Tomlin Tagged Early as White Sox Hold on to Defeat Tribe; White Sox 5, Indians 3

Home runs from Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion and six runners thrown out on the base paths by the Indians were not enough on Saturday as the Chicago White Sox defeated Cleveland by a 5-3 final.

Left-hander David Holmberg made his longest start of the season and earned his first win in two years as he allowed a pair of runs on three hits over five innings. Four early runs and 14 hits on the night against Indians pitching gave him all of the support that he would need.

Josh Tomlin’s struggles with the White Sox this season continued. Making his first start against Chicago after allowing seven runs in an inning and two-thirds in his second start of the season, each of the first four hitters and five of the first six reached base safely as the Sox ran out to a big early lead.

Tim Anderson and Melky Cabrera each singled to start the night. Jose Abreu, who was a question mark coming into the night after being plunked in the leg by an Andrew Miller on Friday night, delivered an RBI-single to left to put Chicago on the board just three batters into the game. Avisail Garcia was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Todd Frazier grounded to third and Jose Ramirez came home with the ball to force Cabrera as the rest of the runners moved up 90 feet. Matt Davidson then delivered the biggest knock of the inning and the fourth hit of the frame as his single to left plated both Abreu and Garcia to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. Frazier was erased on a caught stealing of third and Yolmer Sanchez flied to center to end the rally.

A rare error by Michael Brantley in left with one out in the second led to the Sox’s fourth run of the game. Leury Garcia went all the way to third on the play. After a line out by Anderson to first for the second out, Cabrera drove the next pitch to right for an RBI-single and a four-run White Sox lead. It nearly became a five-run edge as Abreu doubled to left but Brantley fired to the plate and cut down Cabrera trying to score to leave it a 4-0 game.

The Sox continued to tag Tomlin in the third, but his defense did come to his aid. A. Garcia singled to center and Frazier reached on a single to short, but Garcia would be thrown out attempting to move to third on the play. Davidson flied to center but a double by Sanchez put two in scoring position with two outs and spelled the end of the game for Tomlin. Dan Otero entered in relief and got Kevan Smith to ground to second to leave both runners stranded.

Holmberg - Jason Miller/Getty Images
Holmberg – Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Indians got their second base runner and first hit of the game off of Holmberg in the third as Daniel Robertson singled to right, but a groundout by Jason Kipnis and a fly out by Francisco Lindor left him at second. They would not waste their next opportunity in the bottom of the fourth, however, as Brantley started the inning with a double to right, moved to third on a fly out by Santana, and scored on a homer to the bleachers by Encarnacion as the Indians cut their deficit in half to make it a 4-2 game. The home run was the second in as many games for Encarnacion, who tied Lindor for the team lead in homers with 12 on the year.

Another outfield assist helped to keep the game close in the top of the fifth. Abreu singled to left but was thrown out trying to stretch it to two to start the inning. A. Garcia singled and Frazier walked off of Nick Goody, but two outs in the air left both men on the bases.

Holmberg left after five innings, with Chris Beck entering in relief for one out before Dan Jennings came on. He retired Brantley on a liner to left before Santana hit his own blast to left, making it a 4-3 game and bringing former Indians reliever Anthony Swarzak on from the Chicago bullpen. He allowed a double to Encarnacion, who would move to third on a passed ball, but Ramirez lined to left to leave the tying run 90 feet away.

Chicago got a big insurance run in the eighth off of Bryan Shaw, who entered in relief of Zach McAllister. He walked Davidson to start the inning before a double by Sanchez put two in scoring position. A sacrifice fly from the catcher Smith pushed across the pinch-runner to make it a 5-3 game before L. Garcia popped up a bunt into a double play.

David Robertson took the mound in the eighth looking for the two-inning save and got exactly that. He struck out three in the eighth, working around a one-out walk by Lindor, who moved to second with two outs on a wild pitch, but Kipnis, Brantley, and Santana went down swinging in the frame. In the ninth, he got a fly to left by Encarnacion, a grounder to second by Ramirez for the second out, and struck out Bradley Zimmer swinging to end the ball game while earning his tenth save of the season.

Chicago improved to 26-34 on the season while Cleveland dropped to 30-29. The Indians remain a sub-.500 team at home this season with a 13-15 record at Progressive Field.

Tomlin took the loss, his eighth of the season. He lasted just two and two-thirds innings on the night, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits. He did not walk a batter, nor did he strike one out. As has been a problem at times this season, he lacked swing and miss stuff, missing just four bats on the night.

Encarnacion - Jason Miller/Getty Images
Encarnacion – Jason Miller/Getty Images

The top of the order provided the majority of the damage against the Indians pitching staff on Saturday. Each of the top four hitters had at least two hits and combined to go 10-for-18 (.556) on the night with three runs scored and two runs batted in.

Encarnacion improved to 5-for-8 (.625) in the series with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. He had his second straight game with a homer and two RBI as the primary offensive weapon for the Tribe.

Cleveland will look for a series win in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon in a good pitching matchup, at least in name value. The Indians will send right-hander Carlos Carrasco (5-3, 3.36 ERA) back to the mound, looking to make up for a rough outing his last time out. He allowed five runs over four and one-third innings against Kansas City in that start. The White Sox will look to left-hander Jose Quintana (2-7, 5.30) to earn a series win. He has struggled throughout the year, but looked a bit better in his last start as he allowed just one run on four hits, but walked four batters, in a no-decision against Tampa Bay.

First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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