two-run double in the third inning. It was big as Chicago had pulled within 3-2 in the visitor’s half of the third frame. The knock gave Cleveland and McAllister some breathing room. It also was just the beginning of a five-run inning that proved the difference in the contest.
That closed the books on Humber, who was relieved by Jose Quintana in the third. Cleveland’s bats went quiet against Quintana, who tossed five and two-third innings of one-hit, two-walk ball. It allowed the White Sox to make it a close game down the stretch. Chicago scored two in the fourth inning and two more in the ninth, making the game tight and nervous for the home crowd in the final stanza.
Jairo Asencio, who blew through Chicago’s lineup in the seventh and eighth innings, got in trouble in the ninth. The first three batters reached, including an Alexei Ramirez two-run single, making it a two-run game with none out in the last inning. Hagadone came on and recorded his first career save to preserve the Tribe victory.
There was some question in the morning whether the first game would be played. The Cleveland skies were gray and rainy much of the early portion of the day. A make up game, as it was, got delayed another 31 minutes before McAllister could take the hill. Despite some rough patches, McAllister must have been happy the game finally got underway. Despite allowing four runs, only two were earned. He got through six innings, walking one and scattering six hits. His error and an error by Santana led to two of the runs.
A number of the Tribe batters had to be happy that the game could be played. Kotchman, batting just .167, drove in three runs, nearly doubling his RBI total on the season to eight. Brantley matched him with the three RBIs on his two hits. Along with the long bomb, Hafner contributed a rare triple for him. Santana had a pair of hits and score twice. In all, eight of the nine Tribe starters reached base at least once.
Game two of the doubleheader will come at 7:05 when Cleveland will throw Josh Tomlin against Chicago spot starter Eric Stultz.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images