Tonight’s Cleveland Indians’ victory was all about veteran right-hander Shaun Marcum. The Tribe continues to search for a viable fifth starter in their rotation and, at least for one night, it seems manager Terry Francona found the solution. Marcum threw 6.2 strong innings, allowing two earned runs — both on solo home runs — and struck out six batters. Perhaps most impressively, Marcum was incredibly efficient, needing just 89 pitches to record 20 outs without walking a batter.
White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton started the scoring with a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the inning. Rookie starter Carlos Rodon was making easy work of the Indians through three innings, so the one run cushion was a huge start for Chicago.
After a sacrifice fly to left plated Jose Ramirez to tie the game in the sixth, the Indians added three runs in the seventh to push the lead to 4-1. Ramirez singled home Brett Hayes before Michael Brantley drove in a pair with a double to right. It was Brantley’s fourteenth double of the season and team-high 23rd RBI.
Conor Gillasie added a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to pull within two runs, but the Indians’ bullpen held the advantage and put Chicago away 4-3.
-It might not sound like much, but Ramirez has increased his season average to .198. He now has five hits in his last three starts, as his bat is finally seeming to come around.
–Carlos Santana remained out of tonight’s lineup after being a late scratch earlier in the series with back spasms.
–Brandon Moss continues his prolonged slump through May. He is now 14-for-66 in the month and has seen his playing time diminish with the emergence of Ryan Raburn and David Murphy as a formidable platoon in right field.
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The Indians will hand the ball to Danny Salazar for the final game of the four-game set in Chicago tomorrow night. Salazar, who is coming off his worst outing of the season, will be opposed by another left-handed pitcher, John Danks.