Jimenez Shuts Down Sox to Keep Pace in Race; Indians 8, White Sox 1
Mike B. | On 14, Sep 2013
Meet Ubaldo Jimenez.
He’s the pitcher the Cleveland Indians traded for in July 2011 to help bolster their staff and lead them to the playoffs. The proclaimed top of the rotation starter was supposed to be a difference maker for the Tribe over the next two and a half seasons.
Better late than never.
After two seasons of inconsistency, Jimenez has found his stride and seems to have taken the reigns as Tribe ace as soon as Justin Masterson was injured on Labor Day. Tonight, Jimenez manhandled the Chicago White Sox, 8-1 to keep the Tribe in the midst of the wild card playoff chase. His effort seemed to exude confidence with every pitch.
The game was deadlocked for three innings before the Indians finally got to Andre Rienzo in the top of the fourth inning. Carlos Santana singled to left field to start the inning and Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 13th home run of the season to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. The two-run shot to right center field was all the offense the Indians would need.
Cleveland was not done in the inning, however. Jason Giambi walked and Yan Gomes dropped a bloop single into right center field. Lonnie Chisenhall broke the game open when he homered to right field and gave the Indians a 5-0 lead. It was his 10th homer of the season.
Charlie Leesman took over for Rienzo in the fifth inning and a frame later, the Tribe tallied their final runs. Chisenhall singled to start the sixth inning, followed by a walk from Michael Bourn. After Nick Swisher lined out, Jason Kipnis grounded to second base to advance the two runners to scoring position. Santana came through with a clutch two-out base hit to center field to bring around both runs and extend the lead to 7-0.
The Tribe tacked on a final run in the ninth inning when Jose Ramirez hit his first career triple to center field with one out. Ryan Raburn lined out to left field just deep enough for Ramirez to scamper home and make it 8-0.
Chicago tallied their lone run in the bottom of the ninth inning. With an out, Avisail Garcia and Gillespie each singled to put a pair on. Indians manager Terry Francona relieved Jimenez for CC Lee. Lee allowed a base hit to Viciedo before Josh Phegley flew out to center field deep enough for Garcia to hustle home and make it 8-1. Lee struck out Marcus Semien to end the game and give the Tribe a win.
Jimenez(11-8) pitched eight and one-third innings, allowing a run on eight hits and a walk while striking out eight. Since the All-Star break Jimenez has had the lowest ERA in the American League at 1.83.
Rienzo (2-2) suffered the loss for the White Sox. Chicago drops to 58-90, while Cleveland earned their 80th win of the season. The Tribe logs their 14th victory of the season against Chicago and their ninth win in the Windy City this season. It’s the most victories in Chicago since 1948. Their 14 wins for the season is the most since 1952.
The win keeps Cleveland in the wild card race. They currently cut their American League Central Division deficit to five games with 14 games remaining. Kansas City defeated the Detroit Tigers 1-0 tonight to cut into the Tigers’ lead. Cleveland is just a game back of the wild card as Tampa Bay remains stuck in a rain delay in Minnesota.
Sunday, the Indians will look for their second four game sweep in Chicago this season. Zach McAllister (7-9, 4.11) will take the mound for Cleveland. The White Sox will counter with left-hander Chris Sale (11-12, 2.90).
Photo: Paul Beaty/AP Photo