Early Runs Help Cleveland Claim Series from Chicago; Indians 4, White Sox 2
Bob Toth | On 11, Jun 2017
The Indians made an early lead stand up as Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland bullpen allowed just two runs and the lineup provided RBI hits from Roberto Perez, Erik Gonzalez, and Francisco Lindor in a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Carrasco had to work around some trouble in innings two through five, but by the time the White Sox touched up the scoreboard in the sixth, the Indians already had a 3-0 lead.
After the White Sox stranded a pair on base with one out in the second, the Indians got to work against left-hander Jose Quintana and took an early lead against the scuffling southpaw. Edwin Encarnacion doubled to center with one out and moved to third on a fly to center by Jose Ramirez. Austin Jackson worked a walk and Perez singled to center, driving in Encarnacion with the game’s first run.
Chicago put two on again with only one out in the third, but a double play grounder off of the bat of Jose Abreu ended the inning. A one-out single by Todd Frazier was wasted the next inning and the Indians got to Quintana again in the home half of the fourth. Encarnacion walked to start the inning but was forced at second on a grounder by Ramirez. A single by Jackson pushed Ramirez into scoring position and he moved to third on a liner to center by Perez for the second out. Nearly out of the jam, Quintana uncorked a wild pitch that allowed both base runners to move up as Ramirez crossed the plate with the second run of the game. Gonzalez sent the next pitch back into center for an RBI-single to make it a 3-0 game.
Carrasco struck out Melky Cabrera to start the sixth, but the inning quickly got away from him. He plunked Abreu with his next pitch and Avisail Garcia drove the next offering to deep left to put two in scoring position for Frazier. The third baseman slugged a double to left-center, pushing across both runs and making it a 3-2 ball game. Andrew Miller entered and struck out the next two to leave the tying run at second. He worked the seventh as well, striking out his third batter of the game.
The Indians added another run in the bottom of the seventh to support the bullpen. Gonzalez doubled to right and advanced to third on a throwing error by Garcia. After a fly out by pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall, Tommy Kahnle entered in relief of Chris Beck but his first offering was sent to the gap in left-center by Lindor for an RBI-double to make it a 4-2 game. Lindor would advance to third on a wild pitch, but Kahnle struck out Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana to end the threat.
Bryan Shaw took over for the eighth and walked the leadoff man Cabrera, but Abreu grounded into his second double play to short circuit any threat that inning. After the Indians went down in order in the bottom of the eighth, Cody Allen came on for the save and struck out Frazier looking before a single to right by Yolmer Sanchez. Allen bounced back and struck out Tim Anderson swinging for the second out and got a grounder by Kevan Smith to third to end the ball game.
Carrasco improved to 6-3 on the season with the win. He worked five and one-third innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts on the afternoon. The tough season for Quintana continued as he fell to 2-8 with the defeat and is now tied for the league lead in losses. He lasted five innings and gave up three runs on five hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. Allen’s save was his 15th of the season.
Frazier was the big offensive weapon for the Sox on Sunday as he went 3-for-4 in the series finale with two singles, a double, and two runs batted in. Gonzalez had a pair of hits for the Tribe while starting at second base for Jason Kipnis, who was idle against a usually tough left-hander. The bottom of the Indians lineup was 4-for-8 on the afternoon with two runs scored and two runs batted in and had a pair of walks.
The Indians are now 31-29 and 14-15 at Progressive Field this season. They will take Monday off before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers for just the second time ever during the regular season in a three-game series set to begin Tuesday night. One of the best in the game, left-hander Clayton Kershaw, will throw for the Dodgers against Tribe right-hander Trevor Bauer in just the tenth regular season matchup between the two clubs and just the fourth game in Cleveland.
The White Sox (26-35) will return to Chicago to host the Baltimore Orioles in four straight beginning Monday.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images