Cleveland Gets an Early Celebration Sunday with Ramirez Walk-off Single; Indians 3, White Sox 2
Bob Toth | On 19, Jun 2016
On possibly the biggest day in Cleveland sports history, the Indians got an outstanding start and walk off heroics again for the second time this weekend as Jose Ramirez’s two-out bases loaded single to right gave the Tribe a sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 3-2 Father’s Day victory in ten innings.
The Indians had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth, but a one-out double from Juan Uribe was wasted on a spectacular play by Brett Lawrie to rob Michael Martinez of a potential game-winner. In the tenth, the Tribe used another double to set the stage for a huge win.
Rajai Davis continued his incredible day at the plate and on the bases with a double to left off of Chicago closer David Robertson (0-1, 3.95 ERA). Jason Kipnis sacrificed him to third before Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli were intentionally walked to set up a force at home or even a double play possibility. Friday night’s hero, Carlos Santana, had a chance to do it again, but fouled out on a big swing to third for the second out. Ramirez then got his turn to be the hero, fitting in his big season so far, as he sent a sharp hopper over the head of a backpeddling Jose Abreu and into right to score Davis with the deciding run.
Dan Otero (2-0, 0.98) earned the win with his scoreless top of the tenth inning.
The Indians (38-30) have now matched their high-water mark for the season at eight games above even. The three-game sweep of the White Sox moves them to 7-2 against Chicago this season, including six straight wins. They have won eight straight games at home, where they are now 20-12 for the season, and have already guaranteed at worst a 3-3 homestand.
The White Sox (33-36) are now a season-low three games below the .500 mark and have lost six of their last eight games.
“When you’re at home, just like when you’re on the road, if something goes right or wrong, it’s nice to be the home team,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “That was a pretty good game, played well by both teams.”
Chicago got on the board first in the first off of starter Carlos Carrasco. Tim Anderson doubled to left to start the game and was sacrificed over to third by Adam Eaton. Abreu fell behind in the count 0-2, but drilled a double to deep center to knock in Anderson.
The Indians responded in the bottom of the first against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon. Davis singled to right to lead off the inning and moved to second on a bunt from Kipnis. Davis stole third with Lindor at the plate and after his strikeout, Napoli hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Davis to tie the game at one.
Carrasco had faced the minimum after the double by Abreu until the one-out mark of the fourth when Melky Cabrera homered to right. The solo shot from the outfielder, entering the day hitting .444 against Carrasco in his career, gave the Sox a 2-1 lead.
The Indians again countered immediately with a one-out shot in the bottom half to tie the game. Uribe dug out a 3-2 pitch and sent it out of the yard with his second big homer in as many days.
Chicago got runners into scoring position in the fifth and eighth, but could not break the tie. A two-out single by Anderson in the fifth was followed by an error on Kipnis with Eaton running to put two on, but Abreu grounded out. Eaton doubled off of Carrasco with one out in the eighth to end his afternoon, but Bryan Shaw retired Abreu on a pop up and Cabrera on a grounder.
After Uribe’s homer in the fourth, the Indians struggled to get anything else going against the young Sox southpaw. They got a single from Davis in the fifth to start the inning, but he would be stranded. Martinez singled with one down in the seventh, but was erased on a double play stolen base attempt when Davis struck out looking. Against reliever Zach Putnam in the eighth, Lindor walked with one out, but was thrown out at third trying to get an extra base on a single from Napoli to right.
Carrasco made his second longest start of the season for the Indians on Sunday, going seven and one-third innings on the afternoon. He allowed two runs on five hits, walked a season-high four batters, and struck out six on 100 pitches.
“We talked about his breaking ball,” said Francona. “I thought he threw a lot more good breaking balls. The pitch to Cabrera, I think it was 1-2 offspeed changeup. But again, he’s getting his legs under him. You see him getting more confident as he gets some games under his belt. I thought he was pretty good.”
RODON AVOIDED DAMAGE
Rodon, who brought in good career numbers against the team that he made his Major League debut against, was once again strong against them on the mound, but the results at the end of the day were more of the same from his White Sox teammates. He allowed two runs on eight hits, walked one, and struck out eight over six and one-third innings.
Chicago has lost each of his last four starts, eight of his last nine, and ten of 13 this season.
The walk-off single by Ramirez was the fourth game-winning shot for the Indians at home in 2016. Gomes delivered the first on June 1 with an eleventh inning walk-off single over Texas. Napoli had a game-winning sacrifice fly the next day against Kansas City and Santana had his walk-off homer on Friday night.
DAVIS LEADING OFF THE RIGHT WAY
After taking Saturday off, Davis was the table setter for the Tribe lineup all day long. He reached base safely four times in five trips, with two singles and two doubles to his credit, his first four-hit game since September 28, 2012. He also stole two bases, giving him 20 on the season, already surpassing the 18 that he had in all of 2015. His total is tops in the American League.
“We talked about it when we signed him and all spring. He’s probably a better base stealer than I realized,” said Francona. “We all see his speed. It seems to me that he’s not getting very many stolen bases when there’s some indifference. These are stolen bases where, shoot, today they were holding him at second trying to slide step from second; he stole third. Every time they were aware of him, he’s still got the ability to be safe. That’s really helpful.
“And when he swings it like he does…he was on base a ton.”
“I was able to tweak my swing a little bit and work on some things,” Davis said of his off day. “It was a good off day and relaxing. And enjoy a lot of runs scored last night.
“It’s always nice to be able to get a break from thinking all the time, from the pressures of this game. But I’m just thankful that I was able to help us out and win this ball game.”
URIBE BACK WITH A VENGEANCE
It is tough to believe Uribe had missed four games with the way he has returned to the Indians lineup the last two games. He had a pair of RBI hits on Saturday, including a monster homer to center field. On Sunday, he matched the two-hit effort with a double and another homer.
TOP WAS TROUBLE…
The top of the White Sox lineup had six hits, both runs scored, and both runs driven in. Anderson and Eaton led the way with a single and a double each.
…BOTTOM WAS BAD
The final five hitters in the White Sox lineup combined to go 0-for-15 with six strikeouts. They were, however, responsible for all five of the team’s walks for the afternoon.
The Indians will welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Cleveland on Monday for a three-game series to wrap up their season series. The two clubs previous met in April in the third series of the season, when the Indians took the final two games of the three-game set.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET from Progressive Field on Monday night.
Photo: AP Photo/Ron Schwane