Four Homers Push Tribe to Brink of Wild Card Lead; Indians 7, White Sox 1
Mike B. | On 15, Sep 2013
After a four hour and 20 minute rain delay, Carson helped ignite the Indians offense against Sale en route to a 7-1 victory. The Indians used four home runs and a solid pitching performance from Zach McAllister to secure the sweep. It is the fourth time this season that the Indians have defeated Sale. The win puts the Indians just a half game behind both the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays for a wild card spot. The Rangers and Rays each lost Sunday afternoon while the Indians watched the raindrops fall.
After Sale struck out the side in the top of the first inning, it appeared the Indians may not continue their dominance over the lanky left-hander that they’ve had in 2013. But the Tribe struck in the bottom of the second inning for an early lead. Carlos Santana singled to center field to start the inning. After Yan Gomes flew out and Asdrubal Cabrera fouled out, Santana advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Mike Aviles prolonged the inning by drawing a walk so that Carson could pull a single through the left side to give the Indians an early 1-0 lead.
Aviles was tagged out at second base on the relay throw, but Santana had already crossed the plate. It was Carson’s first RBI since Sept. 26, 2012 when he was playing for the Minnesota Twins against the New York Yankees.
Meanwhile McAllister cruised through the White Sox lineup in the first five innings. Only a base hit to Marcus Semien in the third inning was any sign of Chicago offense. Gomes cut Semien down trying to steal second base.
Carson helped extend the Indians lead in the top of the fifth inning when he lined a solo home run into the right center field seats through the cool, damp Chicago air. The homer was Carson’s first of the season and gave the Indians a 2-0 lead. It was his Sept. 26, 2010 when he was playing for the Oakland Athletics against the Texas Rangers. It was only his second multi-RBI game of his big league career and first since 2009.
The Tribe would blow the game open and send Sale to the out of the rain showers and into the clubhouse showers in the sixth inning. Nick Swisher led off the inning with a home run to left field for his 19th home run of the season and gave the Indians a 3-0 lead. Ryan Raburn and Santan singled to put runners on first and second with no one out. After Gomes struck out, Cabrera homered down the left field line for a three run homer. His 14th homer of the season made it 6-0 Indians.
After Aviles grounded out, Carson earned his third hit of the game and Jose Ramirez walked. With two on and two out, White Sox manager Robin Ventura went to his bullpen, bringing on Jake Petricka to end the inning.
Sale (11-13) pitched just five and two-third innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out seven. The three home runs to Carson, Swisher and Cabrera were his undoing. It’s Sale’s fourth loss of the season against the Tribe. He’s allowed 22 runs in 23 innings of work, despite having a season ERA of 3.08.
McAllister allowed a pair of hits in the sixth inning when Semien singled to left and Leury Garcia doubled down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position. However, McAllister was able to get Gordon Beckham to line out to center field and Alexei Ramirez to strike out and strand both runners to keep the score 6-0 in favor of the Indians.
Chicago finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jeff Keppinger singled with one out and advanced to second when Jordan Danks singled. Josh Phegley came through with a single to center when Drew Stubbs dive came up just short. The base hit allowed Keppinger to score and cut the Indians lead to 6-1. Bryan Shaw relieved McAllister to get the final out in the inning.
McAllister (8-9) allowed just the one run on six hits and a walk while striking out five in six and two-third innings. It was a strong start after three subpar outings in his last three appearances.
Shaw pitched the next inning and one-third of scoreless relief. Petricka did the same for Chicago and was relieved by Ramon Troncoso in the seventh inning. Troncoso pitched a scoreless seventh inning before Swisher hit a mammoth home run to right field. The solo home run gave him home runs from both sides of the plate in a game for the 13th time in his career. It was also his 20th homer on the season, giving him his ninth straight season of 20 home runs or more.
Cody Allen worked a scoreless ninth inning and the Indians swept the White Sox in a four game series for the second time this season.
The victory gives the Indians 15 wins on the season against the Chicago White Sox and their 81st overall win on the season. It’s the most wins they’ve had in a season since 2008 and another victory will guarantee the Indians first winning season since 2007. Tampa Bay and Texas each lost Sunday afternoon, keeping two teams in possession of a wild card spot, but each just a half game ahead of the Indians. The two teams open a four game series with one another in Tampa on Monday.
Cleveland will try to remain hot as they head to Kansas City on Monday. The Tribe, winners of nine of their last 12, will send Scott Kazmir (8-8, 4.24) to the mound while Royals will try to keep their own wild card hopes alive with ace James Shields (11-9, 3.38).
Photo: Andrew A. Nelles/AP Photo