LOB City—Tribe Offense Continues to Struggle with RISP; White Sox 6, Indians 0

Did the Tribe Win Last Night? No. Last year’s Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber locked horns with White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija, but it was Samardzija who got the better end of the stick. Kluber was effective early, but struggled late and allowed six runs in six-plus innings of work after allowing 13 hits, one walk and a wild pitch. Samardzija also allowed six hits and two walks, but the Indians were unable to produce any runs off of the former Notre Dame wide receiver as Chicago defeated Cleveland 6-0.

The White Sox got a solo home run from Jose Abreu in the first to start their scoring in the Wednesday matinee and continued to pad their lead with solo tallies in the third and sixth. The Pale Hose put the game away then in the seventh with three runs—highlighted by an Abreu double.

WP: Kluber (0-2)       LP: Samardzija (1-1)

Key Inning: The White Sox took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning, but blew the game wide open in the bottom of the seventh. Kluber started the inning, but allowed singles to Micah Johnson, Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera and a double to Abreu without recording an out. The Sox plated three runs, pushing the score to 6-0, and chased Kluber from the game as he was relieved by Anthony Swarzak.

Player of the Game: Abreu opened up the scoring in the first inning with a solo home run and then sealed the deal in the seventh with a two-RBI double. Last year’s AL Rookie of the Year finished 2-4 with a home run and three RBI in the Chicago victory.

Standings: The Indians drop into a tie for last place in the Central Division with a 5-9 record to match the lowly Minnesota Twins. The Indians now sit six games behind the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, who are both tied for a Major League best 11-3 record.

Etc.:

-The 13 hits that Kluber allowed were a career high for the right hander. The White Sox also scored their third run of the game on a Kluber wild pitch—already his third of the season. Kluber uncorked three WP’s all of last season.

-Injured utility man Zach Walters (oblique) is scheduled to start his rehabilitation assignment in Columbus on Wednesday, while first baseman/right fielder Nick Swisher (knees) should start his rehab on Friday.

Analysis: In what is becoming a season-long trend (nightmare?), the Indians continued their offensive futility with runners on base. The Indians left nine more runners on base Wednesday and were 0-9 with runners in scoring position. The Tribe entered the game 18-87 (.207) on the season with RISP and Wednesday’s performance pushed the Tribe toward the bottom of the baseball ranks with an 18-96 (.188) mark. Only Houston (.186) and Philadelphia (.178) have been more putrid with runners on second and/or third.

Additionally, the Tribe has blasted 11 home runs on the young season—all solo blasts. The 11 consecutive solo shots are the most to start a season since the 1988 Cincinnati Reds hit 15 straight to start their season 27 years ago.

Up Next: The Indians will take Thursday off before heading to Comerica Park in Detroit to face the first place Tigers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.00) will look to follow up his outstanding first start on Friday night and will oppose Shane Greene (3-0, 0.39) who has been outstanding in his first three starts for Detroit. Friday night’s ballgame is scheduled to start at 7:08pm.

Photo: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

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