Bullpen Game Goes Bad as Tribe Battered by Sox; White Sox 8, Indians 1
Bob Toth | On 24, Sep 2016
Cleveland wasted several early opportunities and the use of the bullpen for nine innings proved to be detrimental as the Chicago White Sox spoiled Fan Appreciation Night by dealing the Indians an 8-1 loss on Saturday.
After seeing the Detroit Tigers lose in a dramatic five-run ninth inning comeback by the Kansas City Royals earlier in the afternoon, the Indians could not reduce their magic number to one later in the day, failing in a feast-or-famine kind of a game from the pitching staff and the offense.
Chicago took a 2-0 lead against the first reliever of the night, Cody Anderson, before Cleveland had a chance to come to the plate. Tim Anderson singled to start the game, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a double to right by Melky Cabrera. Jose Abreu made it two runs with a single to right before he was thrown out trying to advance.
The Indians loaded the bases against White Sox starter Jose Quintana in the first, but could not score. Jason Kipnis singled and stole second with one out before back-to-back walks from Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli. Carlos Santana grounded into a double play to end the threat.
They repeated the scenario the next inning, packing the bases with runners on a pair of singles from Jose Ramirez and Brandon Guyer to start the inning before Coco Crisp walked to load the bases. Roberto Perez struck out swinging before Rajai Davis cut the deficit in half with a single to right. On the play, however, Guyer was given a stop sign at third and Crisp did not see the sign until he was caught in no-man’s-land between second and third and was easily tagged out for the second out. Davis would steal second, but Kipnis grounded out as the inning rapidly short circuited for the Tribe.
Cleveland again threatened in the fourth as Guyer doubled to left and went to third on an error on the throw in. With one out, the Indians could not get him in, as Quintana got Crisp to pop to second and Perez to ground to first to end the inning. The White Sox capitalized on the Indians’ inability to get runs home by expanding their lead in the fifth against reliever Perci Garner. Leury Garcia singled with one out and moved to third after a throwing error by Perez trying to throw him out at second on a steal attempt. Garner struck out Anderson for the second out, but Cabrera delivered again with an RBI-single to left to make it 3-1.
Chicago tacked on another in the sixth as Todd Frazier took reliever Shawn Armstrong deep to start the inning to make it 4-1. The lead was plenty for Quintana, who allowed just one more hit before departing.
The White Sox doubled their score in the eighth against Austin Adams and Adam Plutko, getting three RBI-singles before another runner scored on a wild pitch by Plutko. The Indians would get just three more base runners the rest of the night. Davis would reach on a single in the seventh and Guyer would be hit by a pitch before a double by Abraham Almonte in the ninth.
The Indians (90-64) missed out on an opportunity to cut their magic number down to one, which would have given the club two different scenarios to clinch the division on Sunday at home. Instead, they will need a combination of a win over the White Sox and a Royals win over the Tigers in order to clinch at Progressive Field. The White Sox (73-81) ended their six-game losing streak with the win.
Eight different relievers worked for the Tribe on the night.
Indians relievers struck out 15 of the 27 batters retired on the night while walking just one White Sox hitter. Each Cleveland pitcher to appear struck out at least one batter.
Jeff Manship put up an inning and two-thirds of one-hit baseball, striking out two. Joe Colon worked one inning, striking out the side on 14 pitches. Kyle Crockett worked faced one batter, striking him out on four pitches.
Anderson (2-5, 6.34 ERA) got the start and took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits in two innings while striking out three.
Garner and Armstrong each worked an inning and each gave up a run. Garner allowed three hits, while Armstrong allowed two, but one of those left the yard.
Adams was tagged for four runs (three earned) on three hits in a third of an inning. That one out retired came via K.
PLUTKO MAKES DEBUT
Plutko entered the game in the eighth inning in relief of Adams while making his Major League debut. It was the first time in his professional career that he has appeared in a game in a relief role.
The 24-year-old UCLA product, who turns 25 next Monday, walked one and gave up two hits while striking out two in one and two-thirds innings of work on the mound. He threw 21 of 34 pitches for strikes.
QUINTANA ENDURES FOR QUALITY OUTING
After dodging a pair of big threats early on while running his pitch count up substantially, Quintana (13-11, 3.21) settled in for a good start overall for the White Sox. He worked six innings, allowing one run on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
RAMIREZ SETTING RECORDS
With his double off of Quintana in the sixth, Ramirez racked up his 45th double of the season, a franchise record for doubles by a switch-hitter in a season.
Alex Avila was the lone White Sox batter to not contribute to the 15 hits compiled against the Indians bullpen on the night. He was 0-for-5 at the plate with five strikeouts, earning the “platinum sombrero”.
It was actually one of two five-strikeout games in the Majors on Saturday, as Philadelphia’s Roman Quinn went 1-for-6 with a single and five strikeouts in the Phillies’ 10-8 win over the New York Mets.
Chicago’s Anderson had one of the few other “platinum sombreros” completed this season in the Majors, coming back on August 11.
EATON OUT AFTER SCARY CRASH FRIDAY
Adam Eaton was held out of the lineup on Saturday while dealing with the damage he suffered from his full speed collision with the center field wall at Progressive Field when making a sixth inning catch on Friday night. His hip, back, and shoulder were all listed as points of concern.
The Indians will wrap up the 2016 home schedule on Sunday afternoon with one final game against the White Sox this season.
Josh Tomlin (12-8, 4.61) will make his case again for a spot on the postseason pitching staff with another start against Chicago. He has won a pair of starts against the White Sox this year, allowing just three runs over 13 innings of work. Left-hander Carlos Rodon (7-10, 4.29) will counter for Chicago. It will be his fourth start of the year against Cleveland and he remains in search of his first win against the Indians in 2016. He was roughed up in his last outing, allowing six runs in four innings against Kansas City.
The Progressive Field regular season finale will take place at 1:10 PM ET.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images