Fielding lapses and an anemic offensive output undid the Indians yet again, as the White Sox pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to win 3-2 for the three-game sweep Wednesday night. The Indians have now lost four in a row.
Bryan Shaw came on to pitch in the bottom of the ninth for the Tribe, and got Tyler Flowers to ground to Mike Aviles at third. But Aviles threw a two-bouncer to first, and Flowers was safe. It was the first error of the game for the Indians, but their 54th in as many games this season. Leury Garcia came on to pinch run, and stole second. Jason Kipnis, making his return in front of his hometown crowd after a stint on the disabled list, backed up shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, keeping an errant throw by catcher Yan Gomes from going into the outfield.
Garcia took third on a sacrifice fly by Marcus Semien, and scored when Sierra hit a ball into right, tagging Shaw with the loss.
T.J. House took the hill for the Tribe, making his second career start. He looked good in 6 1/3 innings of work, scattering five hits and striking out eight. House left the game after giving up back-to-back singles to Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez. Scott Atchison came on with Dunn at third, and after getting Flowers to ground out to second, gave up a single to center field to Semien, scoring Dunn and tying the game at 1.
The Indians got on the board when Jason Giambi hit a solo home run just inside the right field foul pole in the bottom of the first. Giambi’s round-tripper ended a string of 21 straight singles for the Tribe. The Indians got runners at second and third in the top of the sixth after a balk by Hector Noesi negated an inning-ending fly out by Kipnis. But the reprieve lasted for just another pitch, as Kipnis grounded out to first.
The White Sox took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth when Cody Allen, who came on in relief of Atchison, walked Gordon Beckham, who then went to third on a single by Conor Gillaspie. Dayan Viciedo walked to load the bases, and Beckham beat Michael Brantley’s throw home on a fly out by Dunn to left. Allen was lifted in favor of Bryan Shaw, who got Ramirez to ground into a fielder’s choice to Aviles, who threw out pinch-runner Alejandro De Aza at second.
Brantley started the top of the ninth with an infield single that bounced off relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, and took second on a Kipnis groundout to first. Chisenhall flied out to left, and the White Sox intentionally put Giambi on first – no doubt recalling his two game-winning home runs against them last year. Pitcher Josh Tomlin came in as a pinch runner for Giambi, and Gomes – down to his last strike with two outs – singled to right to score Brantley and tie the game.