Anderson’s Strong Start Earns Tribe a Doubleheader Split; Indians 5, White Sox 1
Bob Toth | On 24, May 2016
Cleveland’s Cody Anderson had easily his best start of the season, holding Chicago to just one run on five hits in seven innings of work and three more Indians homers pushed the club past the White Sox, 5-1, to split Monday’s doubleheader.
Anderson was everything the Indians could have asked for in the second game on Monday, as he contained the White Sox and kept them off base. All five hits came over the first three innings and after he allowed Chicago to tie the game at one in the third, he locked in and retired the final 13 batters he faced on the night in order.
The Indians did not wait long to give him a little run support on the mound, as Jose Ramirez jumped on the first pitch of his at bat with one out in the second against Chicago starter Erik Johnson and laced a homer into the seats in right, his second blast of the day after his big homer late in game one of the doubleheader. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Sox would rally with two outs in the home half of the third off of Anderson, getting a two-out ground rule double to left by Todd Frazier and an RBI-single from Melky Cabrera to tie the game at one all.
Cleveland returned the favor in the fifth. Lonnie Chisenhall singled to lead off the inning, but was still standing at second base with two outs. Rajai Davis saw three quick balls in his at bat before he pounced on the fourth offering from Johnson, lining a two-run homer to left to give the Indians a 3-1 lead.
The Tribe added some insurance in the seventh, getting a leadoff home from Juan Uribe. After a one-out single from Chris Gimenez and a two-out walk from Davis, Johnson was lifted for Matt Purke, who gave up an RBI-single to right center to Jason Kipnis. Gimenez scored and the Indians had a four-run advantage that would stand the rest of the way.
The win snaps the Indians’ (23-20) three-game losing streak. They pull back to an even 12-12 on the road and 2-2 in Chicago this season. The White Sox (27-19) saw their brief two-game win streak come to an end. Their lead in the AL Central again fell back to two and a half games.
Anderson (1-3, 6.81 ERA) lasted seven innings for the Tribe on the mound in his best start of the season.
“I think he gave up four or five hits early, first three innings, then nothing after that,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “He missed some bats, he had some strikeouts, no walks. That was really good. One, we needed a win. But it’s nice to see him pitch like that.
“I think his delivery has been okay. For whatever reason, every game, it seems like early on he was up. We talked about it. Even early tonight, they had five hits. They didn’t have a ton to show for it, fortunately. But then he kinda locked it in. Confidence plays a big part in everything. You start feeling better about things and you see your pitches have a little better finish on it, your tempo is better. The understatement would be that we were excited about the way he threw the ball.”
The Tribe’s right-hander set new season-highs with seven innings pitched, one run allowed, and nine strikeouts. The strikeout total was a new career-high.
“This makes me happy,” said Davis of Anderson’s effort, “just to watch Cody go out there and just put it to them and go out there and pound the strike zone and strike out all those guys. That was fun to play behind.”
Anderson will now return to Columbus and continue to work until the next time he is called upon by the parent club.
JOHNSON JUMPED ON BY TRIBE
Chicago starter Johnson (0-2, 6.94) took the loss for his second straight start this season. In his spot start on Monday, he allowed five runs on six hits over six and two-thirds innings. He struck out five Indians batters and walked three.
The home run ball was his undoing, as he gave up three and has now given up five in eleven and two-thirds innings this season.
Purke did solid in relief of Johnson out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit over the final two and one-third innings in his second outing for the White Sox.
Davis jumped on a 3-0 pitch from Johnson in the fifth with the rare green light, something that he does not recall having many of throughout his Major League career.
“When it’s to your advantage…he’s a good fastball hitter,” said Francona. “A hit can help you more than a walk there. So, we give the guys the freedom to do that probably more than people realize. It doesn’t mean you have to swing, by any means. He got a pretty good pitch to hit…Rajai obviously did a great job with it.”
“I think this is the first time in my career I’ve ever gotten a green light on a 3-0 pitch,” said Davis after the game. “Second time, happened in Cincy. This is the first year that I’ve ever gotten a 3-0 green light.”
Davis dealt with some cramping in his hamstring in the first inning.
“I [probably] should have got a little more hydrating, a little more electrolytes,” said Davis. “I didn’t realize how much I was sweating in the training room prior to the game. But our trainers got it under control, we were able to get some electrolytes in my system and it helped me out.”
J-RAM’S BIG DAY
Ramirez’s home run in the second inning was his second of the day. He went 2-for-8 in the doubleheader with a pair of home runs and three runs batted in.
TWO FOR ME, TWO FOR YOU
Frazier and Cabrera were the bulk of the offense for the White Sox in the day’s second game. Both were 2-for-4 on the day, with Frazier getting a double. He scored the only run for the Sox in the nightcap and Cabrera drove him in for a lucky RBI, as Ramirez misplayed his single in left field. The play probably should have been ruled an error on the Tribe’s corner guy, as Frazier was getting the stop sign at third before the ball ricocheted off of Ramirez towards center field.
HOME RUN HAPPY
The six home runs hit by the Indians in Monday’s doubleheader were the most hit by the club since June 6, 1973, against the Minnesota Twins. The Indians hit one homer in a 15-inning 7-3 loss in game one, then hit five homers in a 13-9 loss in the second game.
PRIOR TO THE GAME
The Indians added Anderson to the roster prior to the game, using the 26th man exception for doubleheaders. They also recalled left-hander Ryan Merritt from Triple-A Columbus after placing reliever Joba Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list with a left intercostal strain.
The White Sox added Johnson and optioned Carlos Sanchez to Triple-A Charlotte after game one.
BATTLE OF THE UNDEFEATEDS
The matchup between the two lossless pitchers on Tuesday will be the first time the Indians face an opposing pitcher with both players posting at least 6-0 records since 1988, when Cleveland’s Greg Swindell (6-0) and Oakland’s Dave Stewart (7-0) faced off.
First pitch in the middle day of the three-day series is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET from U.S. Cellular Field.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images