The Indians closed out the series with Chicago on a positive note, winning their second series in a row as they defeated the White Sox in a 5-2 victory. Danny Salazar weaved his way in and out of trouble, putting up six scoreless innings despite five hits and three walks, thanks largely in part to eight strikeouts. John Danks had less success, going 5.1 innings, but allowing five runs on six hits and four walks, with just three strikeouts.
Jason Kipnis led off the first inning with a double, and Carlos Santana walked to put runners on for Michael Brantley. He hit an RBI single to center field after a wild pitch had advanced the runners, and that proved to be important when Ryan Raburn grounded into a double play that still managed to score a run. Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles followed with back-to-back solo home runs, putting the Tribe up by four before the White Sox even had a chance to bat.
Danks walked Roberto Perez to start the second inning, and Michael Bourn followed with a single. With one out, Santana grounded out, but Perez managed to score thanks to a poor throw by first baseman Jose Altuve.
The Tribe kept the White Sox from scoring until the very end, when reliever Bryan Shaw allowed Gordon Beckham to double, then gave up a home run to Tyler Flowers. It was too little and too late for Chicago, who dropped three of the four games this set after sweeping the Oakland A’s in their last series.
Every batter had at least one hit or walk except Ryan Raburn, who is still batting .297 – perhaps he’s still feeling the effects of that catch he made in Texas, when he slammed into the wall and bruised his knee. At any rate, the rest of the offense looked much better than they had lately. Salazar pitched into jams, but he worked out of them with ease – if he loaded the bases, he made up for it with strikeouts. Ryan Webb continued to be stellar, with 1.2 perfect innings, and Marc Rzepczynski struck out the only batter he faced. It was a pretty good night for the Tribe all around.
Shaw is still struggling, although his ERA is only 3.29. Instead of coming in to complete the shutout, he gave up a two-run home run, albeit to a very powerful hitter. The Tribe needs to get to the bottom of Shaw’s problems before it costs them an important game.
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Check It Out
– On Friday, the Indians will be back in Cleveland to face Mike Leake and the Cincinnati Reds. Leake is 2-2 with a 3.62 ERA this season, and he will be the first right-hander the Tribe has faced since leaving Texas. That means Raburn and Aviles might see less time, since Lonnie Chisenhall will be back in the lineup now that the Indians aren’t playing against a left-handed starter.
– The Tribe will send Carlos Carrasco to the mound, who is looking to recover after a rough outing against the Rangers. Despite tossing eight innings, Carrasco surrendered five runs in a tough loss that had more to do with bad defense than poor pitching. The right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.98 ERA, but he’s struck out 51 batters in just over 43 innings, so it’s safe to say he’s better than his record shows.