Cleveland managed just four hits off of Chicago’s relief corps in a bullpen game for the White Sox, while the home club put up four against Aaron Civale and four more in the middle innings to claim an 8-0 shutout on Thursday night.
The White Sox have been a thorn in the side of the Indians all year long and that continued as the Pale Hose won for the 11th time in 19 tries against Cleveland this season to deal the visiting team a devastating loss, putting their postseason dreams nearly to bed.
Three shutout innings on each side set the early tone. The Indians had a chance in the second against rookie Jose Ruiz, when Franmil Reyes singled with one out and Roberto Perez added a two-out base hit to put two on. Greg Allen loaded the bases when he reached on an error at third by Yoan Moncada, but Francisco Lindor’s hitting skid at the plate continued as he lined to right.
Civale started out well, allowing single walks in the second and third innings before the White Sox struck through with a pair of big blows. With one out in the fourth, Moncada singled to left-center and was joined on base by Zack Collins. James McCann drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left for a three-run bomb, putting Chicago up, 3-0. Daniel Palka jumped on the next pitch as well and parked a solo shot over the fence in right to make it a 4-0 game. Terry Francona gave the quick hook to Civale and brought in Carlos Carrasco, who walked Adam Engel before getting a caught stealing and a groundout to get out of the messy frame.
Josh Osich shut down the Indians in the fourth, fifth, and sixth, facing the minimum while his offense tacked on more support against Carrasco in the fifth. Tim Anderson reached on a one-out single and Jose Abreu knocked him in with a triple to right to make it 5-0. After Moncada grounded to second for the second out, Collins came through with a big two-bagger, scoring Abreu to make it 6-0. Nick Wittgren entered in relief and struck out McCann to prevent further damage.
Palka went yard again to start the sixth, taking James Hoyt deep for his second homer of the game and of the season.
Abreu and Collins were linked to scoring again in the seventh against Hunter Wood. Abreu opened things up with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Collins singled to right to give the White Sox an 8-0 advantage.
Jace Fry gave up the Indians fourth and final hit in the top of the eighth when Allen singled to left, but moved no further. Hector Santiago dominated in the ninth, striking out Jake Bauers, Bradley Zimmer, and Yu Chang to send the Tribe back on the road with a pair of Ls.
The White Sox won for the 70th time on the year. The Indians dropped to 93-67 with the harmful defeat. They are two games in back of Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card spot with three games left on the slate.
Civale allowed more than a pair of runs for the first time in his big league career. He was charged with four runs on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts to fall to 3-4 on the season (despite a 2.34 ERA). Carrasco was tagged for a pair of runs, while Hoyt and Wood each added to the deficit with runs allowed.
Osich won for the fourth time this season after hurling three and one-third perfect innings in relief of Ruiz, who was making his first Major League start in place of the injured Dylan Cease, who missed the game as a late scratch with a left hamstring strain. The next three behind him (Jimmy Cordero, Fry, and Santiago) allowed just one base runner while striking out six over the final four innings.
The top of the Tribe lineup was unable to put up anything against the Sox bullpen. The one through five hitters combined to go 1-for-20 with seven strikeouts. Santana provided the lone hit as the team was shutout for the 14th time this season.
McCann’s 18th homer of the year proved to be the key blow. Collins and Palka each added a pair of RBI.
The Indians will head to Washington, D.C., for the final three games of the regular season with their playoff hopes nearly squashed. They will need a lot of luck, as both Oakland and Tampa will need to put up losses in favorable matchups, while the Indians will face off with the NL Wild Card leading Nationals.
First pitch from Nationals Park on Friday night is scheduled for 7:07 PM ET.
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