Tribe Wins MLB-Best 13th Game in a Row; Indians 9, White Sox 4
Bob Toth | On 05, Sep 2017
The game may have started chaotic from Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday night, but things settled into a far more normal outcome as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox by a 9-4 final.
The Indians (82-56) extended their MLB-best winning streak to 13 straight games and moved to 9-0 on their current eleven-game road trip. The success on the road also moved the team to 46-27 on the year away from Progressive Field, giving the team its most road wins since the club went 46-26 in the strike-shortened 1995 season. Three championship contending clubs in franchise history remain on the all-time road wins list above them currently, including the 52-win 1954 squad, the 49-win 1948 team, and the 47-win first-time champions in 1920.
During their 13-game streak, Cleveland has outscored its competition, 93-25.
Cleveland jumped out to what looked to be a safe lead just two batters into the game against Chicago southpaw David Holmberg, who was making his return to the White Sox rotation for his first start since June 26. After Francisco Lindor lined the first pitch of the game to center for an out, Austin Jackson sent a drive to center that outfielder Adam Engel was not going to be able to track down, as he had done the previous day in robbing Jackson of a home run. The solo shot put the Indians up 1-0, but that score would be just temporary as Jose Ramirez sent the second pitch of his at bat over the wall in left for his 24th homer of the year to give the Tribe a two-run edge. The Indians loaded the bases after the back-to-back blasts on a single by Edwin Encarnacion and walks by Carlos Santana and Yandy Diaz. Brandon Guyer grounded to short to force in Encarnacion to make it 3-0. Yan Gomes walked to reload the bases before Greg Allen struck out to end the nine-batter inning.
Danny Salazar got the starting call in his return from the 10-day disabled list, but things did not go as planned for the right-hander, who entered the night already on a bit of a pitch count. Four straight pitches missed to Yolmer Sanchez, walking the leadoff batter. Yoan Moncada, working his way back into the lineup from his own disabled list stint, struck out swinging in a lengthy at bat, but Sanchez stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Gomes. Jose Abreu grounded to second to drive home Sanchez with the unearned run to make it a 3-1 game.
With the bases empty, Salazar could not find the zone. Avisail Garcia continued the inning with a walk on a 3-2 pitch and Rob Brantly was hit by the next pitch to put two on. After pumping several pitches past Matt Davidson, he turned one around and sent a deep drive over the wall in center for a three-run bomb, putting the White Sox on top, 4-3. Salazar was hooked immediately and Nick Goody put the next two on via walk before getting Engel to fly out to left to end the first inning. The long frame included seven total runs scored on just four hits with a combined seven walks and one hit batter between the two AL Central foes.
The Indians tied the game in the next half inning. Lindor walked to start the inning but was erased on a double play grounder by Jackson. Ramirez stepped in and continued his extra base hit display of late with a solo homer to left-center. His second shot of the first two innings and his 25th of the season tied the game at four.
Cleveland got a big two-out hit in the third to take back the lead. Santana reached on an infield single to third and one out later, Guyer was hit in the thigh by a pitch to put two runners on. Gomes grounded into a force at third, but heads up base running by Santana kept the Indians out of a double play. Allen then turned the missed double play opportunity into two Tribe runs as he doubled to left, scoring both Guyer and Gomes with the first two RBI of his career to make it 6-4 before getting caught up between second and third to end the inning.
It was a bullpen game from the two-out mark in the first for the Indians, as Dan Otero worked the third and fourth innings and slowed the traffic on the base paths by allowing just a single in each inning, with the latter of the two doubled up on a grounder. Zach McAllister allowed a two-out single in the fourth and did the same in the fifth before handing the ball over to Joe Smith, who stranded the inherited runner on a groundout by Davidson to end that frame.
The Indians missed a big chance to add on in the sixth against veteran Mike Pelfrey after Guyer started the inning with a double to left. He moved to third on a groundout by Gomes for the first out and remained there on a strikeout by Allen for the second out. Lindor was hit by a pitch and stole second before a walk by Jackson loaded the bases. Carson Fulmer came on in relief and got Ramirez to pop up to third to leave the bases loaded.
The White Sox made things tough on Smith in the bottom of the frame. Tim Anderson reached on an infield single and moved to third on a stolen base and another throwing error from Gomes. Rymer Liriano and Engel each struck out, bringing manager Terry Francona out from the dugout for Tyler Olson. He retired Sanchez on just one pitch with a fly to right to keep the score 6-4.
Cleveland again missed out on a big scoring opportunity in the seventh when Encarnacion singled to start the inning and Santana was hit in the right leg by the very next pitch from Fulmer. The Sox reliever settled back down to get Diaz to line to right, pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall to pop out to second, and Gomes to strike out swinging as the Indians once again failed to deliver the clutch hit they needed.
Olson remained on for the seventh, giving up a two-out single to Garcia, but otherwise worked a harmless inning. Fulmer did likewise in the eighth, walking Lindor with one out but leaving him stranded at first on a pair of pop ups in the infield. Bryan Shaw had to dodge a threat in the last of the eighth, giving up a one-out single to Anderson and a two-out infield single to pinch-hitter Alen Hanson before striking out Sanchez to leave the tying runs on base heading into the ninth.
After missing out on several key chances throughout the ninth to expand their lead, the Indians finally got the big hit that they needed in their final at bats. Fulmer retired Encarnacion before Jace Fry came on from the bullpen to make his Major League debut. He gave up a single to Santana before getting a liner to short from Giovanny Urshela for the second out. A walk by Chisenhall brought Chris Beck on in relief and Gomes greeted him with a clout to left for a three-run shot, ripping the game open to the tune of a 9-4 Cleveland lead.
Shawn Armstrong worked the ninth, getting two quick outs before a single and a walk put runners on base for Davidson, but the hard-throwing right-hander got Davidson swinging to end it.
The White Sox fell to 54-83 with the loss. Holmberg took the L, dropping to 2-4 on the year.
Otero, the third of eight Indians pitchers used on the night, was credited with his third win of the season with his two innings of two-hit relief. McAllister, Smith, Olson, and Shaw each earned holds for their efforts as the bullpen combined for eight and one-third innings of scoreless relief on the night.
Ramirez’s extra base tear continued with his sixth and seventh home runs of the road trip. His excellence at the plate earned him a well-deserved nod as the American League’s Player of the Week earlier in the day.
Carlos Carrasco (13-6, 3.67 ERA) and Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 6.06) will pair up on Wednesday night in the third game of the series between the Tribe and the Pale Hose. Carrasco has been the Indians’ road warrior throughout the season, posting a 9-2 record with a 2.88 ERA in 15 starts away from home. Lopez will make his second start since returning from the 10-day disabled list after missing time with a strained back and the first of his career against Cleveland.
Action from Chicago is once again scheduled for an 8:10 PM ET start on Wednesday.
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images