The Chicago White Sox used three runs in the ninth inning off of Carlos Carrasco to earn a 5-4 walk-off win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night from Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox saved all of their scoring for the first and the final innings of the night, using the two scoring punches to win their 62nd game of the season (against 95 losses). The comeback spoiled encouraging performances from Trevor Bauer and Carrasco, with the pair serving as the only Indians pitchers of record on the night as both worked towards establishing their roles for the playoffs.
Carrasco, who was on the bump for his fifth inning of long relief in a 4-2 contest, took his place in the center of the diamond to start the bottom of the ninth. Through his first four innings of work, he had struck out eight, walked three, and allowed just one hit, but things quickly fell apart in the home half. Yoan Moncada drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single to center by Adam Engel. Yolmer Sanchez sent the next pitch back up the middle for an RBI-single, cutting the deficit to 4-3. Leury Garcia dropped down a sacrifice, moving both runners up 90 feet, and Daniel Palka ended things with a single to center, scoring both Engel and Sanchez to give the White Sox a 5-4 win.
Chicago claimed an early lead against Bauer as an error helped prolong the inning. Sanchez started the home half of the first against Bauer with a single towards third. Josh Donaldson fired past Edwin Encarnacion at first base, and EE’s throw attempting to cut down the advancing Sanchez at second skipped past Jose Ramirez into shallow left, putting the White Sox runner at third. Bauer struck out L. Garcia and got a ground ball from Palka to Encarnacion, but Avisail Garcia gave Chicago a lead with a two-run home run to left.
James Shields issued one-out walks in each of the first two innings, but the Indians used a big inning in the third to take the lead. After Shields retired the first two in order, Michael Brantley doubled. Ramirez plated the base runner with a single to right to make it a 2-1 game. Encarnacion singled and Shields lost the strike zone, walking Donaldson on four pitches to load the bases. Shields fell behind Yonder Alonso 3-0 with his seventh straight ball thrown, but the fourth pitch that he threw to Alonso was hit into right-center to score a pair of runs and give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
Bauer pitched out of trouble in the fourth after giving up back-to-back two-out singles, getting A. Garcia to ground back to him. The Indians then added on and made it a 4-2 game with Yan Gomes’ leadoff homer in the fourth, extending his hitting streak to nine straight.
Bauer pitched one more frame, giving up a leadoff single to Omar Narvaez in the fourth.
Shields set down six in a row after the Gomes homer before working out of trouble in his final inning in the sixth. Alonso walked and Melky Cabrera moved him to third with a single. Pinch-runner Greg Allen stole second, but Gomes and Jason Kipnis were retired on outs in the air and Francisco Lindor struck out swinging.
Carrasco, making his second relief appearance of the season in a scheduled split start with Bauer, walked one in the fifth and another in the sixth (an error prolonged this inning, but Carrasco got all three outs via strikeout). He faced the minimum in the seventh and got out of a jam in the eighth, stranding two in scoring position with two outs (after a Narvaez walk and a Matt Davidson ground rule double) when Ryan LaMarre grounded to second.
Shields exited after six, turning the game over to Juan Minaya in the seventh. He retired the first three that he faced, but Donaldson started the eighth with a double. Caleb Frare came on and struck out Alonso before hitting G. Allen with a pitch. Gomes stepped in with two on and one out, but lined into a double play. Frare pitched the ninth, setting down the first two before Ian Hamilton induced a one-pitch groundout by Brandon Guyer.
Bauer worked through four innings, firing 43 of 60 pitches for strikes. He allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
“He looked more like himself, which is a really good thing,” manager Terry Francona said after the game.
Carrasco followed Bauer to the mound and worked the final four and one-third innings, staying on in an irrelevant game to work in what was typically a save situation. He was charged with three runs on four hits with four walks and eight strikeouts, giving up just the one hit through his first four innings of work.
The game was delayed for 51 minutes prior to first pitch due to rains in the area.
First pitch of the series finale from Chi-town is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images