While You Were Sleeping, Tribe Never Quit; Indians 9, White Sox 8
Evan Matsumoto | On 29, Jun 2013
You wouldn’t believe it, even if you were awake to see it.
Down three runs, and with nine hours of baseball already in the books for the day, the Cleveland Indians came back with four runs in the top of the ninth inning for what may be the game of the year to date. The Tribe won 9-8 on a ninth-inning comeback, increasing their record to 42-38 and moving them just two games out of first place in the AL Central.
After a 21-hit, 19-run win against the White Sox in game one of Friday’s doubleheader—and then a 25-minute rain delay—Cleveland’s bats stayed hot to bookend the second game with a four-run first and a four-run ninth inning.
Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 8.17 ERA) matched up against Chicago’s Jose Quintana 93-2, 3.97 ERA) in the closing chapter of Friday night’s doubleheader. Carrasco took the mound for the Tribe needing to have a quality start since the bullpen worked 8.1 innings in the first game.
The game’s first four batters, Michael Bourn, Mike Aviles, Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher, reached base by way of three singles and a walk, respectively. All four Indians came around to score before the inning ended to put Cleveland up 4-0.
Chicago quickly cut down the Tribe’s lead in the other half of the first on a sacrifice fly by Conor Gillespie that scored Alejandro De Aza. They gained another run in the fifth, to make the score 4-2, when Jeff Keppinger singled to center to score Alexi Ramirez.
But Cleveland’s advantage grew back to three runs on the first pitch of the sixth inning when Mark Reynolds teed off for his 15th homerun of the season. The homer was also his 46th RBI, which moves him into the top 20 among leaders in the American League.
With the bases loaded and a 2-2 count in the sixth, De Aza lined a ball down the third baseline that brought home two more runs, closing the gap 5-4. Terry Francona pulled Carrasco shortly after. His 5 2/3 innings of work, though, were much needed for the Tribe, who used seven pitchers in the first game.
Things did not get better for Matt Langwell—who gave up a walk, a double and a triple—in the eighth. Two more runs crossed the plate on Langwell’s watch, making Chicago’s lead 8-5.
The Tribe opened the ninth with three straight singles from Ryan Raburn, Asdrubal Cabrera—pinch hitting for Drew Stubbs—and Bourn. Raburn scored on Bourn’s single, and Cabrera crossed home on a wild pitch. Then, two sacrifice flies from Jason Giambi and Kipnis brought Bourn home.
In the same inning, on a two-out, 3-2 fastball, Swisher belted his eighth homerun of the year to put Cleveland up 9-8. Swisher’s last homerun came on May 26 against Boston.
Vinnie Pestano came in to close out the game. Pestano pitched one inning in the early game and gave up two hits with one strikeout. This time around, he struck out the side to end the game and seal the Tribe’s ninth-inning comeback.
Photo: Paul Beaty/AP Photo