The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 Friday night on a walk-off home run by Carlos Santana in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Indians moved to 36-30 with the thrilling win while the White Sox fall to 33-34 on the season. The Indians remain in first place in the Central Division while the White Sox fall under .500 and remain in fourth.
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Tribe starter Trevor Bauer was at the top of his game Friday night. In arguably his best start of the season, he worked seven strong innings allowing just one “earned” run on four hits and three walks. He struck nine White Sox and lowered his season ERA to 3.46. Despite the performance he had to settle for a no-decision but he put the team in the position for the win. His lone run allowed came in the third inning when Adam Eaton “tripled” with one out. Eaton lined a base hit to right field in what looked to be a single but right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall got caught in between, thinking he could catch the ball. Instead, the ball skipped by him and Eaton ended up on third. Bauer got the next batter, Jose Abreu to ground out to short but with the defense playing back, Eaton scored easily making it 1-1.
Reliever Bryan Shaw came on to work the 8th inning after Bauer threw 115 pitches over the first seven. Despite allowing a single and an intentional walk, he got through the inning unscathed and actually had a chance for the win before Cody Allen blew his second save of the season in the top of the 9th. Allowing back-to-back doubles to Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia, the White Sox tied the game at two in the 9th. However, thanks to Santana’s heroics, Allen would get the win, moving to 2-3 on the season.
Offensively the Indians struggled most of the night against Jose Quintana, who pitched brilliantly yet again for the White Sox. The Indians were able to get to him in the 1st inning, though. Rajai Davis led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a stolen base. With one out, Francisco Lindor singled him home giving the Tribe the early 1-0 lead. That would be all the Indians would get, though, until the bottom of the 8th inning. Michael Martinez, getting the start in center field versus the lefty, lead off the inning with a single, his second hit of the game and fifth in the last two. He would come around and score on Jason Kipnis‘s RBI double making it 2-1 Indians.
It looked like that would be all the Indians would need but thanks to Allen’s blown save, Carlos Santana was able to play the hero, hitting a leadoff home run int he bottom of the 9th, giving the Tribe a 3-2 win. It was Santana’s fourth career walk-off home run of his career and came on an 0-2 pitch from Nate Jones, who got the final out of the 8th inning before taking the loss (2-2). It was also his 14th of the season, tying him with Mike Napoli for the team lead.
The win was the Tribe’s fourth in a row against the White Sox this year, after taking the final three games in Chicago last month. The two clubs will go back at it Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 pm. Danny Salazar (7-3, 2.19 ERA) will take on lefty Carlos Rodon (2-6, 4.28).