Tribe Earns Milestones, Down ChiSox; Indians 11, White Sox 2
By Matt Van Wormer
The Indians and White Sox started the evening with a good nature gesture, and ended it with the Tribe reaching several milestones as they won Thursday’s game, 11-2.
At the beginning of tonight’s contest, it looked like it would be a friendly night as two potential Hall of Fame ballplayers met at home plate to exchange the lineup cards for their teams. Of course we’re talking about Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel, two great men who spent the large parts of their careers wearing Chief Wahoo on their heads.
The Indians got the contest under way on the right foot, from the left batter’s box. After Jeanmar Gomez set the Sox down 1-2-3 in the top half, Kosuke Fukudome led off the bottom half of the inning with a home run to right-center field off of Phillip Humber. Jason Kipnis then followed suit by golfing one over the center field wall, just out of the reach of Alex Rios. It was the first time two Indians have led off the game with home runs, at home, in over 40 years.
Humber would settle in though, retiring 14 Indians in a row. In the meantime, Chicago was able to tie the game up in the top of the 5th inning when Juan Pierre singled with Brent Morel on 1st and Alejandro de Aza on 2nd with two outs. De Aza scored easily and then Morel was able to follow him home after Asdrubal Cabrera’s throwing error trying to get the out at 3rd.
The Indians got to Humber again in the bottom of the 5th, breaking his retired-batter streak with a two out walk by Jack Hannahan, a ground-rule double by Ezequial Carrera and a 2-run single by Kosuke Fukudome to put the Tribe back in front, 4-2.
The Indians added on in the bottom of the sixth. After a leadoff single by Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner grounded into what appeared to be a double play but the relay throw got away from the first baseman, Dayan Viciedo leaving Hafner at first. After a Carlos Santana single and a Grady Sizemore fly ball that moved Hafner to third, Matt LaPorta hit a two-out single to score Hafner, making it 5-2.
Joe Smith took over for Gomez, who went six innings, giving up just two runs, only one of which was earned. After walking the leadoff man on four straight pitches, Smith settled down and retired the next three hitters on two fly outs and a ground ball which was right at Smith but he stabbed it out of thin air and made the throw to first to end the inning.
The Indians put the game to bed in the bottom of the seventh. After Ezequial Carrera and Fukudome reached to start the seventh, Humber was pulled for Addison Reed who got Jason Kipnis to fly out for the first out. Asdrubal Cabrera, however, decided he wanted to make some history and tag Humber with two more runs in the process.
On the first pitch he saw from Reed, Cabrera hit his 25th home run of the season which gives him the single season record for an Indians shortstop. That made the score 8 to 2. Not to be outdone, Travis Hafner made a little history of his own by collecting 1,000th career hit, a double to the gap in right center. Adding another run in the inning was Grady Sizemore with a two out single, making it 9-2. That would be all the Indians needed as they won, 11-2.
While the White Sox took the season series by a count of 11-7, the Indians were able to end this four-game set with a 1.5 game advantage over Chicago. Next up for the Indians is a four game set with the cellar dwelling Twins which includes a double-header on Saturday. It will be the last home series of the season for the Tribe.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images