Five-Run Seventh Off Shaw Spoils Tribe Comeback in Chi-Town; White Sox 7, Indians 3
Bob Toth | On 09, Apr 2016
The weather was cold and the defense was sloppy, but the Indians had worked their way into the lead until the White Sox poured on five runs off of Bryan Shaw in the seventh inning and easily held on for the 7-3 victory over Cleveland in Chicago on Saturday afternoon.
After the Tribe took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh on a home run to left by catcher Yan Gomes off of Chicago starter Chris Sale, Shaw took over on the mound for Cody Anderson, who had been steady but was at 92 pitches on a freezing day off the shores of Lake Michigan.
Things quickly went wrong in the bottom half, as Austin Jackson singled to left and Jimmy Rollins doubled down the line past a pulled in Juan Uribe, playing for the bunt. Jose Abreu was issued a four-pitch free pass to set up force play and double play opportunities. Todd Frazier grounded to shortstop Francisco Lindor, but the Tribe could not turn two on the play and the tying run crossed home. Melky Cabrera then gave the Sox the lead on the ninth pitch of his at bat, lofting a single to right to score Rollins to give Chicago a 4-3 lead. Brett Lawrie flied out to center, but Avisail Garcia cleared the fence in right on an 0-2 pitch for the three-run dagger.
Sale (2-0, 3.86 ERA) worked out of early trouble and had been effective at keeping the Indians off of the board. Jason Kipnis and Lindor reached in the first with one out, but were stranded. Uribe and Jose Ramirez each got on with an out in the second before Collin Cowgill lined into a double play.
The Sox gave Sale the lead in the third against Tribe starter Anderson (0-0, 3.00 ERA). With one out, Abreu homered to left center on the first pitch of his at bat. The next inning, Garcia singled and moved to second on a wild pitch and would come around to score on a single to center from Alex Avila and an error by center fielder Rajai Davis, one of three Tribe miscues in the field.
Cleveland got on the board in the sixth with a two-out rally. Lindor reached on an infield single to short and Mike Napoli sent a clout to straightaway center field to knot the game at two.
Gomes led off the seventh and worked the count full before sending a liner to left that exited the playing field for his first homer of the season, giving the Indians a 3-2 lead. It would be short-lived, however, as Indians manager Terry Francona went to his setup man in the seventh inning feeling the matchups favored Shaw over the usual seventh inning man, Zach McAllister.
“Zach and Shaw were going to throw the seventh and eighth and it just seemed it was backwards to me,” said Francona in the postgame interview. “The guys we wanted that Zach matched up with were the lefties and Bryan with the guys in the middle that he faced. Obviously, it didn’t work. I’d have felt worse if I wouldn’t have done that. I thought it was the right thing to do. It could have very easily…Zach could have come in and gotten them out. In my mind, Shaw was facing the guys he was supposed to.
“He fell behind Austin Jackson, had to throw a ball over the plate, so he got the base hit. And then Rollins’ ball was as well placed as you can be. But because of the score and things like that, all of a sudden you have to walk somebody to try to set up a force play. He kept falling behind hitters and just got himself in trouble.”
The Indians fall to 2-2 with the loss, while the White Sox continue their hot start in the cold at 4-2.
NO WAHOO, NO WIN
Saturday marked the first time this season that the Indians have not worn Chief Wahoo on their caps. In the “Block C” logo, they are now 0-1 this year.
NO-DECISION FOR ANDERSON
Anderson took the tough no-decision after leaving the game with the lead. He allowed two runs on six hits, walked two, and struck out two. The defense around him was not sharp, as his own error as well as one from Uribe at third and one from Davis in center gave the club a season-high three errors on the chilly afternoon from Chicago. Kipnis and Napoli also converged on a pop up that fell between them in foul territory on an uncalled error and Anderson was charged with two wild pitches.
“He didn’t get rattled. He kept it in check,” said Francona. “He made some pitches with men on base. He gave us a chance where, all of a sudden, Nap hits the two-run homer and Gomer hits the solo and we actually got the lead. I think it says a lot about Cody and his ability to manage the game and manage the weather. All the things that are thrown at you, we get a 3-2 lead when he left the game.”
NO LUCK, NO PROBLEM FOR NAP
Napoli was 1-for-15 in his career against Sale prior to his home run today. His other career hit against the southpaw was a single.
Uribe has now gone hitless in each of his last three games and is just 1-for-14 (.071) to start the season with a walk and an RBI. Cowgill is hitless in four games and five plate appearances with three strikeouts.
The Columbus Clippers had their Home Opener postponed for the third straight day on Saturday afternoon in what was originally scheduled to be a four-game series against the Indianapolis Indians. Outfielders Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall were both supposed to work with the Clippers, with Chisenhall expected to be starting in right field in each of the cancelled games. Francona shared prior to Saturday’s Indians game that the team is considering moving them to Class-A Advanced Lynchburg to get their work in.
WINS FOR SALE
Sale lucked his way into his second victory of the season after the seventh inning comeback from his Sox teammates. He worked seven innings on the mound, allowing three runs on six hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts. He had retired 12 straight Indians hitters before Lindor’s infield hit in the sixth.
NO EX-TRIBE PRIDE
Albers shut down the Tribe in the final two frames after taking over in the eighth with a runner on first. It extended a streak for the former Indians reliever well into last season of 23 straight scoreless appearances (26 1/3 innings).
Outfielder Adam Eaton was out of the White Sox lineup on Saturday following the birth of his first child.
UPPER DECK IS CLOSED
The upper deck of U.S. Cellular Field was closed for the game due to safety concerns. Caution tape blocked off ramps to the upper bowl after ice had formed in the area. Fans in attendance were able to exchange their seats for tickets in the lower bowl.
All fans in attendance were offered a gift certificate redeemable for one free Upper Level seat or one of the $5 Outfield Reserve seats for any future game in April or May this season because of the delays in opening the gates and the inconvenience for some due to the seat relocations.
“Fan safety is always our first priority,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of marketing and broadcasting in a news release from the club. “Today’s weather forced a delay in opening the gates and some inconveniences for fans attending today’s game. We appreciate our fans coming out despite the cold, snow, and ice, and we wanted to thank them for their always-amazing support by offering them a ticket to a future Sox game this spring.”
COMING UP NEXT
Tribe righty Josh Tomlin will make his first start of the season in the series finale from Chi-Town on Sunday afternoon. The Sox will counter with their third straight left-hander, Jose Quintana (0-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.24 WHIP).
First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 PM ET.
Photo: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh