Chicago Steals Night Cap Late; White Sox 5, Indians 4
By Craig Gifford
For six innings Tuesday night it appeared the Indians had everthing cooking. It seemed they would come away with a doubleheader sweep against the White Sox and get back above .500. After six innings, the Tribe led 4-3, just hours after taking the first game at Progressive Field. Then, the top of the seventh happened. The Sox scored a pair, the Indians stopped scoring and Chicago worked its way to a split of the twinbill, knocking off the Indians 5-4 in the evening tilt.
The loss dropped Cleveland to 76-77 and pulled Chicago to within 1.5 games of the second place Tribe. Cleveland scored four runs in a wild fourth inning. Jim Thome singled home the first run. Grady Sizemore delivered a sacrifice fly for the second run. Struggling first baseman Matt LaPorta doubled home the third run and Jack Hannahan hit a sac fly for the fourth run.
The Indians would score no more after that against the White Sox bullpen. The Tribe pitching could not make it hold up.
Rookie starter Zack McAllister could not be blamed. He had one of his better outings, going 5.1 innings and allowing two earned runs. He struck out four and walked one. Rafael Perez, with a 2.95 ERA, allowed a double to Alejandro de Aza that drew the Sox to within 4-3 after six innings.
As would have been the case early in the season, Manny Acta did not go to his established relief pitchers in a tight game late. Instead, he went to rookie Zach Putnam to try and hold the lead in the seventh. In 0.1 of an inning, the youngster allowed two earned runs. Alexi Ramirez, a disappointment for Chicago this year, had the game winning hit.
Cleveland, sporting a much maligned offense, collected nine hits. Jason Donald led the way with four, lifting his batting average to .310.
Where Putnam stuggled, the Indians did get good news from rookie reliever Nick Hagadone. Hagadone had one of his better outings. After Putnam failed to put Chicago away, Hagadone recoreded 1.2 innings of scoreless ball. Another rookie, Josh Judy, pitched a perfect ninth inning.
While the Indians’ bullpen, strong all year, sputtered, Chicago’s was one of the story’s of the game. The Sox relief corps allowed no runs and two hits over 4.1 innings. They fanned four and walked two.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images